I was wandering in a fog. Truly, I was lost. I have no idea of how long I had been aimlessly roaming around. I am sure I passed the same place over and over again, but I just had no idea where I was or where I was going. I was just plain lost!
No matter what I did or where I went, the fog was there. In some places it was so dark, that I knew instinctively to turn around. So I did, but to where? Some places were thinner than others. Some places looked completely foreign and some looked a little familiar. When I had wandered back to this one familiar place, for who knows how many times, I just sat down.
I had not seen anyone for hours, days or was it months. I had lost track of everything within this fog. So, when someone appeared behind me, to say I almost jumped out of my skin is a huge understatement. I turned, arms raised and looked at a man. He was a tall man with dark hair. He was no one I recognized, but then he was not particularly memorable to look at.
After we examined one another, from what I thought to be a safe distance, he took a step towards me. I took a step back and he just smiled. It was not an evil smile, more of a knowing smile. It was a smile that spoke to me and yet he never said a word. Finally, I was tired of the silence and I just asked. “Who are you and what do you want?”
Now his smile really brightened and I felt a little more at ease. He said, “I was wondering when you where going to ask. My name is Trust. I have been waiting here for you, for a very long time. I have watched you wander and wander all this time. I silently whispered to you when you drew near to the dark places, but mostly I just waited here for you. Are you ready?”
I was not really pleased with what he had said to me. I might have jumped down his throat a bit when I said, “Ready? What do you mean am I ready? Why did you not speak up sooner? Why would you simply watch me wander around lost like that? And by the way, Trust is not a name. Trust is something you give to someone or something. What is your true name?”
He smiled even brighter then before and said, “I am so glad to meet you JR. I have been waiting to talk to you for a long time, but I am not allowed to initiate the conversation. I had to have your permission to speak up. Thank you. Trust may not be a familiar name to you, but where I come from, it is like John Smith. In fact, you will find Trust is so common, you can depend on it being part of everyone you meet. Trust is my true name. Now, are you ready?”
I was not ready. I was not even remotely ready for what ever this guy wanted. On the other hand, I was really tired of wandering all alone. I was tired of the silence and his voice was kind and pleasant, but I had no intention of just blindly following this complete stranger. On the other hand, I was not doing a very good job of finding my own way out of this fog. After I weighed the pros and the cons, I asked “What do you mean, am I ready? Ready for what?”
Well, that really made him smile, and he quickly said “Are you ready to stop wandering around in this fog? Are you ready to see the sun? Are you ready now?” He offered me his hand and I paused. There appeared no threat within him, so I took his hand.
We started walking together. He did not speak a lot and the silence was really deafening. In fact, he was the first person I had spoken with in a very long time. As we walked some of the places began to look familiar. Weary of the silence, I blurted out “I have gone this way before. It leads nowhere.” He just turned and smiled, grasped my hand tighter and said “Did you see me the first dozen times you walked by me?” I said nothing as we took a sharp 90 degree turn to the right. I am glad I was holding on tight, because I had stumbled onto a new path. This path was foreign to me, but I could feel an ever so gradual incline. We walked just a few more steps and then another sharp 90 degree turn to the right. That is when I first saw her.
Trust walked up to her and they embraced each other. Much like a brother would hug a sister, after coming home from battle. They turned to me and Trust said, “JR this is Faith, she will lead you on the next part of your journey to the sun. I can only take you so far, she will lead you where you are to go next.”
Now it is not as if Trust and I had become anymore familiar with each other on our journey, but still, I was not really just willing let go so quickly. I asked him, “Why can’t you come along with us?” He smiled and said, “This part of your journey requires Faith. She will lead you, and pardon the pun, you can trust her.” Though I appreciated the humor, I was not so easily appeased. I insisted on knowing why he could not go with me. He said, “You are not the only one wandering around in this fog. There are so many more down there. I have to be there for them. I lead them to Faith and she takes them further on. Perhaps, one day you will understand.” And with that, he was gone, back into the fog.
So it was just me and Faith. Now where Trust was just kind of ordinary looking, the kind of person you would just walk by on the street… At that point it occurred to me. I had seen him there before. Time and time again I walked right past him. I just refused to talk to him. I had overlooked him based upon his appearance. He just seemed ordinary and simple to me. And yet, it was he that had led me to Faith.
Now Faith on the other hand, was flat out beautiful. Her hair was a golden amber and I could have sworn it actually shimmered. In the fog, her hair seemed to be shimmering. Anyway, she had that regal beauty. That devastating beauty that compels you to protect her and revere her at the same time. The type of beauty that causes you to never want to be separated from her. Something about her, you knew you could believe what she said. A sort of purity that you wanted for yourself, but never dreamed you could embody.
I guess I was just staring at her, so I quickly turned away and blurted out an embarrassed “Sorry.” She smiled and oh what a smile. It might have been my eyes playing tricks on me, but I thought the fog actually thinned when she smiled. She looked at me with eyes that were so intense, I wanted to look away, but I could not. At that point I realized, she knew me better than I knew myself. She finally spoke and asked “Are you ready?”
