She just decided to drift away one day. After being wounded and scarred, her little fragile soul could not take the weight of those people who lived in a box. You see, the box scared her, confused her. Those in it put on happy faces filled with superficial lies built on houses of sand, and the little girl knew it. She saw right through and it terrified her. If they weren’t real, who was real? She knew there was truth, but how could someone as small as her find it? She couldn’t traverse the rocky path to find truth alone, and she could find no one who would step into reality and walk with her. And so she drifted away, silently and inconspicuously, her mind numbed and her life becoming just like those around her. Her soul slowly slid back into the box, like sand in an hourglass. She woke up one day, twenty years later and went on with her life, never even knowing her mind was a cage, trapped by the expectations of an age gone wrong.
I was made alive, and I now have the ability to help make those around me come alive. I woke up one day, woke up from my gray life, my gray job, my gray home. I woke up and it was colored. My bedspread was green. I saw the sky burn bright, and the clouds billowed in a way that inspired something unknown. The smell of fall and the feel of a shower were real today. They have never been so real before. I have been bypassing my life with a haze of a living that was encircled with unreality.
I got out of bed and drove to work in shock. I was giddy with the sense of the present. I had never felt so in the moment and yet, in my sense of present state, I have never felt so much more aware of what my future could hold. I walked into work and said hello to Susy and Bill. They sat at their gray computers at their gray desks in their gray business attire. They merely nodded as I walked by; eyes glazed over, fingers typing away. The fact that I could see into the facade of their world scared me. They were shells of humans who clung to an existence that meant nothing to them. I was terrified to realize that this was once me.
I sat at my desk and answered some emails, signing each with cheerful salutations that I never would have dared mark my correspondence with before. I searched online for bundles of flowers that I could have delivered to my wife the next week. I donated some money to a non-profit doing relief work. I wrote an email to the daughter who I hadn’t seen in a few months.
Before I knew it, it was time to leave. I collected my things and walked out. I had discovered a gift that was so precious to me, so precious that I would never let it go. I walked past Susy and Bill again and opened the bank’s door handle to leave the building. As I started to walk out, I heard a sound.
Susy was still at her desk. She moved robotically as she picked up her gray jacket and her gray briefcase. She then froze and her gray eyes were distant, and I saw lights flicker as she gazed. At that moment, I realized that I couldn’t leave her trapped. I couldn’t leave any of them trapped. I had the color. I had been born to live in the shades of violet, red, turquoise, and sunshine….and she had been too. Susy, the old and gray secretary, was born for freedom.
I walked to her as she stood frozen. I touched her arm and she stood still, as if the moment had stopped just for us. Her gray skin and gray hair were pallid and her eyes were full of shame. They were behind bars and the lies of years spent hiding trapped her from the knowledge of her lineage.
I leaned down and whispered quiet words of vibrant colors. Words that life had sprung up out of. Words that had truth rooted and intertwined inseparably within. Words of liberation and beauty. Words marked with rescue, of epic love, of passion. Words that, once heard, cannot possibly allow your world to shade gray ever again. They are words of freedom, and a love so deep that it breaks the painful bonds of slavery.
“Susy,” I say, “You are free now.” I realize that they are the same words that were whispered to me.
Her eyes open. Shades of green fill the once gray filled lens. The frozen moment is over. She looks at me in wonderment and starts to cry. She is realizing what I realized and my word colors even brighter because of it. She is special, full of life, no longer gray. Her gray emptiness has been destroyed and a color of white light has filled her with joy.
She cries and dances with amazement. She praises the one who saved her, not me, but one greater. One who is light and love himself. One who fights the gray of absence with the light of substance. The one who takes our empty shell and fills us with who we really are. He pours his lineage into us and marks us as his. Our blood runs thick with his kinship and once rescued from the gray, we cannot return.
I smile at her and she turns to tell Bill, who is staring absent mindedly at his screen, stuck in his entrapment. I must get to my wife, and so I turn around and smile while walking out the door. I hear Susy and Bill laughing. As I get in my car, I see them running to those on the street.
Slowly they awake many people from a stupor of gray living. The whole street is full of laughter. A woman is dancing next to my beat up Chevy and a teenage boy slow dances and chuckles fearlessly in the street with a girl. They are colorful and sweet and they live in the freedom of the one who created them. We are prodigal sons and daughters returned from the enslavement of unreality into the wondrous light of truth.
I drive away and colors are everywhere, colors of a freedom that knows no bounds.
(I wrote this with Gungor's song "Beautiful Things," in mind. You should take a listen. )
Think of what you would do if money was not an issue. Think of what you would do if you could pick anything, anything at all. Life is too short. Don’t settle for less.
Do exactly what you want to do. Do everything you can do to get there. Make connections. Write letters. Post videos. Audition. Travel. Drop out. Step up. Speak in front of many. Make friends with influential people. Start businesses. Try new things. Fail. What you will get in return for your efforts is truly living. It is real life happening all around you and through you.
Don’t try and you don’t live.
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
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