Saturday, November 22, 2014

Repost: The Face of Terror

Every other week my blog will feature a reposted work. I had been a contributor on two different sites that have since closed or changed to no longer include blogs. I will be reposting pieces that had originally been featured on one of these two sites.  

This was originally posted April 19, 2011

Last night I saw something that I hope to never see again.  Part of me wants to cling to the memory for prayerful contemplation, but part of me doesn’t want to bring the picture up to consciousness because of the emotions associated with it.  Last night I saw a look of terror on my son’s face. 

Candice and I were watching a movie after we had put him to bed.  Candice said she thought she heard Isaiah crying but she wasn’t sure; we kept watching.  A few moments later she thought she heard something again; I paused the movie.  We both heard him crying but the sound was very faint.  We both ran to his room not knowing where he would be.  I thought maybe his voice was faint because he was under his blankets or in the bathroom.  I didn’t see him in his room.  As I went through I could tell the sound was coming from our bedroom (our apartment is set up in a row; our room is through the bathroom from Isaiah’s room).  I rounded the corner, stepping into our bedroom, and saw Isaiah sitting on our bed with a look of sheer terror on our son’s face. 

He had woken up and walked into our bedroom, bringing his stuffed puppy and his blanket, assuming we would be there.  He had climbed up into our bed, a task he is barely big enough to accomplish.  And he had found nothing but pillows.  In desperation and loneliness he had started to cry.  The sound took longer than usual to get our attention because it had to travel the length of the house and be heard over the TV.  By the time I saw him the hopelessness had compounded and was visible on his face. 

This vision tears at my heart because I long for connection and belonging and support in human relationships.  I have come to realize that loneliness in the human heart can only be answered by knowing and being known (and ultimately it can only be answered by the Spirit of God).  I know that Isaiah was loved at the orphanage in India, but I can also assume that he has abandonment issues deep in his heart that he is unable to articulate yet.  I’ve learned to hide the deep loneliness that is in my heart with a smile or witty comment.  I’ve learned to cover loneliness with artificial things like Facebook. I even know some healthy ways of dealing with loneliness, like seeking people out (like my wife) to open up to and connect with. My son doesn’t have refined strategies like that yet.  His face was a window to his soul, and he was terrified that he could not find his Mama and Papa. 

What would people see if your soul was visible through your face?
What would you reveal if you hadn’t spent your whole life learning strategies to not reveal it?
What scares you so much that you’d bare your soul and cry out in terror?

…and if you did, who would come running, who would pick you up and bring you into the light?

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