i was thirsty, but i ran from the well
i don't know why.
i ran to the world thinking they found that something that i hadn't. something to quench the thirst and quell the hunger. it didn't. but i kept running. what did i think was better our there than what the well was holding? what was i expecting to find? there is nothing for me here. nothing.
i'd rather die next to a well because i ran it dry than simply because i ran
i was tired of running. it gave me thirst but had no water to offer me. fed me an appetite and nothing more. there is nothing for me here, but how do i turn back? the terrain ran with me, the sands as shaken up as i was. earth itself can't lead me back to the Source, only its maker and mine, and i didn't know if He would talk to me.
He might be upset that i ran from Him, punish me by not letting me back. let me starve for His refreshing, and let me never find it. i can search all the days of my poured out life, through this sandy wasteland, and never find Him again.
what if He never wanted me to? what if that well was never for me? was He upset that i found it? that it's sustenance would be drawn for someone else, not the recipient of intent?
no, He's too kind for that. He would just punish me for leaving by banning my return. that's justified, that's just. i don't know if i should die here or die trying. if and when they find me, they won't know which way my body was turned. "was she running to or from Him? either way, she wasn't with Him." why is their thought my first? is it not concerning enough to have died in the depths of a sandy sea? need i also venture into the dark waters that are their thoughts towards me? but i don't need an ocean, nor the sea. i can draw no living water from these. i must return to the well.
and just like that, the wind. it was violent, tumultuous; it was a sign. God didn't want me to turn towards the well. so i turned around. the storm grew and the wind blew me back. i'm confused. so i started to run. towards or away from a destination? i don't know, i didn't have one. i ran so fast i felt like i was walking on water, but then the sea turned red. perhaps just reality tinted by the fear in my eyes. as the surface split, the dunes melted and i was still for a moment, hung midair, held by shock, and dropped by surprise. i was plunged nto the deep and landed on moist ground.
the well is near.
i walked, no, more trudged, towards the sound of water. i hadn't had it, so i doubted i'd know when i heard it. but there it was again, that steady drip, wooing and teasing me. i jogged, i ran. towards or away from a destination? i don't know, but i ran. i'm now ankle dep in life. i'm getting closer. i keep going. shins, knees, waist.
i'm wading in it. the cold burns my skin. it's such a foreign sensation to me. i'm now swimming, and the water keeps getting deeper. i've found a sea beneath it's sandy counterpart. i keep swimming, but now i see no land upon which a well could rest. i hear a splash off my left shoulder, turn with start.
it's Him, the tender of the well. He used to draw water for me when i was too weak to draw my own.
"sir," i cry out, "can you lead me to the well?"
"My dear," He replies, "you're in it."
but that can't be, i was cast out from this place. this must be a second source of life other than His because He won't let me have His.
"there is no other." He replies before my dry lips even form the words.
"there is only one, and you're in it. who told you you would not be allowed to return after a brief departure?"
brief departure? i was gone for days, weeks. how is that brief?
"they are but moments to Us, love. and you're here now, aren't you? so the amount of time you spent away from Us matters not."
"us?" i say inquisitively.
"life and it's Giver"
"well where is this Giver? and are you sure He's okay with me beign here?"
"dear, if He wasn't, you wouldn't' be, and I wouldn't have led you here."
"where can i find Him?"
"launch into the deep"
the waters stir with excitement, knowing what, whom, dwells within them. i dive, the sea foaming, giddy around me. i can't see, so i open my eyes, and this one doesn't burn. i find Him. i find Him even in troubles waters. i realize now that i've seen Him, He was never as far as the wind led me to believe. He was beneath the storm, in it. He was dwelling in the deep, waiting form me to drown. i lost my life and now i've finally found it.
there's a lot to this, this poetic short story... this story-length poem.
my whole life i have struggled with believing that God is mad or disappointed in me when i go longer than two days without reading my bible or i pray less than 3.9 hours a day. i've felt, similar to the prodigal son, that when i go away and come back less. i come back less than a child of God, less worthy of love and affection and acceptance and forgiveness. but what be the point of forgiveness and acceptance if not for this very story, this tale that we've all lived in our own ways time and time again. like i wrote above, i though i deserved to be cut off from life altogether, but God isn't looking to punish us for leaving. God wants His kids to run back into His arms full-force and to remember that they'll always have a place there.
now, the recovering perfectionist in me struggles often with the story/poem that is written above. why? because the story changes tenses. it starts out past tense, then shifts to the present, and, like the sea of sand, shifts again and again. i've proof read this a hundred times, and as i was writing this into a blog post i was trying to decide between changing to either all past tense, or all present, instead of the wildly inconsistent tense that it is. and either way i shifted it, it never seemed to work. i decided to ask God about it, and as i asked Him, i could feel His answer without words. is this not a past and present struggle? do we not all revert to our old ways every now and then, fall back unto old, unhealthy mindsets? do we not all doubt every now and then just how good God is? it made sense. the story feels perfect as a blend of past and present because the stories that we are living right now are both.