The Green Bench
Finally, spring is here. The last of the snow has melted and the March winds have come and dried up most of the wet ground. Buds are just starting to break through on the trees as the last of the frost is over for the season.
Walking through the park down by the river is usually a nice, relaxing event, except this day, marked a special memory as I sat on the green bench sharing my lunch with the stray beagle.
It was two years ago, today. I’ll never forget. I can feel it as if it were happening right now. God touched me. No, I mean, really touched me. He came down out of Heaven, or wherever He lives, got off of His throne and put His very hands on me. I was sitting right here on this very bench. Okay, maybe I’m going a little fast. Let me start from the beginning:
Two years ago today, I woke up in the depths of depression. I was on several medications (that didn’t work), I smoked cigarettes and pot and felt useless. I was bored with my life, had no family to really speak of and was terribly lonesome. I had started taking walks by this river about a month before, but this day, I was too tired to go far. You see…I just live over there in those apartments. I had been looking out my apartment window that morning at this very bench. I don’t know why, but I just knew I needed to come over to sit on it. So, I got dressed and did just that. I tried to take my walk, but kept feeling the urge to come back to the bench.
I came to this old green bench and sat down. Overwhelmed with emotion, I started crying and couldn’t stop. Thankful there wasn’t anyone on the trail yet, I just gave in to my tears and cried out to God. “Help me, please! I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I can’t live like this.”
I bent over and put my head in my hands and sobbed. After a little while God came and sat down on the bench and put his arms around me. He cradled me like a father would an injured daughter. He held me, stroked my hair and assured me all would be well. I cried and cried until I had no more tears to cry.
He gave me some instruction. “Look inside your heart. Deep inside where the hurts are and tell me what is there?”
I closed my eyes not wanting to go where He instructed. He was still holding me close. I felt safe, so I went to the hard place. As I went, I spoke softly what I felt.
“I feel abandoned as a little girl, when my dad died of cancer. I feel loneliness growing up without a father. I feel shame for all of the horrible things I did as a young adult. I have tried to be a good person but have failed miserably. I feel anger at myself for being such an emotional invalid. I feel anger for trusting people that were not trustworthy. I even get mad at You for not answering my prayers.”
I started crying again as the reality of what I was saying sunk in. I was angry with God. What was the matter with me? Who am I to be mad at God? He could squash me like a bug!
“It is good for you to be honest with yourself and of course with me. And don’t worry, I won’t squash you, I promise.” He winked at me.
“Listen, I came to bring you life and that more abundantly. I have suffered, so that you can receive healing and freedom from bondage. However, you must receive it. Will you receive my love, my Son, the Hope of Glory?”
“Yes, I will receive it.”
Immediately, I became flooded with an infusion of love, so powerful and overwhelming that I couldn’t move. I sat for I don’t know how long unaware of my surroundings, but fully aware of His love. I soaked and basked in it and when I became aware of my surroundings, He was gone. I felt incredible.
I got down on my knees by the bench, bowed my head and prayed. “Thank you God, for my healing. I receive it. Please, from here on out, guide me.”
That was two years ago today. Since then, I have quit smoking, and been off all of my meds. I love to come back to this old green bench. Life gets busy but I never get too busy for God.