I see world filled with wonder, full of life, love, hope, and peace. It’s a bright world filled with dazzling displays of light and color. Flowers drape the landscape, and snowcapped mountains rise in the distance. Everything is safe, there are no dangers lurking in the shadows. In fact there is no shadow to behold. Darkness takes no form here.

I look closer, my eyes have narrowed their focus. There in the distance, a child stands beneath the glow of a perfect Son. She is small, frail even. She appears to be overcome with sorrow. I call out to her, she cannot hear. My heart breaks as I watch. Her eyes are screaming with sadness, but still they are focused. She raises her head and looks out over the horizon, slowly she moves in the direction of her gaze. Each step appears to carry the weight of a thousand stars…I follow.

We draw closer to the object of her attention, the scene changes, the sun has drifted behind the clouds. They too are heavy, even the sky seems filled with sorrow. I wonder why she is leaving her world behind. What is she after? What has caused her heart to mourn? My eyes peer deeper still, and there in the depths of her soul I see the strength of a thousand men. She is resolved to go…I follow.

As if instantly we are transported into another world. It is ominous and dark. No warmth seems to pass through the biting cold. The landscape invites no color and everything seems as a shadow of something worse. Light has escaped through the night sky and darkness abounds. My senses are heightened now, I hear the sound of her pounding heart as it beats against her chest. She hears something too, it is faint, a whimper almost. She races toward it…I follow.

The whimper has now morphed into a moan and a voice cries out from the dark. I am terrified, I plead with her “Turn Back, please turn back.” Still she cannot hear, or perhaps she refuses to listen. The volume of my pleas has now reached a fever pitch. The more I plead the faster she moves. We come to a river, slowly churning its way through this world of crippling darkness. The water is blacker still, there is danger there. “Please, please turn back,” I am begging now. “Go back to the place you left behind, it’s beautiful there, you don’t belong here. It’s much too dangerous to stay.” “Why leave the beauty and splendor or your perfect world?”

She raises her arm, pointing across the river, and there lying in the distance is another child. He is desperate for help, but wonders who will come for him. Curled in a ball with his arms thrown over his head. He is shaking, his clothes are tattered and worn. He is cold, and scared. The groans grow louder by the moment. Her eyes are pleading with me now, “Save him, please save him.” With every tear that flows her pleas grow louder. The stench air is filled with desperation. My own fears have fled from her strength. I go, knowing there is danger, yet I am not afraid.

I take the child in my arms, my mind is fixed on his safety. In my heart I know we must bring him into her world, I also know that pain in the soul is different than pain in the body. The pain in a man’s soul will often times infect the people around them, inviting destruction upon them all. There is a remedy for this pain. Unfortunately the remedy is more painful than the ailment it cures, and making matters even worse, the pain is felt only by the one who administers it. She sees my fears, and comforts me in my distress. She says to me “I have power that remains unseen.” I ask what it is. She smiles as her eyes soften and the glow returns to her nature “the power to love”…I am stunned.


A man and his boy…

It’s 6:30 am, I watch as he disappears into the dark. He navigates seamlessly through the blackened night. He goes often to this place. If you ask, he would say he is hunting, looking for that prized animal that gives him bragging rights amongst his peers. But if truth were told, he is searching for something more, and this place is the one place that offers the quiet solace necessary to find what he seeks…answers.

I know well how he feels, I have come here more often than I would like to admit, in search of the same. I’ve had my opportunities to kill more deer than I could count. I chose instead to watch and to wonder.

He does the same. We are together now, sitting only a few yards apart. It’s cold and rainy. It seems the mood of the day is reminisent of the mood in our hearts. We spoke little to one another as we left the house this morning, we didn’t need to, his eyes spoke more than words ever could. I suppose mine did as well.

We sat for a while, shivering from the cold wet air. I watched him and I wondered…will he ever know how much I love him, will he ever know the pain in his heart is only matched and surpassed by the pain in my own, will it ever dawn on him that every word in scripture was meant for moments like these, will he finally know from experience that “He is our ever present help in times of trouble.” These are the moments that change us forever…for better or worse.

It all comes down to this: Will we choose now to walk by faith and not by sight, or will we continue to wear the flesh thats gotten us here to begin with. He has learned well to trust his own instincts, now he must learn to forsake them for truth. I hope I have taught him well.

It is one thing to lead men into the darkness, but to lead your family there is terrifying. I pray he does not see the fear and I pray he will never see me buckle under the weight.  I remind him our battle is not against flesh and blood but spirits powers and principalities that are not of this world. I wonder am I convinced myself, will I trust this fight to the Lord or will I fight and fail on my own.

He is learning from me and what I teach him in this moment will have lifelong consequences…good or bad. I too am learning from him as well, so I watch as he fades into the dark, trusting that I have not led him astray.

I Love You Justin, God has blessed me more than I could ever know.