Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Pit

A throw gone wrong. One impossibly round rock. An unrelenting hill.

My son had no idea when he threw the rock that it wouldn’t stay put. That it would start rolling down the steep grade of the street that circled our housing development. That despite a valiant chase with outstretched arm, the rock would continue to careen unchecked for blocks.

That it would tease him by hugging the road near the sidewalk for tantalizing moments, just inches from capture, before veering straight back to the middle of the street just as the car came around the corner.

The clunk, clunk, clunk of rock meeting bumper and then every inch of metal undercarriage before continuing its trek down the hill to finally rest against the sidewalk fifty feet away.

The car stopped and after an agonizing moment, the driver’s door opened.

Tiny, six-year-old shoulders slumped. Foreboding and the certainty of censure pulled at his features. I hurried down to protect him. To stand guard. To take whatever might come at him from the person stepping from the car.

He looked so alone in his shame and humiliation. So like how I’ve felt at different times in my life. Alone. Fearful. Certain that punishment was coming . . . and that I deserved it.

Who steps from the driver’s seat in your life, berating your misdeeds? A parent? A co-worker? A spouse? Maybe the person is long gone, but the message continues to replay every time you mess up.

I used to think it was God behind that wheel. Oh, I knew he was love . . . as long as I toed that line. Did what I was supposed to.

But if I slipped up or stumbled, I felt as if I’d been thrown into a deep pit without a rope. A dark pit of loneliness and despair, with perfectionism and control taunting me. Illuminating my failings. I huddled alone in the darkness, while God’s light and love blazed far above me. So far away. I tried to claw and dig my way up, trying to please him. To be worthy of his love.

Finally, the light shone into that darkness and the lies were exposed. I saw that God sat with me in the muck of that pit. Weeping with me. Agonizing over me. Loving me more than life.

Loving me more than his own life. He loves you more than his own life.

The enemy’s lies weave a web that trap us in darkness. God wants us to walk in freedom. Our dad wants us free. Free to be fully who he designed us to be, imperfect and limited. Get to know the Word. Believe the Word.

It’ll set you free.

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