In the Dim

Lyric Essay

The moon hangs low as the sun sleeps, my teenage son due at work in 10 minutes. But the engine doesn’t sound when I turn the key, only a patchwork of lights on the instrument panel. I crank again into another failure. So we ferry our things to my wife’s car, and drive away as the cost of repair settles on me. When we arrive where my son works, he opens his door and the December air bites—just as I was warming up. “Lord, help me,” I say, as my son walks past. The world in hibernation as I bullet along quiet roads. God, look at me, I think, a doubting fool, acting as though You hibernate, too. So I pray, “Help my unbelief” and troll the downtown streets, squinting at the dim parking lots. An odd little spot behind the Marriott with a self-service box and an early-bird rate. Then a mistake—a man I think is the lot attendant. “Help me,” he says, just out of jail and homeless, in need of only nine dollars. A simple story, and yet I don’t understand. From his back pocket he unfolds an official-looking document, but I’m not reading, only considering the words, Give to everyone who asks. And since I’m asking, seeking, knocking, trying to believe, I retrieve my wallet and he takes the cash. Where the money will go, who knows, but in the dark morning I think about my lack and this man who lacks more. So before he goes, I put my hand on his shoulder. I bow and say, “Lord, help us both.”

   
Related Topics:  Doubt

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