We were in Ireland, my husband and I.
In a land of green and rocks.
We were trying to find The Burren.
It is national park of some sort but there were no signs showing the way in or the way out.
There were no tourist money throw down places.
There were no people.
Just wild land.
We were lost.
We already driven for miles, for hours, on twisted roadways lined with black thorn scraping the sides of our car.
We were tired.
And we had fallen into that flesh place where one needed to prove he was an excellent driver and was doing his very best to keep us from getting killed and the other needed to prove she is an excellent map reader but did not manage to brush up on her gaelic before leaving the States.
We kept looking for a sign, anything that indicated where we were. We even asked a lady walking her dog and all she could tell us was that it was “dune the rude a-ways.”
Nothing but sharp edges.
Nothing but sharp nerves.
Nothing but sharp words.
The words pierced jagged into our souls as we twisted around curves of stone and thorn.
We ached to find a place of refuge but we did not speak of it.
Pride can be a silent enemy.
The road bent and we with it and there it was. Our strong tower.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run into it.
I ran out of the car and down into the fallen stones, my eyes on the round tower.
The gate was locked.
Am I allowed in this place?
It is the whisper of the enemy of our souls that tries to keep us from coming into a place of safety. A place of protection.
I ignored the hiss of whisper and stepped over a stone wall and found myself face to face with a pasture full of bulls.
They would not keep me from standing in that sacred abbey place with celtic crosses shining in the going down sun.
Run as fast as you can, past the bulls, past the whisperer, into the place of Refuge.
The arms of Jesus. Your strong tower where you are made right again.