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  In Need of a Shepherd

Pasted smiles on a mask,
I parrot back all the right phrases, faking sincerity
And lying my way through ‘How’s it going?’s.
Overwhelmed by life in general,
Frustrated by hypocrisies,
Embittered by past hurts,
I silently reach out and cry for help,
Begging for a counselor to listen to my pleas.
I cry for bread and am given stones,
Well-meant ‘Don’t worry’s meet my ears
Like unwelcome visitors who refuse to leave.
I don’t want a healer to place band-aids on my gaping wounds
And who tells me ‘You’ll get over it,’
Words that cut me more than silence would.
I need someone to listen and not advise,
To read between the lines and see through my deceiving mask.
To sympathize with my tears,
Sit beside me in my ashes and join me in sackcloth.
Not someone who attempts to fix all my hurts,
For it is like trying to fit a camel through a needle,
Or recalling stinging words back into the tongue.
I need a shepherd to comfort me
And protect me from the wolves
Not another well-intentioned friend of Job.

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