After my pointless exchange with Trust, I did not bother to ask the same questions. I knew I was in a better place then I was before. I was still lost in the fog, but I felt more at ease. Also, I was really a little frightened to speak to Faith. I was afraid I would somehow ruin it and she would leave me. All I knew was that I did not want to lose her. So, I just nodded my yes. She reached out her hand and I grasped it.
Now where Trust was a tall full grown man, Faith was a slender beauty, but when she grabbed hold of my hand I realized there was steel in her. When she grabbed hold, I knew there was no letting go. As long as I held on, there was no way Faith was going to ever let go of me. The instant I understood that, she smiled.
This time I am certain the fog thinned and I saw it. There was a noticeable path right before us. Well, I say path, but it was more like a goat trail over a landslide. I took one look at it and I turned to look for another path. Faith moved towards the goat trail and I resisted. I am glad she did not speak, because I am a little embarrassed this slender woman was willing and I was the one balking. Finally I gave in and took that first step with Faith.
I would like to say the path was easy, but it was far from it. At some point we lost the goat trail and it just seemed like random boulders, roots and thorns to snag me on my way. Somewhere along the way the slight incline, became a treacherous climb. One hand grip on top of the other. I was exhausted and yet somehow Faith kept leading me forward. She waited when I needed to rest and then would lead on.
We seemed to have hit a plateau when I started to notice that the fog had become brighter. I could see more then just the first few steps ahead of me. Faith never let go and she led me on. We steadily moved forward. Sometimes I stumbled, but she never let go. Sometimes the path seemed to go to the left, but she led me down and through a ravine instead. I would have never chosen the path she chose for us, but I had learned to follow her lead.
It was upon coming out of one of those darker ravines, that I saw him from a distance. This guy was big and had that blonde flowing Fabio type of hair, that every bald guy secretly dreams about. Faith led me towards him and then stopped. She let go of my hand. Neatly curtsied and took one step back. This made the man actually blush and he neatly bowed.
Now I really was beginning to feel like the third wheel. He looked at me, with those same piercing eyes that Faith has and he said “My name is Hope. Are you ready?” Again, what was the point of asking those questions and I simply said “Lead on.” At that point, I could have sworn that Faith actually giggled. Hope on the other hand, was not smiling at all.
He said, “No JR, this part of the journey you are on your own. Though I will give you this compass. If at anytime you get lost, just take it out and go where it leads you. It will always lead you back to us, Faith and Hope. Go forward, seek out the sun. Avoid all of the dark places and continue to climb upwards. If you get lost, you know what to do.”
To say I was hesitant would be kinder to me than I deserve. I wanted to stay safe with Faith and Hope. Certainly nothing could harm those two warriors. I sat there paralyzed with indecision. I looked around and I had no idea which way to go. I mean, I could now see much further then I could before, but I still had no idea of which way to go. Finally, Hope simply pushed me forward. When I turned to object, they were both gone. Alone again. I looked around and in the distance I saw a mountain. Hope had said to climb up, so I went in the general direction of that mountain. That was obviously the only up around me.
I am not going to bore you with the details of my wandering towards the mountain. Suffice it to say I got lost more then once. Each time I remembered the words of Hope and I pulled out that compass. I eventually made it to the foot of the mountain and began my climb up. Each step in the right direction, the fog lessened. I knew I was going in the right direction, because the light became brighter with each properly placed step.
Now my walk with Faith had made me stronger than I was before. It really did prepare me for this grueling mountain. I struggled, let there be no doubt about it. I rested. When I was tired, I simply remembered the words of Hope. I knew that I would always find my way back and that I simply needed to believe that I was going in the right direction. So I did. I continued to climb up.
I eventually made it to the top of the mountain. I did not get there by means of my own strength, but what I had received from Trust, Faith and Hope. My guides had given me more than a direction. They strengthened me along the way and they made sure I stayed on the right path. Whenever I got lost, they placed my feet back on the right path. I had arrived at my final destination. Then I saw it. A pure light ahead of me, so I figured that is where I should go. That must be the sun of this world.
As I reached the light, I saw that there was someone within it. It was not the sun of this world, but it was the Son of this world. I got as close to the Son as I dared and from within the light, a nail pierced hand reached out towards me. I took a hold of it and I was overwhelmed by love. Love unspeakable. Love unstoppable. His love for me, even though I had no means to return that type of love to Him.
It was He that sent me those 3 guides. It was He that reached out to me. It was He that strengthened me along my journey. He loved me beyond measure, even though He knew I could not love Him the same way. As He revealed to me His love, He also exposed His great sorrow. He let me know that there are others. There are others lost in that fog that He loved just as much.
I must go back. I love the Son, but I must go back for Him. I now know my true name. I am no longer JR, my name is Trust and I am waiting within your fog to speak to you. “ Are you ready?”