The Tincture of Truth

I sat in a state of gloom, knowing that I would be unable to work myself out of it. It would stay as long as it stayed. There was no use in fighting it.

I looked around my prison cell with clouded eye. Everything pointed me in the direction of the past.

The voice in my head begin to yammer away at me, saying the same old things. It was a recorded message required by law. It went something like this. “Things will not get any better. No one loves you; they just pretend to love you to get something from you. And you, well, you do the same.”

The gloom grew as I gave into the fatal fog of the forehead. It all resided there in the cranium, the skull, the place where Jesus died. I knew it well.

Hours, days and years seemed to pass in this hell-hole of myself. People came and went and things happened. I was not moved to do anything but allow the gloom to glom onto me.

Seasons came unmarked by anything but anger. No visitor dared approach me; it was not their time.

Have you ever felt a despair so firm it would not yield?

Are you wondering how I rose from this grave? It began with me noticing a small blue bottle crammed in among the thousand things on my mantel. Days went by and I sat regarding it. Finally I drug myself from the fog and walked to the mantel and took the bottle down.

“Tincture of Truth.” That is what it said in a barely readable type. “Apply where needed.”
I wasn’t sure there was anything left in the bottle and I wondered who had put it there. I don’t remember buying it.

I took off the top; this took some time. I was afraid that I would break the bottle. I smelled a fragrance unknown to me but the bottle was empty. I sat there in futility, just inhaling the bit of aroma that was left in the bottle.

With nothing left to do, I sat there, bottle in hand, wanting to know what the tincture of truth had been. It seems there had been a cure and that now there was none.

More days passed. I begin to cry. This went on for weeks. I was mourning not only my broken life but the dried up source of healing. I slept little and my body was nothing but bones. My chair had cracked leather and there was dust everywhere. I cried until there were no tears left.

That was when the tincture began its work. Silently and purposefully it had gone to work. My tears had reconstituted its potency. Astounded, I began to feel more and more life creep back into my body. I would not call this rebirth but it was new life. A new life given me by my own sorrow put to use.

That was the magic formula I had overlooked. The truth of my body was that it needed to cry its tears of despair before it could begin its sacred work of love. Where once my sorrow had no purpose, now it flowered like the lilies of the field. The seeds would yield crops of peace for me. All I had to do was remember the truth. It is not given until you are ready to mourn your losses and let God do the rest.

I will end this tale here and now, for there is no other place.

Vicki Woodyard


  1. I think we keep going against pain, and then going against our resistance to pain, which is also futile, until we reach the point where we have no more energy to resist. Only then we stop and find love.


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