Darkness closing in on me. Cold. My teeth clattering. Loneliness. Loud, opressing silence. Oppression. I cannot see. I cannot understand. I feel so lost. All alone.

I'm ruunning without moving. Stumbling forward over rocks and stones.

There's nothing to hold onto. Nobody to cry out to.

Scared. I am so scared. Terrified.

I break down, crying, weeping, screaming. The pain, the agony, the suffering. Please stop. Please stop. Stop. Stop. Stop it! Someone. Please. Somebody.

I keep on going. Don't know where to. I lost my whay.

I never had one.

I walk and walk, trying to reach...somehwhere. Someplace better. Warmer. Where I'm held.

I'm running and running never arriving. My fear suffocating me.

Tears streaming down my face. Sobs choking me. Hurting myself, scratching my skin to wake up from this nightmare, to wake up to anything but this.

Blood flowing from my wounds, soaking the ground I walk on.

My feet are heavy, my arms are heavy. It's so hard to move.

Why isn't there anyone to help me?

Pictures of my life before my eyes. Things promising happiness, masquerading themselves as fulfilling. But empty, so emtpy.

I fall once more. My face buried in my hands, can't stop the tears. I want to be no longer. I want to die.

And then I see it. A light. In the distance.

I urge myself to get up and walk towards it. Tripping.

It gets lighter. It becomes warmer. What is this? What gives off thia ethereal light? This comforting warmth that seems to embrace me?

Then I see it.

It's a cross. Two bars of old wood crossing each other.

Wait, there's a man on the cross. Dressed ionly in rags, wearing a crown of thorns on his head.

There's blood flowing. Blood everywhere. I see he's in pain. I break down, my face lifted up to him.

And I know it. Love. This dirty, wounded man is the purest love. And I know this love is for me.

For the broken, stained, lost sinner that I am. No, I am not lost anymore. I am found.

The tears flow once more. But no tears of hurt. Tears of happiness. And of regret. And tears for this man.

I look down and see my skin unharmed. He is bearing my wounds, so I would stop hurting.

I crawl closer and weep at his feet, not knowing what to say.

My fingers touch his blood. His blood that has cleansed me of all my deep wrongs.

I look up to look upon his beautiful face. And I see him smiling.

„You've finally come to me.", he says, and his voice is the most beautiful sound ever heard. „I have been waiting for you. For so long. And now you can finally be here with me."

„Why me?", I sob. „I have done so many horrible things. I am not worthy of you. Why me?"

„Because I love you. I have always loved you. I have loved you before you were formed in your mother's womb. I have loved you when you laughed and when you cried. I knew each of your days before you even were. And I was looking forward so much to this day, when you'd finally come to me. Don't cry, my child, for this is a day of happiness."

„How can this be a day of happiness...", I weep in anguish, my head falling into my hands. „...when you hang there wounded and scarred, bearing my sins and all my mistakes. When I should be the one up there?"

I feel warm hands gently grasping my shoulders and lifting me up. When I look up, I see him standing in front of me smiling, in a white, stainless gown, his skin flawless, free of wounds and blood. And with his tender, nail scarred hands he wipes away my tears and there is no more pain or grief or death.

„Because now your sins are gone, my loved one. And you are forgiven. And nothing shall ever come between you and me. And you will be with me and I with you. Forever."

And I feel him embracing me in his loving arms, taking me into the light.