It gets better they tell you. Like growing a scab over a wound. Eventually scar tissue forms and you can move with only the memory of pain and a shiny patch of skin to mark your travels.
At least that's what they say...
Am I my brother's keeper? I don't know. But they have been keeping me for a long time. Running and gunning is all I know. Been hiding from my shadow all my life and it just wears on a body. I tried to drink it away or sleep it away with dozens of women. Thinking I left it in the dirt as I marched away with another army crossing to fight on the other side. Turning around I see my shadow sitting at my feet.
My brothers find me down in the dirt once more. They pick me up. Dust me off, give me my gear and tell me it is time to soldier on. And so I shoulder my load and carry on. And in the dust behind me matching my tread the devil follows my every step.
"The man is too big and the man is too strong." I hear them say, little do they know I am just a shadow myself.
Hollow in the core, hoping to find my way out. The soldiers of my vanity and the commanders of my sin, have dragged me from bloody mountain tops and down through many swamps of desperation.
And when I couldn't run and gun my son, I laid my load down, and told them I had humped my last klick.They told me I would hear the drummer boy playing soon and they would see me in the Vanguard stepping to the beat with the rest. I waved them on, sad to see them go. I laid my weapons down in the dirt and fell on my knees.
When I thought I had been stabbing and slashing others, I found I had been killing me. I couldn't go on, and my hatred and my fear poured out of me. I knew I was going to die, and maybe this time I would welcome death, just to be free from my wounds. I was so tired of fighting.
I surrendered my sin. I gave away my fear and felt the muscles relax as my spirit began to leave my body, I felt God's breath blow life into my body and I was suspended in a state where I had all my sins laid bare and held up to the light. I wept. And I was made anew.
When I awoke I found new brother's in arms. They bound my wounds and buried my weapons. They are teaching me to carry other's loads, and I build sheep pens to protect the flock when wolves come calling. Satisfaction can be found in a well built wall of stacked stone, or an honest earned meal.
When those old soldier boys come around, I don't open my door to them anymore. I nod politely acknowledging their presence in my life, and I wish them an honest journey. My new comrades tell me I am not too big nor am I too strong. Being humble keeps me safe, sane and healing. Sometimes though in the darkest nights I can hear those drums rolling over the distant hills and I still wish I could pick up my rifle and join them...Then I see my children's faces and my wife's eyes.
Thanking the Lord I stack my stones as I build a better life for others. That's my struggle now. I fight in an army of love. And I have learned to let my spirit dance. Shhhh... it likes to boogaloo.
* For RB Go Easy Shipmate*