When the search is over

18 Cowboy Closing gate


I want to trace my fingers over these numbers. To reach every nook & cranny of them, taking them apart and building them back together again. To pause at those moments when life felt unbearable so I can whisper to myself that it will be ok, that the end of the moment would be better than the beginning. Promise.

I want to linger at those moments when my heart was bursting at the seams with abundance so I can take it all in again & again & again.

I want to freeze those numbers, etch them into my skin & into my bones so I can remember always that I can never, ever go back to the way things used to be, that this is the end and at this end only one thing is clear – God & all the parts of Him.

In the beginning there was me. I was born.

I was born into love & poverty & struggle & peace & discontent & deepness & God & doubt. And I didn’t know what to do with all this stuff so I did what any normal human being would do – I started searching.

For answers. Why was the most pressing question for me and the one I asked over & over & over when I was a child. I asked it of family, friends & strangers alike. I wanted to understand the wiring behind things, why they happened the way they did. It was an obsession, a craving whose origins was as mysterious as my own soul.

Why is the sky blue? Why won’t those kids play with me? why does it hurt in the chest when you are sad? Why, why, why?

The answers given were always short & simple – the kind you give to pacify a child. But I was not a child; I was an ancient soul in a child’s body. So I continued searching.

It became thick and complicated.

Now I was searching for significance, validation, value and for my place in the world. I was looking for love, depth, richness, passion, realness, authenticity. I was looking for God, even though I had Him. He was too big for my small hands, I wanted to handle Him, taste Him. I wanted to feel Him.

I was deluded & on fire.

I was searching for identity, I was searching for myself.

I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life searching. I’ve left no stone unturned. Everything in me that can be cracked open has been cracked open. There has been no holding back here, not on my watch. I laid myself out in the open, through rain & sandstorms and I looked my flaws in the face, dined with them & then sent them off on their way. There was clinging, there were tears. It has been painful. It has been scary.

I searched like an insatiable lover & the very idea of searching was like a tall, dark, brooding man always desperate for my touch, my skin, wanting me, consuming me. I became good at him. It was a thrilling love affair.

Then I went to Malaysia.

My humanity came under scrutiny. It was simple, really. There was nothing new about this experience. I have had this questioning of my humanity in other places in the world. But there was everything new about where this experience took me.

The despair was blinding. & the darkness, suffocating. It was in my in veins, in my sinews, everywhere. It soaked right through my skin & it covered me until that was all I could see, feel & taste. So I did what any normal human being would do – I stopped fighting.

There was nothing left in me. I had no grace to offer the world or myself.

Coiled up there in the darkness, I realised this was the end. This was the place where the search & I went our separate ways. I wanted to hold on to Him, to feel his warm breath on my skin just one more time but this was it. This was goodbye.

It has taken me weeks to understand what this means. And even then I cannot be eloquent in words with it. So, instead, I want to show you. From here on end.

The search comes to an end when you find what you are looking for. It must. Mine has.

I will now enter the arena, with all my gold nuggets in tow to reflect back to the world, to take on the work of being properly human.


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