out of the woods

You emerge from the woods where you have spent more time than you ever wanted or imagined you could. You lived in fear for so long. You moved from place to place, trying, searching, desperately looking for a way out. You walked through darkness letting your eyes adjust until the day you realized any light shining through at all blurred your sight.

You held your head up sometimes. You gave yourself to steely resolve, knowing, claiming some days, “I will find a way.”

Other days, it was all you could do to find a makeshift shelter of a broken tree and dead branches, and hold your head between your hands and weep until the very act of inhaling feels like the hardest thing you could manage.

But now, the end is near. Not the end you once thought you longed for – the one that brought all the forest with you – the one that made it all stop and all earth fade away. No, this is the end that you never dared imagine for the hope that it would have shed on you, like too much light to opening eyes. This is the end that only God dared to cause. The end of hopeless wandering, and the beginning of hopeful wandering, this is the end of your solitary walk through the woods. The woods clear now and the happiest sight of a hearth and home, a warm meal, and the love you know, just by looking, was always meant for you.

And it’s all you can do now to not run, sprint, maybe stumbling, but with all the speed you have left in your weary legs, to the place your love is. You have still to walk, to navigate hurdles and gates, but to arrive falling into arms that were waiting for you to bring you home. And for all your journeys, you are grateful, because nothing tastes as good or satisfies as completely as this moment. And you give thanks like never before.

“I will call you by name – I will share your road”

pen and ink by Rob Wootton
text written by Marcus Mumford, “Hopeless Wanderer”


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