I am alive. So many things I can do and so much to see and experience. So much potential in who I can become in living, doing and experiencing.
But it is not to be. Slowly I discover that I am told what to do. I have no say and my opinion does not matter. I am a tool. A vessel there for another’s whim. That other gets to decide what I do and where I go. Who I am and what I am worth. Choices are not mine to make. Left or right? / Up or down? / Good or bad? Not for me to decide for you see, I am a slave. I am owned. A mere possession, there not for myself. Alive not for my life and waking up not for my day.
I am a slave defenceless against my master’s whim, voiceless against my owner’s greed. Powerless. I am never going to be. I have no right to be. I do not matter. I am bound by a faceless evil that consumes me mercilessly.
Then one day he came. A soft-spoken, gentle man. Guileless. Wise. Free.
I followed. My slave master did not matter. The one whose greed and need I existed to satisfy faded away. I turned away from the one who destroyed me merely for a laugh… and followed.
Hope stirred in my chest. My heart yearned for significance. I wanted to matter, so I struggled against my bonds as I battled with the thoughts of a slave. I strained against the yoke that has been destroying me for years… as I strived to follow.
The harder I tried, the more I failed. The weight was too heavy. It felt as if I had the DNA of a slave and I knew I was losing the fight. I pretended to follow, but I knew my old master was still in control. The chains were unbroken and pulled me back and down.
I was not worthy. His words that made me yearn to follow, became beacons to my failures. I wanted to change but I could not keep it up. I knew this was the way, but I kept stepping off the track.
Hope lost is worse than no hope. It is darker at the moment when the light is switched off than in the middle of the night. I had seen the light and I knew it was there but maybe it was not for me…
He turned to me. ‘You are why I came,’ he said. ‘What you are trying to do… it is done.’ He stretched his arms wide and died. It is finished!
I was free! No bondage. No chains. No one controlling me. No one using me, moving me towards destruction. Freedom! Amazing! Wonderful! Alive! For the first time!
As he walked out of a grave, I bowed my knee. My Lord! You saved me! Set me free! I will serve you all of my days and with every breath. I will do whatever you ask and go wherever you send me. You are my Lord and for the first time ever, I serve with joy.
I study his words and memorise every command. My utmost for him who saved me. I belong to him and I am ready to change the world. His will be done, not mine.
As great as joy has become, as strong as the love that is burning in my heart has grown, the task is a big one. In moments of sober pause, I acknowledge the task is too big for me. The need out there drains me and the cry for help overwhelms me.
I must keep going. It is for my Lord… He saved me… He loves me… I am his! I must keep going. I must … but I am growing so weary…
He turns to me again and bends down to wash my feet. ‘You are no longer a slave. I call you friend! Take my hand.’
Streams of living water flow from deep within. I rise with clean feet and new strength from deep. As I hold onto his hand, I follow again. From up close… In step… Moment by moment.
This is easy. I can do this! And as I walk closer still, I hear his voice. It is a soft voice, like a whisper. You cannot hear it from afar. Even reasonably close such a whisper fades among many other voices. However, when you get really close, you hear. Clearly!
‘It was for freedom that I set you free.’
‘You are mine and I am yours.’
‘I love you! Now and forever!’
‘I am the vine. You are the branches.’
‘Live in me as I live in you.’
In my heart, a yearning grows. It becomes a birth.
‘Abba, is that you?’
A slave I am not. A son I am. A father I have. An inheritance I possess.
I am alive. Truly alive!
I am free! Free indeed!
I can be. There is nothing left to do!
I wrote this during a sabbatical period in 2018 not thinking I would ever publish it. It is my hope that my journey will enlighten and lighten yours. Your feedback will, as always, be treasured.