I ask him to close his eyes.
“Just listen to my voice.”
I tell him to imagine giant chains around him, criss-crossing his body, tightened against his wrists and ankles. These shackles are rusty and dirty, cutting to the bone. They pull and they ache, but they’ve always been there. He doesn’t know there is life without these chains. A life of free.
I point out the key sitting right next to him. It’s been there all along, waiting. I tell him to pick up the key and open the locks and drop the chains from his bowed back and groaning body. Wet with blood, sweat and tears, it’s a slippery and bumbling process, but eventually the chains fall.
He is free, but he doesn’t move. He is afraid. He is still in darkness, the tunnel ahead black with a thickness that presses down on him and he cries out.
“Where do I go?”
I tell him God knows the way, He is the light, just follow Him. I don’t mean a tiny light under a bushel, no pocket Jesus, but the Light that holds oceans in His palm, this Light knows his name and wants to lead him Home.
Husband reaches out and takes Savior-Hand, and begins to walk. He is afraid, but He trusts. He starts to feel that thick darkness press in again. It’s choking, if you let it.
I remind him that God knows the end of the tunnel. How far it is, and how to get there. An end which holds rewards beyond our comprehension. I whisper that he could be just two steps away from the end and not realize it.
How many wanderers, looking for shelter, have died in the cold dark wilderness not realizing how close they were to being saved?
He’s walking, pace at a time. I tell him to look at his hands. He’s still holding the chains. The heavy, dirty, rusted chains. He hasn’t let go.
“Drop your chains.”
He drops them, at first it hurts, these chains are the only constant he knows. But leaving them behind and stepping forward feels good.
Freedom feels good. Repentance feels good.
Being washed clean, so so good.