It was dark and cold.
It was lonely.
It felt like the end.
Only he wasn't ready for it to be the end.
It was supposed to be the beginning.
Only it seemed like it had been forever since..............before.
Before when he was up on top.
Before when he was in the light.
Before when he was walking with his father.
Before when the world seemed filled with possibilities and adventure.
But now it is after.
And after is down here.
Stuck in a hole.
Dropped from above.
After a bit he began to dig.
For he knew that he must get out and so he dug.
He focused on what was happening, on his surroundings and came to the conclusion that he must save himself.
And so he dug.
With tenacity and fervor and desperation............he dug.
And as you can imagine he did not get very far.
But he kept his head down.
He kept on going.
He knew he could do it.
And so he dug and he cried out and he exhausted every single resource he had within himself.
He was bruised and battered, sweat pouring from him, mixing with the dirt that had begun to layer his body.
He was unrecognizable from the young man he was.......the young man from before.
He lay down.
He was too exhausted to move, to dig any further.
He felt as if he just wanted to give up.
And so he lay down and his body, his will seemed to give out and, he not so much fell asleep, he gave in to sleep.
It seemed to be days later........but in reality it was hours...........that he awoke. He was still bruised and battered and covered with dried and caked on mud but he had discovered within him a small something........maybe it was hope?
And instead of looking down and around at his surroundings............he began to look up.
And he listened.
And he heard.
It was the voice of his father.
The father from before.
The one that he thought had abandoned him.
The one he thought that had forsaken him............was here.
He couldn't see him from the depths of this hole but when he looked up he could see a glimmer of light and heard the faint whispers of the man he had always known and who had always loved him.
He spoke words of love and joy at hearing his son's voice once again.
And then his words were ones of action.
Step by agonizing step he told the boy of what to do.
There were stones to be moved and crevices to discover. There was a way out. But it wasn't easy.
It wasn't a quick fix, a mighty rescue from above rather it was a struggle to get up and out.
But this time he had hope and the voice and love of his father from above. He was no longer looking down - defeated and battered and left on his own. His father was here.
So inch by inch he made his way up.
He refused to look back down. He refused to give in to the temptation to do it all on his own - fast and with his own strength. He had made that mistake before. He forced himself to go slow, to listen. He would stop and listen for instructions as what to do next, where to go, how to take the next step.
And at long last.................he was there.
He was out.
He was back to the before.
And there was his father, just where he was when he had fallen.
His father had seen the approaching hole, had seen the plunge down and had witnessed the horror of his son falling.
He had cried out to him but his son had not heard them during his desperate attempt to rescue himself.
But here they were.
And oh what a glorious moment that was.
There was much rejoicing and grasping of one another. Tears of joy poured down their faces, their feet seemed to almost leave the ground as they danced about.
And that day the son learned that even in the darkest, coldest moments of desperation his father would never leave him. That even during the times he could not see him, could not hear him.......he was there.
For the father told the son of the many times when he had peered down and he could recount each second of his son's entrapment in great detail. He told of the hours the son had slept and promised him that he never once closed his eyes, rather he stood watch and stood guard from above. Never once did he rest.
And the son knew.
He knew then how great a love his father had for him.
He was never forsaken.
He was never forgotten.
He was never left alone.
He was loved.