There was a woman in the corner of a crack house, disheveled, discouraged and depressed. She has scrubbed the floors clean of the last crumbs of her poison already feeling the burning hunger for more. Her muscles ache, her eyeballs hurt and her spirit is sick with shame. She has lost track of time, her children and her purpose in life. The only thing greater than her cravings is the self-loathing for her very existence. A breeze sweet with summer time blows through the window lightly dancing over her body cooling the bitterness burning her bones. She sighs softly with the moment of respite and starts to thank Him for the wind, but cackles acridly doubting He would ever want to hear anything she has to say. Abruptly her eyes spark with intensity as she spies a particle on the floor across the room. She scrambles towards it scraping ashy knees of the termite infested floor. Greedily with desperation she snatches the speck from the surface only to see it’s just a piece of food, bread from some meal many yesterday’s ago. Her stomach growls with the memory of a decent meal, but her despair swallows her hunger. Her body begins to tremble and shake as heat envelopes while icy beads of sweat crawl down her spine. She shivers feeling sick from her skin to her soul and wishes she could pray… Sunlight pierces the shadows through cracks in the roof gently landing on her fingertips slowly edging up her arm. The soft heat seems to warm and calm her shivering soul. She looks at the roof to see the Sun and whispers desperately, “Do you really want to hear from me?”
Have you ever felt too tired to talk, too tired to stand, too tired to even pray? The weariness is not just in your bones it’s in your soul like a two ton anchor dragging you deeper down into the depths of depression. The horror of yesterday’s miserable mistakes haunts us torturing our minds with tragedies deemed terminal and yet cruelly leaving us alive as the walking dead. To hope again is like trying to hold onto sulfuric acid as it starts to burn away the disease of our depression, but we let go of the thing we need the most, afraid that the cure will be more painful than the corruption.
It scares me when I encounter someone who has developed a lethal dose of despair that is beyond pills, practitioners and programs. When my techniques, compassion and hopeful humor shatter against the six inch wall of shame, I remember to pray. You would think I’d learn to start my sessions seeking aid from the source of my strength, but I’m not the prayer warrior like the grandmothers of my church. My past has taught me a false security in my limited strength and intellect. Prayer sounds so simple and yet it is a struggle to even share that I pray for my clients, friends and family. Even though I now know that there are pains and problems beyond the intellectual encouragement I give during sessions and speaking engagements.
I’m here in Church writing and listening to the music and message about faith the people sway with the symphony. Tears fall from my eyes witnessing the beauty of the believers drop the poison of their pride and problems at the Alter. It feels so strange to share this secret about what saved me from insanity. The fear of what people may say if I come out of the closet with Christ as my core leaves me dizzy with doubt and trepidation. But I’m too foolish, courageous, reckless and stubborn to deny what I’ve seen in my life almost being homeless, almost being shot, almost being arrested, almost being crippled, almost being trapped in depression, almost dying in the disease of my addiction. How many disasters have almost taken us out? I realize the issue with me and perhaps you, is that we focus on what hit us hard instead of all the near misses we’ve forgotten. I was rescued from homelessness to be given a job and a place to live in a homeless shelter. I was broken and believed to be crippled only to sprint in spin class today. I was covered with compassion from my church and my friends when I couldn’t stop shaking with fear filled tears. These experiences I cherish and forever remember to teach others that there is hope for the broken heart.
Some of us have been in the corner crying till we ran out of tears, wishing, hoping and then perhaps praying. If you ever wondered if he actually heard you, look at what you’ve managed to make it through so far. It is a bit intimidating to challenge our own cynicism, but truthfully what do we have to lose? As my own intellect battled my spiritual intuition I finally laid down all my tricks, all my charms and the few skills I did possess, in comparison to the difficulties I faced I laughed shaking my head, “how did I think I was going to make it on my own with a pocket full of charm, wit and training?” No money, no credit, a little bit of education and a futon couch, it’s really hysterical and yet I’m able to touch countless lives with the words I write and the things I say, to have so much with so little… It’s a wonder how I could’ve wondered if he heard me. Suddenly the truth slaps me in the face with a question while I’m questioning the reception of my request, perhaps he is wondering the same, “why couldn’t I hear him this whole time?”
I guess some of us (meaning myself) ignore the answer when He tells us because it’s outside the box of our beliefs. The idea that he is going to make us strong instead of spoiled, wise instead of weak, motivators instead of manipulators, promise keepers instead of perpetrators, that the world is so much bigger than our desire to just pay the electric bill.
The girl in the room alone with her cravings only wanted to feel warm and safe, and in the end she led others to warmth and safety… What do you really want that you’re too tired to ask for? Are they words simply whispered in the wind or is there something there waiting to hear our hearts cry?
John 15/16 check it out….
P.S. the stories I write are completely created out of my imagination and experiences they are not based on a particular person, patient or friend…