Once upon a time there was a girl who had lived in silence her whole life. She had a name but no one knew it and despite being surrounded by people and things and ideas she felt utterly alone. Isolation was all she had ever known. People looked at her with admiration but hers was always a life beheld from a seemingly safe distance. Her dreams were locked inside her but without air to breathe and light to grow they withered over time. One that held out and beat within her was the dream to be known through and through, and loved nonetheless.
One day as she made her way across a crowded city square, carried along in a wave of locked faces, she was handed an envelope. She stopped and tried to see where it had come from as the flood continued to rage past her, but the messenger was nowhere to be found. She turned it over in her hands wondering whether she had been mistaken for someone else but saw her name written on the front. She stole to the side and sat on an empty bench, the envelope burning in her hands. She slowly opened it, slid the pages out and unfolded them to find a letter written in the same hand as the one that had marked the envelope as hers:
I have searched you and I know you. I know when you sit and when you rise. I perceive your thoughts from afar and discern your going out and moments of rest. I am familiar with all of your ways.
Before a word is on your tongue I know it completely. I hem you in – behind and before – and reach to you, yesterday, today and everyday.
If you were to rise to the heavens I would be waiting there and not even a dive into the darkest depths could separate you from my love. If you rise on the wings of the dawn or settle on the far side of the sea even then my hand will guide you and my right hand hold you fast.
The darkness of this desert city, with its light that so swiftly becomes night, has not hidden you from me.
I created your inmost being. I knit you together in your mother’s womb. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your frame was not hidden from me when you were in the secret place, when you were woven together in the depths of the earth I saw your unformed body. All the days ordained for you were written in my book before one of them came to be.
I have made a way for you in this desert. Won’t you walk with me?
She reread the letter and searched the emptying square for signs of an author, but none of the faces reflected her open gaze. She dropped her head and the tears started to fall, but before they could land a hand reached and caught them. “I am who I am,” he said, “and I am the way. Our father sent me to here to save you, to bring you back to life.”
“But I am alive,” she whispered. “Really?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” Her words now barely audible. “What if I were to tell you that in losing this almost life you would really come alive?”
“Choose me. Choose the life I have won for you.”
She put her hands in his and in the same moment she handed him her heart. “I choose you.”
They stood up and continued on their way. Death dying in her with every step, as the life that he had promised broke through the blackened soil and their shared dreams came alive.