I’m pumping my legs, trying to ignore that I’m already dripping with sweat. That’s the point right?
My iPad rests on the bike in front of me, and my headphones swing back and forth with the motion. I need a distraction.
This morning, it’s Doctor Who. Those of you who know me are rolling your eyes or laughing right about now. You might have heard me mention it a few times in the last few months. Or maybe a few hundred times. (I’m so sorry.)
I’ve seen this one before because… well, because I’ve seen them all.
Like most episodes, at first I can’t stop smiling and I’m like, “Aww, look how cute they are.”
The Doctor and Clara talking about what time is made of and the Doctor is all, “Well not strawberries… no no no… that would be unnaceptable.”
Then it gets exciting and stuff starts happening, and of course they get into a jam (but not strawberry).
And then out of nowhere, there’s a bit of moisture on my face besides sweat. I’m crying.
(But not totally because I’m at the gym and really? Who cries at the gym? Apparently me.)
So there I am, swallowing a grapefruit sized lump in my throat, all because Clara is telling a story to a little girl who’s afraid.
A story about the day her worst nightmare came true. She got lost.
“What happened?” The girl asks with wide eyes.
She smiles gently, “My world ended. My heart broke… and then my mum found me.”
Her words echo and reverbate off the walls of my heart like a great cavern, and I can feel it.
This is where I am. The lost place. Where it really feels like your world might be ending.
The things that used to be familiar and good and right now loom over you like giants with faces you can’t recognize.
You don’t know where you are, and you don’t know how to get back home. And it breaks your heart.
Clara keeps talking and I can barely keep it together when she shares what her mum told her that day. The day she was found.
“It doesn’t matter where you are. In the jungle, in the desert, or on the moon. However lost you might feel, you’ll never really be lost. Not really. Because I will always be here. And I will always come and find you. Every single time.”
I’m not at the gym now, so I can cry all I want. And that’s good, because I can’t help it.
Every time I hear those words, every time I see them staring back at me on the page, something inside me breaks.
Because it’s dark in this place. And I know I can’t find the way out on my own. I know I need someone to find me.
And some days, it feels impossible to remember, to believe… that He’s coming.
But then, when I feel like I can barely pray, when I can barely make it through the days. When I feel like everything around me has gone blurry, and I have no idea how I’ll ever find my way back home. When my heart is too fragile to hear it anywhere else. He sends a story. He puts words in the mouth of Clara Oswald, and her mum.
It doesn’t make everything go away. It doesn’t make it all magically better.
But it helps me hang on. It gives me hope. Even if it’s just for today.
No matter where I am.
No matter how lost I may feel.
No matter how many times I’ve wandered off.
He will always come and find me.
Every. Single. Time.
So you know what I think? I think maybe a good cry at the gym is ok. In fact maybe, as the doctor would say, “crying at the gym is cool.”
“I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me.” Psalm 119:176.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:7-12