Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Religious Experience

It was a deep black night, clouds blocking out the light of the stars that were so common place in that area of the state. Snow lay on the ground like a well used blanket. Icy air whipped around her ankles and over the tops of her hands. She steeled herself against the environment, pulling her worn coat tighter around her waist. Seeing approaching headlights, she turned her back to the wind, put one thumb up and extended her arm. A short prayer slid silently through her brain. "Hail Mary, mother of grace." The words were probably wrong, but that is how she remembered them from her limited days living in a religious household. The red lights of a car passed by, revealing there had been no pressure on the brake pedal.

She turned back to the wind and the south bound signs, taking slow measured steps forward. Under an overpass behind a cement pillar, she stopped, hoping to take refuge. She was so cold. Pleading with God to change her course, to help her find some warmth, to survive resulted in a big gust of wind pulling her coat open. She fell to her knees. A car approached, but she didn't move beyond the shudder of her defeated body. She was ready to give up.

The headlights threw shadows against the walls. They looked like demons. Falling forward onto the ground she cried out, "I'm sorry! I threw away all the opportunities that you have given me. I threw away my child, my life. Everything. I am dying lonely and with nothing to be proud of. Please, don't make me suffer anymore. I'm sorry!" She wasn't sure who she was talking to, only that she felt possessed to apologize since she couldn't make amends. With her regrets out, she laid down.

Everything went black as the night and just as suddenly, a bright light fell around her. She continued to state up, unblinking, even when the light grew so intense that it caused her great pain. A figure slid into her view, hovering blurred at the edge of her vision. Slowly it encompassed more of her field until she could see nothing else. She felt a warmth, the first warmth she had felt in what seemed like an eternity, as he wrapped his arms around her and began to lift her.

That's the story she told as she stood behind the podium, staring at the room full of families of teen drug users. "It's what", she said, "it took to turn my life around. I share this with you not to dissuade you from trying, but to tell you it is a journey your child must take. You can not do it without them, or for them, and it is likely you will not be the one that saves them, but salvation is possible. It starts with them forgiving themselves. Give them time. Be patient. Be understanding. Most importantly, let them know they matter. The rest is in their hands."

1 comment:

  1. I think you have a few typos that make the end a bit difficult to read bt over all a nice piece.