Stop reading this paper. Put it down right now and find a mirror nearby. You see yourself. Now look yourself deep in the eyes. You’ve probably done this before. You will recognize something in your eyes if you look long and deep enough. You’ll see life in it’s purest and most real form. You’ll see hope and longing. Now ask yourself, “How are you?” but don’t stop with “I’m fine,” we have just too many “fine” people around. You and I both know you are more than “fine,” you saw more than “fine” when you looked in your eyes. Listen with your heart to your heart; a heart to heart is what they call it. You will tell of your true hopes, not just “it’s nice weather” words. You’ll tell yourself of pain, real pain that you have tried to stop or escape. Now, stop. Stop right there, on pain, on mistakes. That’s where we’re going right now. It’s haunting, your mistakes that is, but with recognition, humility and grace you can at least stop what pain that you have mistakenly created.

Now, you’re in the dark. You can’t see anything and you’ve never been here before. Point blankly you are lost. Then, you feel hot air like a breath on your neck. Suddenly you’re hit in the leg and knocked to the ground. In the dark ,breathing heavy in fear you begin to pray as noises swirl. Something hits you in the face and you feel blood trickle down your cheek, and then silence. You are scared. You hope for a light so you can at least see what’s happening so as to defend yourself, instead you curl into a ball and hope for something, anything. You do not recognize what the problem is.

Now, stop. Let’s analyze this moment. Of all things that you could hope for you just want a light on. That light is the first step to overcoming our mistakes. That light is called recognition. The first step in overcoming mistakes is to realize it’s a problem, and to realize it is harmful to yourself and others.

Now, you’re back in the dark curled in a ball. Your tears are as hot as the breath that keeps breathing along your spine. Then a light. your heart leaps and your eyes open. You see what has been causing you such pain and you recognize it. You know what you’ve done, what mistake you’ve made. You know you are responsible, and that you created it. You know you’ve let it out. And before you is the sickest demonic-figure you’ve ever seen. And you realize you stand no chance against it. It’s too big, too ugly, and you’re weak enough as it is. You feel sorrow well up inside you. You begin to attack yourself in a moment and reprimand your stupidity. You made a mistake. You just want it to go away, anything, something. You’ll do anything to get rid of this mistake, that you made, that you made.

Now, stop. Let’s analyze this moment. You’ll do anything. You never want to see that disgusting mistake again. You realize that you can’t do it alone, that you need help. People have looked in your eyes before, people that care. You know that there is help. But you don’t want anyone else to be hurt by your mistake, or to even know that there is a mistake. But something has to be done. It can’t stay like this. And you realize where your true strength lies, in help from others, those who care most.

Now, you’re standing firmly before your mistake with sword in hand. Those that have looked deep in your eyes have talked with you and expressed their tears. They have cried with your crying and felt your pain with arms around you. You have confidence now that you know you’re loved. Your sword has been given to you from a loving Friend who’s power to save is given to you if you will take it. You could drop the sword, you could try to do it on your own, but you’ve already realized that you don’t stand a chance without it, without the help of a Friend. Gripping the sword with tears in your eyes you feel that tender mercy in your hands. You dash forward armed with the courage of love. As you dash you recall your Friend sitting down with you and looking deeper in your eyes than any other person possibly could. “You can do it,” your Friend said, and your heart felt those words more than any ear ever could. You have no doubt now. You can do it.

And you do it.

Keep reading this paper. Don’t put it down. Look deep into the story. You’ve probably done this before. You will recognize something in the story if you look long and deep enough. You’ll see life. You’ll see hope and longing. Now ask yourself “How are you?” but don’t stop when you say “I’m fine,” we have just too many “fine” people around. You and I both know that you are more than “fine”, you saw more than “fine” when you looked into this story.  You saw hopes and you saw pain, real pain that you’ve tried to escape. Now, stop. Stop right there, on pain, on mistakes. That’s where we’ve been. It’s gone, your mistakes that is, with recognition, humility and grace you stopped what pain that you have mistakenly created.

And you do it.