by Erik Priedkalns
I’ve sunken deep. There’s a bottomless loneliness that has nothing to do with people. There’s an empty that’s foreign to owning, having, or filling your barns. There is a hopelessness that has nothing to do with joy. I’ve tried to find It in everything; Peace, just peace. Not a piece of glassy water surface, calm and peaceful until the wind hits its face. I’m talking about that peace beneath. Immovable, built on stone. It’s not even a peace formed in a church, lightly carried on worship tunes or deceptively flowery speech. It’s not in the surface, vending machine savior Christ Jesus. It’s not in all that stuff that’s been tried - we all know the things. It’s a peace that calms the panic, douses the rage and wisps away the fear. It’s a peace that quenches the lust and desire, dims the world’s shine and its cheap gilded lies. Maybe it’s a peace that’s found in trust. Trust that carries no conditions, in Him no matter what. Trust that puts us in new chains. Trust in the face of unspeakable sadness, unbearable heat. Storms accepted because it’s His will. Lord, I want to be free of the fetters. I don’t want to be right, and I don’t want to be drunk. I don’t want to eat the world’s stale candy. I don’t want a single thing except to know - You’re the Way. I don’t want to look at the phone, but I do. I don’t want to lie, steal, or cheat, but. . .. Why can’t I be the guy holding the sign on the street corner saying Your Name? Singing and praising You while the world burns away? Where is the strength? Where does it come from? It doesn’t come from surface scratching, a few words and done. I don’t just want to satisfy the itch. Lord, I want the sickness gone for good. I want to come to you every single time; times when I’m hurt, scared, lost, and done. Those are the times I want the profession to pass, to pass by the money, the scams, and the lies. I want to skirt by the easy answer dynamic, loved preachers, the TV wish granters. I want to pass through the fire, And only come to You
Erik Priedkalns is an attorney (nonpracticing by choice) who lives in Japan. He taught English when he first got there, but now he, his wife, and his dog live on Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, where they intend to spend the rest of their days.