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by Lance Gargus
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O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me.

Cursed be the day I was born!

May the day my mother bore me not be blessed. For he did not kill me in the womb, with my mother as my grave, her womb enlarged forever.

Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?

Jeremiah 20

Alone. Who hasn't at one time or another felt alone? "You don't know what it's like to be. To have people stare at you like they hate you. To be alone in a crowd."
The words he spoke hung heavy in the air as if it was awaiting a response. I sat on my father's tombstone and listened to his words. The sun was beginning to sit on that hot summer day. My mother listened to his words of pain as he shouted at the world. I came to visit my father's grave trying to do my own soul searching. And here stood one who knew me better than anyone struggling with his hurt soul.

I just hung my head and said nothing. Her pleading with him about brothers getting along. Him ranting about the infidelity of his ex-wife and how she had hurt him. No children ever came from the marriage. She left with someone he thought he trusted. Alone and growing older his prospects for happiness seemed few. The women he met were superficial and cared for other things. Born with a heart condition called Noonan Syndrome it left him with a small frame and with a chest bone that sunk in. Ugly by no means is he but not up to the standards of most women,I guess, in appearance. Most unable to see his heart.

Though damaged in its function from birth was in much better shape than others. For his heart genuinely cared for others. But just as he felt deep love, he also felt deep hurt that manifested itself as anger unleashed in a tirade of words. Never violent or one to raise his hand, his words did the carnage for him. His words never came from a heart of hatred but born of suffering. Desperately wanting to help him my own words failed me. "I can't make someone love him," I thought,"But dear, Jesus, what can I do?"

He sees others with their children playing and how happy they are. The wife standing with her husband no matter what. He longed for what others had. Is this wrong for someone to long for? He cursed everything under the sun. He cursed the day he was born."Why didn't God just let me die when I was born?"

"For others even in church to look down upon me for having no one.""To think something is wrong with you cause you don't have a wife and kids.""I just want what they have and to be happy.""Hell is all that awaits me for me. I have accomplished nothing with my life." Wave after wave the words flew from an aching heart. I sat there on that tombstone and looked at my dad's grave and felt so numb. The hurt and pain he felt was so raw. Each word like a solid fist. In my frustration of trying to help, I was taken in by his anger. I found it consuming me. His hurt became my hurt. His anger my anger. In those still small moments my mind just whirls.

Earlier at church I had prayed with all my heart for peace within and for us all. In that moment I suddenly raised my head to see a white dove. Never had I ever seen one around here except mourning doves. This one was flying straight at me. It landing just a short distance from where I was. It was of the purest white I had ever beheld. I hadn't told the rest of my family what I had been doing at the exact moment the dove had appeared. It had appeared out of nothing before my unbelieving eyes. The dove stayed back and watched. As I left the dove took flight to follow my vehicle. My father loved doves and had two mourning doves follow him back and forth to church the last year of his life.

This dove though was radiantly white like light. As we left, it circled back to the church. My prayer was simply that we and especially, my brother could find peace. Will peace come to him? I don't know. If Christ loves us like a brother and won't give up on us, how could I do any less for my own brother no matter the cost.

Soul Bound (Pt. 2)

Walking through this darkness
All alone
Nothing left but darkness
I'm cold as a stone
people are just shadows I have known
Life is almost gone
Numb to the bone

Trying to remember my happy face
Anger is all that has took your place
And in this darkness
This empty space
I am alone

Now the night is falling
All hope is gone
Love's mocking laughter floats through dark trees
No wife, no children, no accomplishments, everything you've done, you've done wrong,
The clouds of despair rain all night
Time's up, love is truly gone
The end of your song

Hold on
Hold on
For my soul was bound, too
Take my hand, brother, let's break on through
My soul's shadow blinded me
But our father's gentle dove broke me free.

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