The pounding of my feet on the pavement jarred loose the thoughts that seemed stuck in a hamster wheel. My aching legs screamed in protest while my ever constricting lungs loudly reminded me that I had gone too far. Still I pushed myself harder. My speed increasing with the crescendo of the music blasting through my headphones.
But just a little further. Just a little bit longer. Just until I forget.
The wind sliced through my feeble workout clothes. I felt the chill down to my bones. Tears formed in my eyes as the prickly air made it’s way behind my sunglasses. In spite of my effort, the weather tears were the only ones I could muster up.
Approaching the intersection, I looked right and left and right again as I made myself sprint across the road. I jumped onto the curb and saw the darkness crowd my vision.
Okay. Time to stop.
I bent over gasping for air.
My brother once accused me of being a runner. He told me that when things got hard or difficult or uncomfortable I left.
Its true. Sometimes I do it emotionally, but often I do it physically. I’d never liked running as a kid but at some point I found it sorted my thoughts out a little bit. On days like that day when everything hurt and nothing made sense, I find solace in getting lost in the bitter cold.
Unfortunately I hadn’t realize how far I’d run or how close the sun was to setting until I turned around to go home. I groaned as I turned the corner to start my long journey home. I really need to pay attention when I decide to get lost.
You fool. You silly silly fool.
My inner monologue has always been the most cruel. It is something I’m working to change. Trying to be better and different. But right then it wasn’t working.
I picked up my pace once again, trying to focus my attention elsewhere.
Knowing that with every step I ran, my bleeding heart put one more brick up in the wall to keep it safe. I let the ugly words repeat in my brain with each pounding of the pavement. Until I heard His words.
beloved, is your heart safe with me?
Papa, I know the right answer is yes. but right now my heart doesn’t FEEL safe with you.
but beloved, is your heart safe with me?
I rolled my eyes.
I started my internal protest. I made a case and presented my closing argument. Smugly I decided that just maybe I had won this time. That my hurt and sorrow and excuses and circumstances and reasons meant that my heart really wasn’t safe after all.
oh beloved, you took your heart away and gave it to circumstances. Of course you’re going to believe your heart isn’t safe. But, I ask you again, is your heart safe with me?
And as I slowed my pace, allowing my tears to form in my eyes, I let the make-shift walls I’d started to build crumble around my bleeding heart.
yes, Papa, my heart is safe with you.
You see Love, sometimes I need to run. I need to take the thoughts and frustrations and confusing moments and let them fall away onto the pavement. I don’t need you to chase me when I run this way. But other times I run because I’m afraid and hurt and anxious. I run to see if you’ll chase me. I know it isn’t fair for me to test you in this way but that’s why I’m telling you now.
More often then not, I run to see if I’m worth running after.
And I just wanted you to know.
So until then… i’ll be here.