He lifts his head, looks to the darkening sky. It all looks so empty up there. Where is the comfort? The strengthening presence? He needs it now more than ever and yet…a chill runs through his bones, a sense of failure, a sense of ruin. As if a million doors are slamming. A billion fingers accusing him. Has he been a fool? Has he wasted the last three years? He reaches for perspective, for purpose, and yet seems to grab at dust. All those things he promised crumbling like long-dead insects in his hand. He never felt so alone. Looks down at the faces below. So many sneers, so many broken hearts, so many twisted mouths, so much faith, doubt, despair, cynicism. So many questions and pain, so much longing down there. So much hurt and disappointment. He feels it, every ounce, the unspoken agony of every damaged heart. The graffiti of the years, the rubbish piled up and masked by other things, the broken hopes, dreams and promises. All of this pouring down on him, under that bitterly empty sky. Then, amongst the cacophony, a quite voice, barely a whisper, a muttering nearby. With all the pain in the world he turns his head. Just catches sight of another suffering soul. Reminding him… that he is a king, and the future does not end here. Unexpected encouragement in this desert storm. ‘Don’t forget me,’ the stretched and pinned man next to him is saying, ‘when today is done and you are king, remember me. Please.’ And from somewhere he finds the strength. The strength to promise hope and a future. Right here, in the worst of places. The promise of something more, something brighter. The reason he is here. The reason he is carrying all this pain and loss, all this loneliness and emptiness, hatred and despair. It doesn’t look like a miracle. Anything but. It looks like total failure. But it is not.
I regularly post creative pieces which help folks connect with the Bible in a contemporary and down-to-earth way. Please feel free to make use of them if they inspire you. I also post daily short thoughts on Twitter and have produced a variety of books, most of which draw on the Bible.