I would look in the mirror. Bald. So strange. So severe. The Vain in me whispered, “hide,” The Victor in me shouted, “share.”

We are, each of us, so exquisite, so Otherworldly. And yet we wander from the origin of our true belonging to this hunger to fit in.

Bald kept me close.  It made me the stranger, or rather identified me as the stranger that I have always been. There are parts of us unknown, even to ourselves. And sometimes we make the mistake of asking the world to teach us who we are.

There are a thousand voices eager to tell you, hungry for just a little piece of your soul.

Consider how precious a soul must be when both God and the devil are after it—Charles Spurgeon.

Transformation implies an end that is ravishing, but the brutality of the process cannot be ignored. There is no avoiding the stripping away that leaves us unrecognizable. We cry out. We complain. We beg God to make it all go away as if the excruciating losses are in-and-of-themselves the objective.

The losses are Never. The. Point.

I remind myself that the emptying of the vessel is intended to make room for something fresh. But “empty” is agonizing. It is the dark night. The restless mind. Unrest.

Here enters my temptation to rush, my longing to refill. Yet, when we open our doors to the lamentations of a restless world, we expose the innermost places of our humanity to something unwelcome and unexpected.

I am left with no choice but to turn to the very One who made room for all the commotion in the first place. And I ask for His advice. “What is now and next for me?”

Then I begin to write. And the words are His. And the wanderings subside—


Stay close. As close as a whisper, do not make me shout. Do not call attention, drawing evil out. Stay close. Like a mama bear and her cubs, stay close. Like ducklings following after, stay close. For protection and correction. For companionship and love.

Let me whisper who you are, you are not lost. Do not wander, take my hand. Let me hold you, tie your wrist to mine. Follow, do not run ahead. We will talk and I will tell you who you are, who you are leaving behind.

What is, is a tether to keep you from harm. I am the One who has known you from the beginning, do you not see? I am more than all the ones who adore you, who knew you, who see you, who seek you for themselves.

Stay close. Stay close. I am here. I am beside you. In you. In this. Stay close.

I will not shout. My intentions are the softest moments, in the dark, as you sleep.

Let me teach you and protect you. Correct you. Inspire you.
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