“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go,” you scream, you shout at me. Your mouth wide, your cheeks red. You believe yourself, but you don’t know the weight of your promise. You don’t know the immense joy it brings me, your maker, and yet, you also don’t understand that what I ask of you is more than you can give on your own. But you try to do it alone. And then, when you can’t do it on your own, you doubt me. You blame me. You wonder about petty things as you put on a brave face once a week, when under the stress of that big man’s stare. And boy, does he stare. I’m not sure why he stares, I never told him to. And I’m not sure why it bothers you so much, either, but it does. He stares as he begs for money and he stares as you stay in your seat, even though he’s begged you to come forward till he’s red in the face. So underneath scrutiny, you fold. You fold like the weakling you are and for a moment you feel guilty. And when you feel guilty, you cry and when you cry, you beg for forgiveness. And when you ask me to forgive you, I do. How could I not, when my love is crying before me, pleading for another chance. I wrap your soul in my arms and I tell you I love you and I ask you to follow me. Despite the lies and fancy dress and other people’s words instead of my love that brought you to the altar, I ask you to follow me. I am not confined by those lies, by your freshly pressed suit, by even the big man’s stares and red faced pleading. And you tell me you’ll follow. You swear to me. You love me and swear to never leave again.
And I believe you, eager for the new change and our life together and the love I will show you in the days to come. I believe you as you lay your head down to sleep that night, your lips still dripping with awe and love and promise of the morning. You sleep with a smile and dream of me.
But then sunrise comes and you notice your life is fine the way it is. You think of how uncomfortable it will become if you keep your promise. You get stuck in your own head, pretending you don’t hear my still, small voice, don’t feel the tightening I send through your chest and you decide to break our promise. You tell yourself it’s safer this way, because “foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” The doubt cripples you instead of ignites you to rid yourself of it. You are afraid I can’t take care of you, though I have done nothing but sustain you since your conception. I brought you this far, I love you, and yet, you ignore me as I desperately knock on your door, asking “Don’t you remember our promise? We are going on a journey, come follow me! You said you would, please come!” But you pretend you aren’t home and shove headphones in your ears, music so loud you can’t hear yourself think, let alone my asking of you. And I know you’ve lied to me again and it breaks my heart. I can’t understand what else could have gripped your heart, why you would walk away. You’ve felt my power and love, and walked away anyway.
Come back, my love. It’s not too late, I’m still here. I still love you.