The Walk

Posted: 10/07/2009 in Story
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One night I dreamt that I was travelling in a strange place. I was in what appeared to be an endless wilderness covered in a heavy fog. I was not able to see far through it.

It was getting darker the longer I wandered around. I kept tripping and falling over things I could not see due to the fog. I started to wonder if I was even going to be able to get out of the wilderness. There seemed to be no way out in any direction.

It got so dark I was not able to move. I stopped and tried to look around. My hands felt like they were bleeding and I felt bruised from the days wandering. I was tired and hungry. I didn’t know if I could continue.

I looked around to see if I could penetrate the fog. As I turned I saw a small light in the distance that was not there a moment ago. It seemed to beckon to me, calling me to come closer. With the little energy I could muster, I set off towards the light.

The more I walked the more the feeling of hunger and thirst seemed to intrude. It seemed like I was traveling a very long time. As I got closer to the light, I saw that it was a fire. I also saw someone sitting by the fire tending it. The closer I came to the fire, the more weak I became from hunger and thirst.

The man seemed to know that I was coming. He got up to help me the rest of the way. I thanked him. He was wearing a grey, nondescript robe. It had a hood that he used to cover his head and face.

He offered me something to eat and drink. As I ate, I looked around us to see where we were. We were at a crossroads that stretched off into the distance.

This man who had helped me waited after I was finished eating before he spoke. He had a soft, soothing voice which surprised me because of the strength that he showed me when he helped me to the fire.

“Welcome traveler”, he said. “Where do you come from?”

I looked around me as I said, “I am not sure. I was in some kind of wilderness before coming here.”

“Why were you in the wilderness?”

“I don’t know. It seemed like I just woke up and there I was.”

“What were you trying to find?”

“I don’t think that I was trying to find anything. But now that you ask, it does seem like I was trying to find something. But I don’t know what.”

Needless to say this seemed to be getting strange. I know I hadn’t lost anything. But for some reason I felt that I was missing something undefinable.

“Most people who have found their way to me have told me the same thing”, he told me. “They don’t know what they have lost, but they can feel it. I can help you find this elusive thing.”

“How will I know that I have found if I don’t know what it is”, I asked him.

“The same way that most of the people who have found me as they wander the wilderness have. The one thing they have been searching for is the one who has helped you. Me.”

I gave him a puzzled look. I asked him the only thing that came to mind. “What do you mean that I am looking for you?”

In answer, he disappeared. I stood up and looked around me to see if I could see where he went. I went over to where he had been sitting. There were no footprints to show which way he had gone. To all intent and purposes he had just disappeared.

Then from behind me I heard him. “This is how I know. Everyone who makes it to the crossroads are looking for me.”

I looked behind me. He was not there. I shouted out, “What do you mean? Looking for you? Why? Where are you?”

Once again from behind me he spoke, “Turn around. Your questions will be answered when you do.”

When I turned around, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This man that I had seen was hanging on a cross. Both his hands and feet were peirced and bleeding. From the side was flowing blood and water. There was blood flowing from wounds given to his head.

I felt sick and turned away. I couldn’t believe that this was the same man that I was just talking to face to face. There just seemed to be no way that this was the same man I talked with around the fire.

“Look at me”, he told me. I looked at him. What I saw didn’t fit the picture of what I was seeing. Instead of pain, fear, and anger there was something that was strangely out of place. I saw instead love, peace, joy. I wanted to run. But I was frozen and could not move.

“What you are missing is a piece of yourself. I have that part. I am here to give it to you. You see I have a Father that wants you to have that piece. He wants to speak with you. But cannot due to a distance between the two of you. I am here to give you that piece that will acclompish this. I am to be a bridge between and my Father.”

“But why are you up there? Who put you there?”, I asked him.

I am up here because you have placed me here. You did this by selfishness, pride, greed, anger, bitterness.”

“Why would you do this?”

For love. My Father and I love you. He sent me to you out of love. I came here out of love. I have taken any kind of punishment that was supposed to be given to you. I have become your payment. I have to ask you one more question. Do you accept what I and my Father has done for you?”

I could do nothing except think of what he had told me. What he said had touched something deep inside of me. I looked up at him with tears in my eyes and said, “Yes, I accept what you have done for me.”

“Then come and lay down your burdens at my feet.”

Burdens? What were the burdens that he was talking about? Then I felt a weight on my back that I didn’t realize was there. I reached up and felt straps on my shoulders. I removed the wieght. I had a backpack on and never knew it. This was the source of my tiredness?

I opened the pack to see what was inside. I was assaulted by the most awful stench I have ever smelled. It smelled of death. So this was what was holding me down. I took the pack over to the cross and layed it at the bottom at the foot. When I released the pack I felt different. Lighter.

“You will never again need to carry a pack with you”, he said. “Look around. You will not be wandering again. You will be able to see where you are going.”

I looked and saw that there were paths leading away from the cross. I turned to thank him and he had disappeared once again.

“What is your name? How can I thank you for what you have done?”

“My name is Joshua. To thank me all you have to do is meet me at the end of the path I have laid for you.”

I looked at the paths and there seemed to be one that was glowing faintly. I started walking on that path bound and determined to thank Joshua for his gift of love.

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