We’re in the Taco Bell driveway, just two famished college boys getting something to eat, when I mention it.
My past, that is.
And he stops diving deep in his backpack for scrunched dollar bills; stops and just stares at me with somber eyes, like he has witnessed something bigger than he or I.
“You too?” His eyes are wide.
And the lady is waiting now, for our money, and she watches as he hugs me tight and this is how friendship is, just two people reaching past the ugly toward fragile beauty.
“I’m so glad your plan didn’t work. I can’t imagine never having met you.”
I hand scrunched bills and loose change to the lady and she asks if we need hot sauce, mild, medium, or hotand we say yes to all three because reading the captions is more fun than eating them.
Driving away, quietness becomes our passenger, and my friend starts to say something, then stops, starts again, and stops again.
“I was there too,” he finally says through bites of burrito, “and not too long ago either.”
I nod, sip at the super-sized Pepsi in my hand.
“I thought about calling you,” he adds.
“You can. Anytime.”
“I will now… now that…” his voice trails off but I know what he’s talking about, that this darkness we’ve both lived through has made us closer, like brothers, and this is why we need to be sharing our stories.
Yes, we need to be telling others the path we’ve walked because none of us can go through darkness and be unchanged, just like none of us can go to Calvary and be the same.
And the two, if you think about it, are closely related because the first steps toward redemption is in the walking through hell, just like Jesus did when He carried our sins there. And you know what?
He came back to tell us about it. How there was hope. How there is hope.
So shouldn’t we, likewise, also come back from our hells, whether it an eating disorder, depression, or any other inner darkness? Shouldn’t we come back and tell others that there is hope?
Because written in the Word is this: “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” 1 John 2:6
It saddens me today how many churches are filled with hushed, broken people, unwilling and embarrassed to share their stories. And this needs to change; the stigma needs to change that admitting our faults makes us weak because the reality is “the truth shall set you free” and when we become nothing, like the dust from which we are, then God can use us.
By telling our stories, we become human and becoming human is how Jesus saved us.
And this is how we can save the world.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” 1 John 3:16
Duane writes about life and what it means to live fully aware of God in every moment, what it means to live loved, and to love in return. He lives in Iowa with a beautiful Southern Gal and a horrendously naughty dog named Mr. Watson. He currently writes on his personal blog Scribing the Journey, and here, you’ll find him scribbling all about this wild, grace-filled journey we’re all on.