I will not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord. Psalm 118:17
If I deny this place and push away the emotions and fear it will mean I am strong and righteous and I will float above this place and my toes will not feel the spongy undersurface or the earthy cold that I know will travel through the marrow in my ankles and thighs and up into my belly. Yes. I will deny that this place exists. I will be brave and shout louder that God is good. I will smile and claim only peace. I will hold my head up, square my shoulders, tighten my fist, clench my jaw hard as flint and proclaim victory.
I feel the damp cold reaching with long thin fingers deep into my bones.
I smell grief and despair.
My lashes press against my skin as the weight of wet sorrow holds them fast.
I am here Father. I am here and I am afraid and I am alone. Fear is my only companion.
My legs are weak. My spirit speaks only in feeble whispers. My soul lies motionless and silent.
I am here.
And I realize I have been here. It is just that I’ve been standing on a hard root of self-reliance that has kept my feet above the
The tears have come easy today and they have fallen unabashedly and in abundance. I realize tonight that they are not necessarily bitter. I remember tonight the oak tree I sat beneath only yesterday. I leaned against her rigid trunk and wept until my breath could not keep up with my sorrow and I felt my shoulders and frame wilt and seemingly melt into her body of bark. I looked up and noticed the branches sagging with the weight of the years. The seasons that have come and gone and the ebb and flow of life around it.
The branches sag and it is January; however, there are leaves and signs of life in this drowsy tree.
The branches reach forward and they are strong.
I dry my wet face and I remember the tree I sat beneath while yesterday’s sun reached her strong fingers through her branches and I say,
Rescue me, Lord.
Help me, Father.
The world is too big for me and I am weak and beaten and bruised.
My heart is so raw and tender even the most gentle touch causes me to weep.
But I remember that tree.
The branches on her periphery were reaching and sagging but her core was upright and strong. Her reaching branches sag with the weight of survival not weakness. They bow and still she stretches ever upward.
And that is my hope O’ Lord as I rest my head tonight on the softness of my pillow. My hand will rest lightly on his chest as I feel his heart beating rhythmically and I will fall asleep to the soft sound of his breathing and I will feel the air cross my fingers. I will sleep and pray for tomorrow. Pray that tomorrow I will wake and know the Lord has done a work in my heart and fed my spirit. I pray tomorrow I will not remain as today. I pray tomorrow for my rescue. I pray tomorrow.
I pray tomorrow.
And I remember the tree.
And I whisper to my own soul, “I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the Lord.”