A woman sits on a park bench crying. Not sobbing, but softly allowing tears to stream down her face. Some passersby take notice. A young couple pushing their baby in a stroller glance. Unsure about approaching the woman, they awkwardly hurry by. An older woman stops and sweetly tells the woman she’s too pretty to be crying and that she’ll ruin her makeup. Finally, an elderly man takes a seat on the bench with the woman. Such a gentleman, he offers his handkerchief and asks why she’s crying? What makes her so sad?
The woman turns and looks at him with sincere eyes, stating her tears aren’t from being sad or angry. She explained that as she sat on the bench, basking in the sunshine, enjoying the cool spring day, she began to reflect on how much her life has changed for the better; the challenges she’s overcome, the experience of feeling truly loved and the willingness to show compassion and love towards others. The woman went on to say that her life changed when she obtained a deeper understanding of who she is – a child of God, a daughter of Christ her King. The challenges and setbacks she faced in life equipped her to walk out her purpose and be of service to others.
She assured the man there was no need to feel sorry for her because she was finding fulfillment and peace unlike she’s ever known. Who cares about a perfectly made up face when you’re sitting awestruck before a perfect God.
and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lordfor the display of his splendor. – Isaiah 61:3 (New International Version)
I want you to live the life you were meant to live, be the man you were created to be. Whether or not it’s with me, I want you to be free. These aren’t just pretty words on a page; there’s truth in them, but truth expressed with the utmost compassion, respect, hope, love and faith.
Free from the hurt and rejection of the past. Free of the anger of not being seen for who you are, not appreciated for all that you have to offer. You’re a good son. You’re a good man.
Free to know and trust that you can go to your Heavenly Father with the guilt and shame, understanding that he already knows, he cares and loves you more than anyone else ever could.
Contrary to the popular definition of a real man, it’s okay to cry. It’s healthy to trade stoicism for transparency. It’s a beautiful thing to be free.
Free to know, feel and trust that even though it feels like we’re worlds apart right now, you’re not far from my mind and heart; you’re close to home. You are so incredibly loved, that it can swim across the divide.
Free to rise. Free to soar. Free to look upon the horizon with hope and expectation.
How do you look at life — half-empty or half-full? My natural disposition is half-full. When I look back at all that Jesus has done; miracles he has worked in my life and the lives of others around me, reflect on his unfailing love that never lets me go, half-full goes to full. Overflowing, when I allow him to continually fill my cup with his compassion, grace and mercy.
He alone has the ability and capacity to fill the voids and holes in our lives, watering the dry places if we allow it.
I reach out, extending my hand and heart to you. As much as you want to do the same, past hurts and rejection won’t allow you to see how close I really am. It doesn’t matter that my words and actions add up to the sum of unconditional love. It doesn’t connect with your depth perception. I was doing battle with your past, in order to fight for our future. It’s a perpetual catch-22 situation of self-fulfilling prophecy.
So my depth perception allows me to realize the distance you’ve put between us, as this is where you feel safe. Stone cold reality syncs up in my head and heart that the hopes and plans we had for the future will never come into fruition.
I will always love you. I will always care about you. I will always be your friend. There just can’t be an “us”.