She looks old beyond her years, hunched over, face parallel to the ground because of the brown bundle ten times her size, attached to her back. She would love to remove the bundle and let it fall without a care but her hands, in front of her, are tied together. Her eyes that can only see her feet cannot direct her steps so she wanders in circles and crooked lines, not tending well to any part of her life. She stumbles over obstacles that she can’t see ahead of her. All she can do is pray. She tries. Weeping, she calls out, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
But the burden on her back whispers, “Do you really? What makes you think he’ll answer? I’m still here, on top of you.”
Then, blubbering, her desperate words are tinged with fear, “God, help me! All I want is you.”
She closes her eyes and rests in a quiet place. And then she is reminded of a soothing message they wrote together just a week earlier:
“I try not to be afraid. When fearful thoughts attack I quickly say, “Jesus, I trust in you.” Then I recite the prayer he taught us.
Fear makes hearts palpitate and blood pressures rise.
Fear makes heads ache and stomachs churn, stirred by a hot poker.
I choose love over fear.
I choose to live and walk in love,
To allow it to bathe me in soothing warmth
And caress me with protection.
I choose to trust the One
Who was betrayed and beaten for me,
The One who chose to carry his own cross to execution,
While his bludgeoned flesh bled;
The One who felt the bang, bang, of massive nails
Hammered through his hands and feet,
Was roughly lifted in shame, mocked and jeered at.
Why would anyone lay down their life for others
Except out of pure love?
Let me not hold onto the temporal things that will pass.
Instead, I choose to let them go,
To focus on true life and trust in the One
Who suffered for me.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Fill me with your light and wash me in your love.”
Cleansing tears refresh her face. She unties the bonds of her hands and raises her palms skyward. As her lips burst forth, “Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Jesus, I trust in you,” she stands upright, unleashes the burden’s ties and shakes it from her back. When it hits the ground, it shatters into millions of tiny lights.