Monday, February 06, 2006
Chapter 2: Exposure and Obedience, pt.3
"Come, it is time now." He says firmly.
I am broken out of my thoughts. I do not understand what He means. I look around for the first time, seeing where we are. We are in a sandy, drier place now, a fallen log to the side. We’ve been walking a while now, but I hadn’t really noticed that we’d left the old garden. This place feels different than the garden, exposed, uncovered.
"Le me touch those wounded places, begin to anoint those wounds, to heal you. You must now expose yourself to Me." His voice is firm, there is no negotiation in His tone. He sits down on the fallen log waiting for me to obey.
I recoil in shock, horror. I cannot do this! "No! Papa God, please no! don't make me do this, please, Papa God. Don't make me!"
He is unmoved.
“No, please, don’t! Don’t look at me! I can’t, no!” I feel sick at the thought.
“I must put salve on those wounds.” He calmly replies.
“Give it to me, I’ll do it!” I stammer without even thinking about it.
The rebuke comes quickly and without warning or wavering. “You cannot do this on your own. You must submit to My way. Now. Expose yourself to Me.”
His rebuke hurts dreadfully and yet I still cry out, “No, no, Papa God –no—please don’t make me! I can’t!”
His rebuke continues, the pain is great, made greater in hearing the anger in His voice. Through the past several days, this is the first time I have heard or felt His anger. Still I cry “No!” begging Him to relent in His command. Finally, though I know I cannot win. “All right, I will!” I sob.
He stops in His rebuke. I start to rise to obey, but shrink back again. He begins His rebuke again.
“Expose yourself to me—stop hiding!” The rebuke hurts even more that His correction had, and it does not stop!
“I will, I will,” I cry, but fail again. So the rebuke comes again. I cry and cry, unable to even form words. I see clearly though, I have no choice. He will not stop until I have obeyed. It is an awful, trapped feeling, fear mixed with dread. I know that I cannot win. He is demanding to see what I have allowed no one to see. Finally the pain is too much. “I will, I will obey Papa!”
I rise, this time committed to obeying, but it is incredibly difficult. I remove His robe most easily. My own rags, which I am still wearing underneath, I do not want to remove. I try to cling to them. Swiftly, His rebuke comes again. He is angry that I have not yet obeyed, and His anger is formidable. “I’ll obey!” I cry again. At last, this time I finally do.
As the rags fall away, I fall to the ground curling in on myself, covering my face. “Don’t look at me Papa! Don’t look at me! No—please—don’t look!” Over and over I cry out these words. The terror of Him seeing me overwhelms.
“Let me look at you,” He commands.
I know what will result, but still try to argue. “No, no, please…”
And He begins His rebuke again.
“I can’t, I can’t,” I cry over and over as He continues His rebuke to me. I know He will not stop until I finally obey. It hurts so badly. Finally I have to give in. “I’ll obey Papa.”
I am naked before Him, now. I feel His gaze upon me. It is too much and I fall back to the ground again, trying to hide from His sight.
“Do not hide from Me!” He rebukes me again and corrects the pride and arrogance of my disobedience.
I suddenly see my pride—how dare I argue with my God! How arrogant I have been! I am sick with what I see. It hurts! I realize that I truly cannot hide from Him. He has always seen, always known what is in me. It was me who pretended that He did not. Now I have to face knowing that He knows and has always known what I have hidden.
I stand and obey now, covering my face with my hands as He looks at me. I am ashamed, stained, unclean. I still cry, though softly now, “Don’t look at me—don’t look!” more to myself than to Him. I am covered in sand and dirt, my wounds now crusted in filth.