There is a forest we all encounter and that forest is named loss…

Upon entering its borders we are seized with a gripping
pain in the chest, as though clawed fingers are ripping
through our lungs, emptying them of air and pinching the
heart before pulling it out to lie bleeding on the ground.
As we stagger back, gasping for the breath that will not
come, there is a new sound in the forest… a sound of
softly padding feet loping toward us as we see forms
approaching in the moonlight…

One by one our new companions reveal themselves… they
are fierce and beautiful silver wolves, yet we are not
alarmed at their presence…

They walk towards us, heads down in seeming
submission, inviting us to run our hands along their silky
backs… We hear their voices inside our minds, promising
protection and companionship… we relax and begin to
breathe again as the wolves slowly encircle us in their
protective ring…

It feels safe here with such majestic predators keeping the
forest at bay… but the safety is an illusion we discover as
first one wolf then another squabble over what is left of our
hearts, nipping away pieces, just a little at a time… Almost
imperceptible at first, the blood trickles out – the blood of
trust, of hope, of joy, of love… and we become hollow,
bloodless husks, staring into nothingness… and the
wolves, sated, abandon their protectorate to the further
ravages of the forest.

But the forest is NOT the REAL enemy.
The forest has thorns, to be sure, but they are thorns of
preparation – each seemingly impossibly painful jab opens
our hearts to the air of the forest – air that is pure and
clean and fresh and glorious – healing air that cleanses
our ancient woundings and renews our strength…

We do not realize this at first – we only feel the thorns –
recoiling from the pain and seeking solace in the soft,
warm fur of the wolf pack.

We are deceived.

The forest has a name and that name is loss…

The wolves also have names – their names are Bitterness,
Resentment, Anger, Self-Protection…

But the AIR… the air that heals and strengthens us… the
air that can only enter through our wounds…that air is
called God…