There is a closet in my office jammed with stuff that used to be of value. There is inventory of booklets I wrote, outlines of my seminars, family pictures—stuff like that. And files of letters from people who were touched or needed to tell me something–positive or negative.
I don’t know the date. Fifteen years or longer? I sent the letter below to our email tribe. I think it occurred in eastern Nebraska.
WHAT I HEARD THIS WEEKEND
It is a cheap motel. We’ve stayed there a couple of times. Never felt threatened. Spartan, but clean. I was alone. To offset the six hours of driving, I was exercising in the motel. Suddenly a dozen squad cars were outside. A drug bust three doors down. I finished exercising and opened the door for fresh air. The busted guy was unsteady on his feet with his hands in cuffs behind his back. He was definitely high. From the distance to him from my doorway, I saw pain on his face that the drugs did not disguise. The look left no room for hiding. It is the look of lostness. What I saw was not just the agony of getting caught, but the recognition of lostness. Into my spirit came the words of Jesus: “You who are weary, come to me….” I don’t want to forget that look.
At 4:50 a.m. I was wide awake. I had left the light on all night. I didn’t feel threatened or unsafe. I just knew something was going on. A person gets used to motel/hotel sounds and feelings. I know when they are benign and when I should recheck the door brace. I didn’t need to check the bar. I knew a protective bar would not keep out what was going on in someone’s life—the person/people a room or two away.
At 4:55, a car engine started Then I heard the tires on the blacktop. Then I heard the voice of either a little girl or a young woman saying, “Oh Mommy! Oh Mommy.” Perhaps, “Oh Lonnie/Ronnie….” Then, “Don’t leave. Don’t do this. Please come back. Come back. Don’t….” The driver didn’t listen.
Like a barge horn in the fog, that voice cut through every other sound during the night and the next day. It was what I heard at 11:47 a.m. Sunday when I sang, “Come home, come home, if you are…come home.”
I don’t want to forget that sound. It was for those tears that Jesus cried. It was for our lostness that Jesus said, “Father, I’ll go.”
I wonder where they are and how life is for them after these 15-20 years. I know Jesus’ words have not changed and He is singing on pitch—“Come home.”
©2016 D. Dean Benton Benton Books, Blogs, Blurbs– DEAN@DEANBENTON.ORG