The memories come flooding back,
Fresh as if it just happened.
Guilt, shame, regret; all the pain.
It wasn’t yours then, and it isn’t now.
Anger begins to well up and demand,
“Listen to me! Focus on me!”
But that road’s been well traveled.
The ruts and potholes are bottomless.
Another voice calls out from the distance,
“There is a better way. Follow me!”
I cannot see the path, and yet
The voice continues its beckoning call.
“That road you’ve always picked to walk,
It always appears to be the easier.
You can’t see the ruts or potholes
Until it’s too late, and you’ve fallen.
I know you can’t really see this path.
My path seems overgrown and hard.
It isn’t an easy path to be sure.
Follow my voice. I won’t let you fall.”
I begin walking toward the voice as it leads.
I cannot see a path, and the brush is thick.
Limbs and briars scratch and cut.
All the while the voice continues to beckon.
I want to stop and turn back from the pain.
“Don’t stop. Keep following me.”
I’m frightened because I cannot see the path,
But yet my feet fall on solid ground – rock solid.
I’m tired and thirsty, bruised and bleeding.
I keep trudging with nothing but hope.
I grow to trust the voice that leads,
Because I haven’t fallen and the voice grows clearer.
Suddenly, I break free of the strange forest.
I cannot believe what lies before me.
A clearing with a small, clear stream;
Flowers in abundance and with sweet fragrance.
A blanket is spread on the grass by the stream.
On it I find a basket of food and cup for water.
I eat and drink and nap with warmth of the sun.
I awaken to find my wounds are now just scars.
“You wonder what happened, and how you healed.
The wounds were from the anger.
You worked through it by following Me.
Now you have rested and eaten my provision.
I provided you the healing of your wounds,
And the rest from your struggle.
The scars will remain but will fade with time.
Do not hide them. Remember the journey.”
I feel his presence, but only hear his voice.
It is peaceful and loving and gentle.
The journey to this place was painful.
But forgiveness really was the easier, softer way.