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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Road Home

Brushing the blackened ashes from the shoulder of my wool coat, I press forward into the night in search of the village that I once called home. The path below my cladded leather shoes, now tattered from years of attrition, remains hidden from view. I can still detect the jagged outlines of the aged cobblestone streets now unified with common dirt, as I traverse forward in my quest. My heart filled with anxious uncertainty about what lies in wait for my pending arrival. With a troubling unison, the torch I bear in my left hand starts to wane with each passing step, bringing more darkness forth and into my immediate walk. The cold, violent night air strangles me with its assertive chorus reminding me ever so conveniently of its mastery of this performance.

Carrying all I have left remaining, I stride past the bleakness and refocus my intention on the destination. Hearkening back to times of greater joy, I smile. Knowing that while short-lived in duration, their etching upon my soul was clearly in permanence. Sadly, I have nothing to show my welcoming committee, if there even will be one left to recount or consider my efforts long since past upon my untimely departure. I am longing for just one soul to make my heart complete in this life, and I am hoping she will still be here in this village, waiting.....believing. Entering this arena will not be easy, as when I last breathed this village air, I was essentially a child, at least immature enough to be counted in this resemblance. I was youthful, strong & at least marginally handsome. Alas, time has taken its painful toll on my life, as I am now riddled with scars and aging only exemplifies these battles against natural maturation. However, I worry not about these collateral effects as most would, as it is just me......and to know if I even possess the fortitude to even complete this arduous journey, remains to be seen.

The valleys become deep and dark, but I continue. Weakened, but not dismayed. 
The skies unleash their viciousness and mirror my inward pains of regret and start to cause my walk to falter.
I pause and regroup. Recounting the outline of my destiny, my core radiates with an enriched purpose. 

Extending my hand to the night sky, I clench my fist in defiance against the ones who would negate my happiness, who have for so long mocked my journey and leveraged their own selfishness in exchange for my generosity. Bereft of joy, I have sat disillusioned for too long. Stripped to the bone of all possessions, I am now richer than ever. 

With a new found strength, I proceed. As the valley rises onto the crest of the wheat fields that still remain encased within the stone walls to the east of the path, I welcome the familiarity of the moment. A lone lantern sits atop the feeble wooden gates before me, illuminating the weathered village sign, now hardly discernible to the casual nomad. Piercing through the gates, my eyes quickly define the outline of her cloak in the distance. Her back facing my walk, her silhouette projecting onto the adjacent wooden wall from the candle she holds outwardly from her chest. 

As she turns patiently, in slow motion, I pause out of reverence. Like chess players, being respectfully aware of each other's intention and fluidity, I allow her to complete her movement with anxious anticipation. As the jade Queen comes to rest upon the board of my life, I smile as I recognize the inherent significance. Before me, I now stand 20 feet apart from what once defined 20 years of painful separation. 

We both smile and step forward knowing without speaking this place is definitely and eternally, home.....


Lindylou said...

My favorite part was the ending...

You know how I am an encourager of both your work and your life, I see you retracing your steps. A few themes continually rise to the top... things that deeply concern you, but that you are looking to see beyond.

We are body, soul and spirit. Make certain as you walk freshly onto this new -but once familiar place - that you have met on your knees before you Maker naked.

With Him alone will you succeed on the journey finally home - to experience what it is to live life in rest and at home.

But I caution you like an experienced sage, walk alone... without your Maker's guiding... and the board you stand on with your beautiful Queen will crumble to dust.

Walk, Enjoy! Love, Experience! Dance, Rejoice!

...All while surrendering your steps to One, who has the ability to sanctify, protect and bless.

I say this because I so long for you to know perfect peace.

Andy Smothers said...

I have come to terms with your commentary on my journey. I concur that we are fabricated of a multitude of various parts all unified under a common source.

Throughout my life, I have both trusted in my faith of God and also questioned the presence of His hand while I sat idle, alone in my darkness...both as a child and an adult.

This is not so much about His intention as my unwillingness or inability to recognize my own shortcomings and galvinize my faith when at my weakest.

I believe that this walk is sometimes traversed alone, sometimes performed in unison. Sometimes merely the struggle to walk is enough to weakened the tattered resolve of those who have burdened so much, shed too many tears to be counted among the chosen, the gifted.

I look not for absolution nor direction at this point. I believe in God and practice compassion, love, kindness and understanding to others whenever possible. By living as God intended, I am living within His blessing, His purpose.

I trust I will need His compassion and forgiveness to complete this journey home...

Thank you for your support.

Lindylou said...

Precious Andy,

I hope nothing that I wrote hurt you. It was not be attention at all. I never want to seem like I am clubbing you on the head.

Sadly I think you view going to Father God as being sent to the strict principal or bad parent that is going to reprimand you and punish you or take away the love and joy you are about to fully embrace.

That is not Father God as I know Him. He is amazing, caring and wants me to have rest in my life. He also wants me to be alive, vibrant and living abundantly as He originally designed me. He is my Helper, Comforter, Protector and Loving Father.

I am glad that " I believe in God and practice compassion, love, kindness and understanding to others whenever possible. By living as God intended, I am living within His blessing, His purpose.

I trust I will need His compassion and forgiveness to complete this journey home..."

I would only encourage you in knowing I need God's absolution and direction at every point .... it is when I don't have both of these that I end up hurting other and messing everything up for myself. I trust Him alone to be wise to guide me, and His grace is always sufficient to forgive me.

I hurt that you may have misunderstood my comment about walking alone. Maybe I left it too much in an analogy that was poorly crafted, but meant to be light, gentle, and creative.

I can never imagine walking in life without God. I can always be alone and happy for even when I am alone - God is there... and truly it is the best of times often when I can get alone with Him. In trying to express this I think I may have made my words condemn and it was never my heart.

I guess since I can never be apart from God and it is hard for me to even perceive any more what it is alike to be really alone. It is funny how that works, so when I read about someone going alone I think 'oh, no, take Him with you... He is your Guide... He is your Protector... He is your Comforter.

That is what I was trying to say.