I know what unconditional love is).
cares about me"
"I'm so alone"
"Death would be better for me"
are some of the things that I hear so often from the young people
who are a part of my daily life. These are some of the things that
I, myself, have sometimes thought and believed and because I know
what it feels like to think about these things, my heart shatters
in two each and every time someone tells me any one of those things.
I so often lay awake at night, trying to find the words I need to
convince every person I encounter of their worthiness, of their
special purpose for this earth, of how much they really and truly
are loved. So many times, I fall asleep, still unsatisfied and frustrated
that even as easily as words have always come to me, I can't seem
to find the right ones. The one thing that has so many times, made
me feel better is remembering that I'm not alone, and so I tell
the people I work with, "You're never alone."
read that statement: "you're never alone." It sounds kind of
abstract, doesn't it, and difficult to believe when you are in the
black of blackness, lonely and afraid. I remember my life and I
remember the pain that I had to go through and how lonely I became.
I remember how afraid I was. If someone had told me, "you're not
alone" I'm not sure I would have believed them. In fact, I may have
even thought they were trying to brush me off, patronizing me. Thankfully,
I wasn't told, I was shown that it is the truth. It
was my aunt who showed me.
sister and I were spending the night with her and we were all three
sleeping in the same bed. I don't remember what we were talking
about until she said, "If you're ever afraid or can't go to sleep,
just hold your hand out, like this" and she took my wrist and turned
it upside down, so that my palm was face up "and say a prayer, asking
God to hold your hand. When you do it, you'll feel a warmth like
this" - and she placed her other hand over my open palm and I felt
a warmth settle over my palm and nodded - "come over your hand and
you'll know that God is holding your it." Curious, I tried what
she said. I held my palm out and I said a prayer.
this time, I was still very young and so I had the faith of a child
and I believed every word I'd been told, so, of course I believed
God really would hold my hand. I was right. Minutes after my prayer
ended, I felt a soft heat come only over my palm. I stared at my
palm in awe and amazement and I curled my fingers in, as I do when
I hold someone's hand. The heat stayed with me. I had, up to that
point, never experienced so much comfort and peace before in my
life. I was young but I knew, laying in that bed, that if God would
hold my hand then, He would continue to hold my hand through the
trials of my life. I fell asleep that night with my hand laying
on my pillow, palm up, so as to help keep His hand interlocked with
know it sounds almost silly and difficult to believe, but I
do believe, with every fiber of my body, that God's hand
held mine that night and many nights thereafter. He still does it,
and it's the greatest comfort and peace there is because I know,
every time that His hand comes down to rest in mine, that all the
mistakes I've made and think are so terrible are forgivable in His
sight and that because I really believe, everything is all right.
Isn't that the kind of love you wish you could have? Unconditional?
No matter what mistakes, what terrible things you may do and no
matter what the earthly consequences for your actions may be, that
there is someone who loves you beyond all measure?
have news. It's real. And God will hold your hand, just as He
held mine, and He will walk you through the valleys of your life.
All you have to do is believe in Him. Sometimes I wonder what happens
to all of our childlike faith. I wonder sometimes why it all goes
away and when. When does the magical ability to believe things we
cannot see and to listen to things which we cannot hear and to feel
things that we cannot touch slip from our grasp? I don't believe
it truly ever does. I believe that each of us, somewhere deep inside
of us, retain a small piece of that childlike faith and that when
we try to find it, it's always there for us, leading us through
the rough spots in our lives. In fact, I don't only believe that,
I know it to be true, for every time I'm afraid and God takes my
hand again, it is proven once more.