I’ve discovered some huge potholes on this road I’m on. Some by accident, some by choice. Most of the time I’ve avoided the precarious potholes, but this week I fell in one because I had stopped looking for them.
This pothole was deep, and I was in way over my head. The air inside was heavy and nearly choked me as I tried to climb out of trouble. The darkness was blinding. I was disoriented and scared and certain I’d never get out.
Then I realized I’d been in this pothole before. It had been a long time, but the memories came rushing back. The scars were still on my hands from when I clawed my way out before. In the middle of my panic, I sat down and cried and for a moment, I wanted to stay there. I deserved this fate. I had climbed out and failed and fallen back in. I couldn’t survive outside the darkness. Why continue to try?
When I finally dared look up, I saw people walking around the pothole, but none looked down at me. They kept on about their business, as they should, because my pothole was invisible to them. This was my own mess, my own torment, my own hell.
Some time passed and someone stopped and looked down into my pothole. How could he see me? I felt ashamed. I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want people judging me. I didn’t want anyone to know where I was.
Still, he’d found me. Somehow, he could see inside my hell. I looked into his eyes and found compassion there. Compassion was all I ever wanted or needed. Had I found pity in his gaze, I’d still be in that pothole. His compassion gave me hope…gave me strength.
I gathered all my courage and reached up. The man with compassionate eyes reached down and took my hand and pulled me out of the pit. Before he walked away, he smiled and told me everything would be all right now.
I finally knew I was free, because I didn’t climb out myself. That pothole has been filled.