Heaven Knows

It seems that a few times each month I see eyes that hold me in high esteem. I stand on stages that are too high for me and I look at people looking to me for answers. Heaven knows I’ve been blessed. There are no words to express the appreciation I feel for the people who appreciate me. I am loved, and I am grateful.

It is a beautiful thing to be recognized and to have the opportunity to enrich someone’s life. There is nothing better than seeing the face of someone laughing and knowing that they are happy because for a moment, I gave them a reason to smile. No matter how fleeting, that moment means the world to me.

My happiness, my success and my hope lie in the hearts of anyone who grants me the opportunity to speak. My struggle, my heartache, and my fear lie in the minutes after midnight when I am awake and afraid to go to sleep. When the stillness forces me to think and remember. When I turn on silly Disney movies to drown out the silence rendered after another nightmare and I try to fall asleep on the couch because the bed seems so inadequate to support the heaviness of my regret.

Few people know about these moments. Few people get “those” texts. The late-at-night-pray-for-me-please texts. Few people see me lose my temper. Few people see me cry. People don’t pay for that. They don’t want that. Who would? God does. God wants those moments in my life. He wants to hear from me at midnight. He wants to be with me when I’m eating cheerios at 2 a.m.

The Prodigal Son Parable has always appealed to me. Mostly because I am very much aware of my need of grace. I am the son who wanders. The son who disappoints. God is the Father who welcomes me home. It seems like the rest of the world embodies the “good” son, when they are looking at me as though I am undeserving. When they want to see me reap all the rewards of my insubordination, God is excited to have me back.

When I am given the opportunity to speak, I am able to do a great job because I understand that people hurt. Happy people hurt. Successful people hurt. Everyone hurts. That is why it is so important to me, in this world where no one is exempt from pain, to be able to offer encouragement.

I am grateful for every part of my life. The good times and the bad. When I am on stage and performing beautifully, it is in the hope that someone will be better because I have been worse. Someone will be wiser because I have been foolish. Someone will be encouraged because I have been disappointed.

Because God has extended His grace to me, I am able to extend that same grace to others. So, at 2 a.m., I am praying. “God, forgive me. God, thank you for your grace. God, let this help someone tomorrow.”

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