How long can wood burn before it loses the ability to give light, to heat, to elevate cold water to boiling point? How long before the embers scattered among the ashes are capable of sparking anything again, even if it’s a little, tiny flame? Can the winnow of just my feeble breath bring life back to one burnt too often? Even as my own heart struggles, it seems to hurt more seeing him suffer through this period of emotional-mental tug of war unleashed on him. The silence, the pain and yes, the bitterness held in stoically, brokenness kept out of sight but oh so on the mind!

Come. Lay your head on my chest. Let me cradle your face. Rest here awhile. My words may not suffice to remove your pain, my touch may not lessen your anger nor will my actions ease your doubt of the future. For however long you will allow it, take solace in my softness, permit my smile light up some small section of your soul. I will be your shield for now against the cruel arrows of putrid decay of goodness. See in me the hope of a thousand battles fought. See that I still stand tall. I will never let you falter, my friend, because in you I see myself.

Wonder fills those tired, bloodshot eyes. They look at me and question, ‘why?’. You say you are not one to be cared for or about, you have nothing to be envied. Ah, but that is where you and I see differently, dear heart. I see that which you don’t. You see repeated failure and loss. You see one weak because you gave too much too fast. I, on the other hand, see a man brave enough to bare his heart. A man courageous enough to allow himself to feel after hurt shattered him. I see a man working on himself to understand things that happened and who had enough self-dignity to walk away from abuse. I see a man man enough not to need to be a warrior twenty four seven and able to put away his sword when need be to embrace the sacred feminine and revel in the arts. A man who, if he would allow the embers to spark once again into a fire, would burn up the world with the brilliance of his mind and the strength of his character. A man who personifies Imago Dei. A man who I call a hero.

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