It’s so strong I have to push my fingers through concrete just to type. The words are trickling; barely leaking through. While I usually have to craft my own dam to reduce the rushing thoughts and words, today, I am struggling to get through the thick barrier just to let a few words seep through.
I push one word through and two more follow just a bit easier.
It doesn’t seem like a choice. Memories and events tell you to worry; whisper in your ear to give into fear. He looks so inviting, in the booth sipping something dark and strong. He’s all alone, and always wants a drinking buddy. The place is booming with business but for some reason your feet seem to drift to his table. You would like to join the party of four who abrupt in laughter every few minutes, you would love to pull up a seat next to your close friends at the table outside, but you don’t think it would be appropriate. After all you are dressed in questions, concern, and past hurt. Your friends picked out different outfits. They are laced up in answers, their shirts scream joy, and to make it complete they are wearing trust. No, the dark booth in the back seems a better fit.
We were raised to be appropriate. We have been told don’t fake it. Fear notes, “It’s really the right thing to do; have a seat.” You know the cold, hard bench well. The table has felt your sweaty palms on them before. Last time you sat down for a few weeks, the time before that…well you forgot what it was like to stand. The bench almost feels good at first, because at least you have sat down. For a second you enjoy the solace. You give a little cheer as it seems you are safe from more pain, grief, heartbreak, or disaster. The waiter rounds the corner and soon you are, yet again, sipping on “numbness”. It slides down easy and at least it’s warm.
Five refills have left you completely paralyzed. You soon realize that while you were busy pulling in you can’t feel the sunshine. You can’t really enjoy a warm kiss. No gift is safe and therefore, unattainable. The thought of enjoying those things is far too risky. Yes. That is one thing your drinking friend has taught you. Risk assessments. It’s his field of expertise. He can definitely crunch the numbers. He has the data for everything. When you tell him the desire to start a new friendship his eyes motion to the numbers and your heart remembers the past. His dark drink spills out of his nose from laughter when you tell him about the new relationship you want to pursue. He circles the number and your back sinks lower into the booth. You remember.
How do we get out? We choose to be “inappropriate”. When all we can pull over our heads is the old, musty, sweater of fear we must choose to sit with those who have buttoned up trust. When all our feet seem to fit into is worry we must go to those whose feet fit snugly into faith. Soon wearing fear will cause blisters, and bruises. It will make us itch and scratch. Once we have seen how to wear hope, how to tie the shoes of faith and how to bury past pain, we will rush back to our closets and put on anticipation and peace. Our friends will gently help us put on our clothes so as not to reopen old scrapes or tear the stitches on our ribs.
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
~ Revelation 21:5