On candy stripe legs the spiderman comes
Softly through the shadow of the evening sun
Stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead
Looking for the victim shivering in bed - Lullaby, The Cure
This is the second post in a possible 3 or 4 part series. The first post is here.
But he was chasing after me. Not the spiderman. He knew where and when he could find me. Those candy stripe legs were both sweet and bitter to my taste. No, this was the one who could quell the spiderman's appetite. The one who could forbid him from approaching me ever again. And I was slowing down. By some miracle I was beginning to slow down long enough for him to embrace me as I lay a shivering dead boy in my bed.
I remember senior year in high school when, through the course of a Peer Ministry class, a core group of us gathered to deepen, find, or consider our relationship with God. We took our Catholic faith seriously and explored who we were in relation to God and who he could possibly be in our lives. I remember the room that we gathered in every Monday night and this night in particular. Our teacher had us relax and I encountered a tree where, when I descended into it, I found my place where I felt safe. It was my bedroom at home. It held everything that I held dear and was my place of isolation and comfort. I loved that room and probably spent way too much time in it. But I wasn't alone in the room this night.
God was there.
And my teacher, the guide, wanted me to ask something of God. He invited me to ask God the question that I always wanted to ask him. He wanted me to bare my soul to him and even if I was afraid of the answer he wanted me to ask. I cried, not knowing what to expect. I was afraid. But I asked God only this:
"Do you love me?"
Now mind you I had grown up in church. I knew all the stories and most of the Bible verses that proclaimed God's love for me. But none of that seemed to matter on that night. I don't know what possessed me to ask that question because I should have known the answer. I wondered, if I revealed the childishness of it, that I would be laughed at, dismissed, or chided. I wondered if I ever told anyone that they would roll their eyes and wonder aloud why I wasted such a marvelous opportunity on a drop dead stupid question such as that. But nothing else mattered at that marvelous moment.
To my surprise, I wasn't rejected. He assured me that he did, indeed, love me. I snapped out of the brief journey into his heart and felt different. I can't say that I was convicted of my sin at that point and my need for a savior, but I became more convinced of his love for me. Maybe, just maybe, the spiderman's hunger could be satisfied. Maybe the fear that he held over me could be swallowed by a magnificent love that was near me my whole life but that I knew little of. Maybe.