He led me through a cemetery haunted by the favorite toys and bric a brac of children who left this earth too early, to a path cutting through knee-high grass.
My shoes shouldered the weight of the late-morning dew and my shoulders weighed with the dues of my late mourning. The spindly branches of the trees could brush my shoulder and break my back, so ready was I to give in.
He led me until the rumble of the road faded, and my path stopped at a rotting tree which limbs interlocked like two friends holding hands. Fallen branches made steps to the scoop of branches that tucked me away in the glance of the sun.
I closed my eyes and climbed around the rotting branches in my heart’s tree, worried they would break off if tested with too much weight: fear that he wouldn’t speak…regret that I wandered…panic I’d never get back…shame that he wouldn’t look at me…
I covered my face and my shoulders began to shake.
My sobs interrupted the stillness of the air, and I turned my face away from the sun.
Don’t hide your face from me.
I couldn’t look at him.
You are precious to me.
It was the brushing branch to break every bone in my body, and I repented in the heap of rotting branches. His affection closed in, turning my chin to look him full in the face, and I took my hands away, bared my grungy, splotchy countenance because I had nothing left to pretend.
His warmth permeated deeply, mending all my branches at their joints, growing new skin where the rot had been. I wanted to sit in his affection and let that be enough, not bother him with the problems I faced that day, not ask for answers when he had just rescued me–
Ask me whatever you want, and I will answer you.
His Spirit dispelled the morning stillness, swooping over me to dispel the mourning still nesting in my soul. He settled in the branches next to me, facing the sun.
I drew one knee to my chest, and we began to talk.