I never felt betrayal until your bullet made me bleed. Even then, with everything I ever believed leaking into my hands, I hoped I was dreaming. With my final breath, I cried out in disbelief.
God must have been tired of listening to my denials, because I died before I could make another excuse for you.
Fortunately, I was dreaming, but the stench of your treason burned in my nostrils for days. I was amazed I wasn’t afraid, or even concerned with dying. The disbelief that you could have pointed that gun at my heart and pulled the trigger without a blink of an eye staggered my senses.
The dream was so real. The scent of Tresor perfume made my heart skip a beat as my mind drifted back to when we first met. I was about to tell you I still loved you when I felt something cold and foreign press against my chest.
You didn’t answer; not a word. A sound never came forth from your mouth. Your lips didn’t even twitch as you began to pull the trigger. The pupils of your eyes didn’t even grow when darkness swallowed your soul and the pop of the gun dropped me to my knees.
The last time I was on my knees before you, I was proposing.
Like I said, it was a dream. And, now I stand here in the middle of the night talking to you like you were right next to me. I guess I am a little crazy.
I always liked this old bridge. Even in the moonlight I can remember our first kiss, right here where I’m standing now. Of course, it was daytime then. The river was rippling swift between the rocks below, the breeze was bristling through the pines and your breath was so warm and lips so soft, I thought I died and went to Heaven. Ha, what an expression, eh? If I only knew then.
I proposed here too. I thought it was appropriate. I lived to the east on a small dairy farm and you in the city to the west. I thought we would be so happy.
You know, I was out here last night too, but on the other side of the bridge; the side you threw my wedding ring from. Yes, I was depressed. I couldn’t find a way to wrap my head around your cold heart. I thought I knew grief when our daughter had died, but I was comforted then with Heaven. But, where does dead love go? I didn’t know it could die. Where’s the salvation? I felt alone, empty and cold. I pulled a pistol out of my pocket.
It was then, holding the gun, I heard a howl raging from the darkness on the other side of the bridge. I wasn’t sure if it was an injured animal in great distress, or the echo of my own soul. But, I heard it clear as day.
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”
The cry gave me goose bumps. Never have I heard such passion. The gun dropped from my hands as I walked to the other side of the bridge. I listened again; nothing. And there was a great span of silence that followed the cry. I walked home; haunted by, “Eli Eli, lama sabachthani?”
The next morning, in the quietness of my bedroom, I had an epiphany, an awakening, a visitation of grace. It was like somebody rolled a huge stone away from my window and this bright light rushed in like a spring mountain stream. And there was this voice.
“My son, my son, I have not forsaken you.”
It all came back to me then. All the years of Sunday school in the city flashed back through my mind. I remember Jesus’ final words on the cross. In a much deeper way, He knew how I felt.
So, here I am, back on the bridge. I know you are not here, but I want to say that I love you and ask that you forgive me. And even though the span of silence since you left has been long, I want you to know that I pray God’s grace finds you too. He has not forsaken you. And I ask that God lead you to the bridge that takes you back to Him.
In Jesus name, Amen.
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