Down in the Valley
The car door closes and I hear your steps along the walk, slow and shuffled like a old man’s. Before I see you, I can feel the downward pull and know that you are going down into the valley once again.
You sink into the worn couch, lean back and close your eyes. I feel the pull to follow you on this dark path. We have gone into this valley many times. I wandered dark deserted paths just to be near you.
Nothing I say can turn you back into the light. I know, because I tried so many times.
I turn to God.
Stay up, the Hiker’s Manual says, stay on the solid ground. When your companion finally reaches out, you will be there to help him up again.
The pull is strong to slide down into darkness with you. We are one. How can I go an upward way and watch you sinking down alone?
I ask, expecting angry words, “Is there anything I can get for you?”
You answer in a hollow voice, “There isn’t anything I want.”
My shoulders sag under the heaviness in this room.
An inspiration comes, a thought from God.
“Is there anything you could tolerate doing?”
You look up, your eyebrows pulled together. Maybe, you say. You might look at a new magazine from the drugstore.
I leave the room, and my own despair sweeps over me. I almost lose my balance. I am so numb I do not care.
God, help me! Give me love, help me to care.
Love surges into me, a tide of living warmth that melts the ice of despair. I am filled with love, enough for both of us.
God is light, and in him no darkness lives. He lights the valley from within. He gives me strength to take your hand and travel through the path with you.
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