What it means to be “Held”

This song popped into my head around 2am recently, while having a conversation with a very close friend. Anxiety over major life decisions, demons of past mistakes and sorrows, and constant “come to Jesus” moments with oneself can sometimes morph into lack of sleep. During this conversation I was asked, why would being “held” make it different?
To elaborate, I had insinuated that having someone next to me, in the middle of the night when the demons are at their worst, could and would suddenly calm that anxiety and fear that I was so desperately trying to escape. So why did I think being “held” would have such a difference? It was a simple question, with what seemed like a very simple answer, why sure wouldn’t anyone feel less fear if someone else was next to them during the bad times, just feeling that human presence tends to make a huge difference, to pretty much anyone. Why else do husbands hold the hands of their wives painfully giving birth, or a cancer patient hold the hand of a loved one while getting their chemo treatments?
Sure I could have fired back the simple answer of “human presence tends to calm fears and pain.”
However my immediate response was not that, I immediately thought of this song, even though I hadn’t heard it in quite some time. Being “Held” has such a bigger meaning, and this song portrays that beautifully.
“Who told us, we’d be rescued? What has changed and why should be be saved, from nightmares? To us who have died to live?”
I’m touched over and over by the power in those words, how can anyone miss the meaning to that kind of being held? To us who have died to live, such a morbid thought, or is it?
Anyone who’s lost a very, very dear loved one knows that a piece of them dies with that person, and the demons you deal with in the aftermath stay with you for years, for forever… This is “how it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life, and you survive.” The word torn is huge, when you think of something being torn, you think of it being ripped apart, how accurate an adjective for the description of the demons that haunt someone who’s survived the loss of a loved one.
Why are those demons worse at night? Again in the words of the song “This hand is bitterness, we want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.”
The demons of hatred and bitterness are not ones easily defeated, and they somehow grow 10 feet taller over you in the shadows of darkness. Without the presence of another human being, maybe even at times with the presence of another human being we are faced with loneliness and emptiness that was left with that piece of us that died to live.

The clinching question is then, Will that simple presence of having someone else hold you simply rescue you from the nightmares? Maybe for a few minutes, but ultimately, this is what it means to be Held:
“This is what it is to be loved, and to know, that the promise was, when everything fell, we’d be held.”
When everything fell, we’d be held….what is the real interpretation of that? Faith. Plain, simple, period, the end.

I’m becoming devoted to making it count, for the sake of the future man that I have been blessed to raise. I want him to grow up knowing the feeling of being “Held.” Not by me, not physically at least. But to be Held by the greater power of a Faith that will not let you fail, no matter what falls apart. Because that’s just it, no matter who you are, or what you have, things will fall apart, you will lose someone, but if you can believe in the Faith that you will be “Held” through those times, you can find the strength inside of yourself to survive those times, to rise above them.

Yes being physically “held” is something that cannot be replaced, it’s born in us, it’s why infants are placed immediately on the chest and in the arms of their mothers after being born. But as that infant grows, changes into an adult themselves, should they not also be reminded that even when those arms aren’t there, because they might not always be, that they will still be “held?”

That is what I want my son to grow up knowing, that “hope is born out of suffering” that no matter where I am, or what path his life leads him down, that he will always be “held” by having Faith.

That’s making it count in my book.


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