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The Visitor--an inspirational short story series

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"...Choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices...Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable."
For The Strength of Youth

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    Ch. 44 The Wisdom of the Wise
Submitted by Steven ODell on 2 December 2010 - 1:14pm. | | | | | |

Find My Way Home
Steven G. O'Dell -- (C)2010

Sometimes finding your way back is more important than making your way in the world.

Irene wandered the grocery aisles slowly, aimlessly and in detachment from life itself. She was a woman with no spark left. She had seen it all, as they say. She had tried every pleasure in life, experienced every pain and sorrow, had known true love and lost it, been abused by those who claimed to love her and just plain grown tired of living in the process. For a woman still so young, she was very near the end and she knew it. Even now she felt herself an empty, hollow shell of her former self. Irene had been so full of life and excited about every new thing. Her natural enthusiasm drew others to her, both positive and negative. It seemed they all wanted something from her and drained her zest and zeal until she no longer had purpose. And now she trudged this grocery in a more absent than present manner.

Thinking only of ending the drudgery of living, Irene thought of the pharmacy section of the store and began to follow her instincts to locate it -- always in the rear of the store, it seemed. Who knew why. Who cared? As Irene rounded the end of the aisle, she bumped squarely into a small obstacle at her knees; an obstacle that looked alone, lost and bore a remarkable resemblance to her own state, except she could no longer cry, Her tears had long since run out.

The kneeling child looked tearfully up at her and begged helplessly with word and gaze, "I can't find my mommy."

Something switched inside Irene. The milk of human compassion began again to flow and she temporarily forgot her mission to end it all. Here was a helpless child, another being in trouble and doubt, who needed help -- her help. Now Irene felt sympathy,...no, indeed empathy, for this child. She found herself inexplicably reaching out, perhaps one last time.

Taking his hand, Irene pulled him to his feet. He scarcely reached her waistline in height and she was not tall herself. He looked so tiny to her, just the same.

"Don't cry. I will help you," she found herself saying as a semblance of a smile followed for reassurance. The child brightened the slightest amount and even emotion-dulled Irene could read it in his face.

Walking directly to the pharmacy desk, she told the man inside that she had a lost child with her. He assured her he would announce it immediately, which he did. A few moments went by and a frantic woman came running to his side and grabbed him tightly to herself. Again, something inside Irene snapped on and she began to cry herself. The comfort, the salvation from troubles and the love outpouring that she witnessed tore her calloused heart open and she wept with all the energy she had left and sank to the floor and her knees. She no longer cared to maintain the illusion, no longer had strength to pretend everything was alright in her life. She had no control now and didn't care who knew it. She only wanted to find safe haven and fulfillment again.

Irene could not tell you in detail what happened after that. She was escorted to the parking lot, where she was placed in an ambulance and taken to the local hospital to be checked. Having verified she was physically well, the conclusion was clinical depression; Irene no longer could function properly in such a state.

As fortune would have it, Irene's attending psychiatric counsel was no ordinary woman. Sharon Boyer had the best education money could buy, but she had some things far more valuable, She had true compassion and spiritual insight.

"Irene, we've been meeting for a few weeks now and I want to ask again, what do you want from these sessions?" Irene had previously shrugged her shoulders and sat silently, staring absently at the floor. Now, she responded and looked up into the eyes of her counselor.

"I want to find purpose in life again. I want to find happiness. I want to find my way home."

Dr. Boyer smiled and nodded her head. Now she knew Irene wanted answers to life's most important questions and that she might be ready to receive them.

"Alright. I am going to propose something highly irregular, Irene. Under the requirements of my profession there are limitations to what I can speak with you about here in my office. I cannot give you what I feel I need to here...."

Irene was troubled by this turn of events and showed it. She would sink and lose hope again if this were to be the case. And yet the doctor's smile did not fade. Sharon continued.

"I propose we meet in private at my home. I do not do this often, but what I have to share with you will be more valuable than all of the counseling I can do here. If at any time you wish to discontinue, you tell me and we will resume our present course of action. Does that meet with your approval?

Irene was intrigued by the mystery and the apparent pormise Sharon Boyer was offering. What did she have to lose?

"Okay. When and where?"

Three weeks had passed since the meetings at Sharon Boyer's home had begun and had you passed Irene on the street, you would not recognize her as the same woman she had been a mere five weeks earlier when she had broken down in tears in the supermarket. Irene was coming out of her shell. She was alive again. She smiled and spoke to those around her. She no longer stared at the pavement and cement as she walked. She looked ahead and even upward as she walked. Irene was happy once more.

What did the doctor offer her that the medical profession could not? Answers. Eternal answers, revealed to living prophets by God himself. Irene had been filled to the brim with all the pleasures, pains and challenges life had to offer and still did not know a few of the most fundamental and essential things. She did not know who she was, where she had come from and why she was here. Not in the temporal sense, but the spiritual sense. What was her purpose in life...that was the answer she needed and when she received it, it made all the difference in the world to her. Just as she had helped that small boy find his mother and his foundation and anchor again, she had now found hers. She was a daughter of the most high God and now she felt her worth. And thanks to Sharon Boyer and a witness deep within her heart, she had found her way home at last

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