The King's Muddy Children
On Erev Yom Kippur last year, "Trying" posted:
This is very hard for me to say, since I'm dead embarrassed. But secrecy keeps strengthening the addiction, so here goes. I fell again recently. I don't know how I'll even go to shul. I just want everyone to know how pathetic, crazy and stupid I am. And, oh yes, I will have a broken heart on Yom Kippur. Broken into hundred pieces, if that counts for anything. I feel so far from Hashem.
After some GYE encouragement "Trying" posted:
Guard wrote me an e-mail, and I quote, "Hashem doesn't need you to be clean. He needs your heart. That's why he gave you this whole struggle. And davka when the heart is broken, the most beautiful connection with Hashem can be made!"
It's true. So true. So I'll just give Hashem my broken heart. Cuz I don't have anything else. Only he can make it whole again.
I just realized what a gift Yom-Kippur is! There is this whole day put aside just to get closer to my father. Hashem gives us a day, free from ALL other obligations, so we can dedicate it specially for him! We can repent, or just cry to him. And that's all he wants. I can't wait to daven and spend the day in shul. I won't let the past weigh me down. Now there's only the present, and I'll use it in the best way possible.
Here's what "Trying" wrote after Yom-Kippur:
Hi everyone. Yom kippur was special. I didn't feel that way in a long time. It finally hit me that Yom Kippur was meant for me; for people who make mistakes; for people who sometimes have clouded judgments; for people who can let the Yetzer Hara take advantage of them; for people who can do terrible things, yet they still try. Deep inside, they still want to do the right thing. That's who Yom Kippur is made for. (Who else? For Tzadikim? What do they need it for?)
Yom Kippur is to tell Hashem; 'that was not the real me'. This is. The one who is fasting and begging you to forgive. The one who only wants to stay in shul, enveloped by Kedusha forever.
The Yetzer Hara was attempting to withhold this precious day from me. He wanted that I should be SO discouraged that I wouldn't be able to daven. But in defiance, I did. I davened for a whole year that I didn't daven properly. I davened that Hashem should take the Yetzer Hara from me, cuz he's too strong and I can't overcome him. I davened that this year I should merit to come closer to Him. I told Him that I know it's chutzpah to assume that all has been forgiven, and even to ask for the future. But He's my father and I'm sure He'll forgive. He'll understand.
I heard a parable of a king who sent his two sons out on a walk. Prior to leaving, he dressed them in beautiful clothes as befits children of royalty, and he warned them many times not to get dirty. He stressed the significance of them appearing dignified at all times so that they shouldn't shame him. A few hours passed, and by evening both sons returned. Children are children; they had neglected their clothes and were full of mud and dirt. One son was so embarrassed that he couldn't face his father, and he ended up getting a huge reprimand. But the other son came to his father and started crying bitterly, "You see father, I tried remembering what you said, but sometimes it was so hard. All the other children were playing in the sand and your words didn't seem so important anymore. At other times, I was so into what I was doing, I actually forgot what you said. I tried cleaning myself off, yet inevitably I would mess up again. I wanted to obey your rules, but it was so hard. I'll try better next time father, I promise".
"It's Ok", said the father, hugging him tightly. "I knew you'd mess up, I just wanted you to try. I already prepared a new set of fresh warm clothes for you, after you take a shower. Come inside, my dear son"...
It was like the Machzor was written for me. I didn't need any extra words. It was all there. It couldn't have been said any better/nicer. Thank you Hashem for the gift of Yom-Kippur; for having given us this wonderful opportunity!