Help! I’ve been kidnapped and taken on another guilt trip.
It was though guilt came in the form of stout and scowling Aunt Hilda. She sweeps into my life, packs my bag full of past guilt trip paraphernalia. When I ask what she is doing she answers gruffly “You asked for this. I don’t like coming here like this any more than you do but you asked for it. It is your fault. It is always your fault!” When she is satisfied she pulls me like a small child across the hall, drags me down the stairs and out the front door, away from the security of home. After effortlessly tossing my luggage up to the carriage driver she forces me into her four wheeled monster and hurries away from leaving peace and serenity far behind.
Aunt Hilda is not a pleasant person to travel with. She chatters constantly from the bouncy carriage seat with frayed, navy cloth reminding me of my mistakes as well as everyone around me. She knows everything bad about everyone. Sometimes our miserable trips last for minutes, sometimes weeks and a few times they have lasted for month.
Her chatter seems endless but finally she begins repeating herself like a broken recording and I begin thinking of a way to escape. Finally when I have “had it up to here” with her critical rendition I grasp at the faint memory of a past relief and cry out in prayer “Father, please cast Satan far from me.” Abruptly the car comes to a halt. Aunt Hilda’s balding head turns to stare at me. She pouts and acts hurt as she throws my luggage from her carriage and pushes me out and I land face down in the dirt.
She stays right where she is, glaring out the window. I suppose she is waiting for me to come to my senses.
By now I am standing on the deserted road like a figure from an old cowboy movie. I wish she would go away, I wish I had a compass; I wish I had a bottle of water and I wonder how I can ever find my way back home alone. Then you appear out of nowhere motioning for me to follow. You are an ordinary person yet so extra ordinary. I know you but I don’t know when we met. I can trust you fully, completely. I wonder if you can lead me back but then as though you read my mind you say “I can help you because I’ve been this way before.”
Aunt Hilda fades away as we walk along the well-worn road, patches of weeds line our way and the sound of the wind plays with the trees like harps in a musicians hands. You remind me of good times, of things I have done right and you create pictures in my mind of past memories that embrace the essence of love and goodness, kindness and hope.
Somehow the miles pass, the sun dips down in the forgiving sky and the horrors of my guilt trip fade away and are replaced with your hug or your arm occasionally loped across my weary shoulders. At last I see home in the distance with its lights and soft music. The trees bow across the road with honor and the crickets sing their happy welcome.
I rush forward to stand on the front porch then look back only to find you are gone. Vanished in the folds of the night yet somehow integrated in my heart and I smile as I open the welcome to my home.