I have dirtied the temple of God with my sin. I have defiled his name, showered worms plump with soil upon my head.
I sit in sack cloth and ashes.
These chains are heavy. They drag me back to the grave. This flesh is weak. I lust after twisted versions of fulfillment, idolatrous copies of God. I turn to the darkness to fill my hurting heart and it obliges for a moment before swallowing me deep within its cave. It shows me kingdoms. It shows me control. All this could be yours, it says. Bow to me. I lean in, and hungry eyes seek to devour me even as I seek their promises of satiation. I’m falling. Free, so I’m told. Free from waiting, free from the necessity of faith and of patience. I could stay here.
Then, light. All-powerful light. All-knowing and all-present light. These chains tremble. Even they believe; they shudder and break. The light calls me, knows my name. But the darkness won’t relinquish its old so fast. It sees an opening when I see my sin and seizes that moment of repentance, touches my chin and turns my face to self-pity. And I am ashamed. I no longer loathe the sin, instead I loathe myself. I cannot un-see what I have seen and called god, or undo what I have done and called mine. I am filthy and I am worthless. The darkness laughs and I lock the shackles to my own wrists and cower away from the light. The light ought not to see me like this. It ought not to come in here, into this unclean place to contact an unclean soul.
But the light says it walked through a garden to find me. It sweat blood in a garden to forgive me. It died outside a garden to love me. Now it has broken through the darkness to rescue me. So, the light breaks my chains, again, and keeps the keys and leads me home.