Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Chapter 7: The Study, pt 2

At last I am able to return to my task and I finish cleaning the glass from the floor. He directs me to one of the trunks by the windows. I find an enormous brown-black sheepskin rug, much larger than any I have seen. The wool is soft and luxurious, thick and lush. He helps me place it on the floor between the two chairs. I also find in the trunk two soft blankets for the chairs.

The sun is going down and the room is becoming dim. He lights the fire in the fireplace and the candles. “Come sit with Me here.” He invites sitting down in the left hand chair, nearest the windows.

I sit at His feet on the lush sheepskin rug; the other chair is just too far away. Tenderly, he drapes the blanket across my shoulders. I rest my head on His knee and listen as He begins to speak.

“In this place I will meet with you. I want you to come to understand who you are and who I am. There is much that stands in the way of you knowing that right now. Will you let me teach you who you are to Me?”

“Yes, Papa,” I breath softly, my heart beginning to beat harder. I still fear what He will tell me. I know I should not, but I do.

“For years you have beaten yourself up over who and what you are.” He explains His voice soft and soothing. He is not angry at me, but gentle and loving, drawing me closer in, not pushing me away. I cannot recall being treated with such acceptance and tenderness before. “You have beaten yourself up because you were not born a son. Your grandmother cursed you for not being a boy and you took that to heart. She did not like girls, saw little value in them and you saw yourself unacceptable for what you were. You judged her for that and now struggle related to other women because of it.

“For years you have been trying to prove yourself as good as a son. You have been dissatisfied in yourself, not really able to accept yourself as anything but second rate. Others have fed this belief, born out of this curse.

“But I see neither male nor female, only you, what I have created and designed by My own hand. Break this curse now.”

I listen intently to what He says, trying to capture it all. None of this is what I expected to hear. Although I am taken by surprise, all of what He says is true, I cannot argue, I have just never seen it this way before. Above all, though, I want to obey Him so I do not argue, but allow my heart to be broken before Him. “I repent, Papa, I repent of those vows I made that I would never bee good enough, never as good as a son. I repent of dishonoring my grandmother and judging her for her weakness. I repent of my judgment against her which has locked me into the very same sins! Break this pattern, Papa! I repent!

“Forgive me for cursing myself with her words, that it is a shame that I wasn’t born a son! Forgive me! Break down, melt the structures that my sin has created, Papa! I release my heart to embrace all that you have made me to be, to accept and rejoice in your purposes for me, that you have made me to be exactly what you intended.” I weep softly on His knee.

With great warmth He lifts my head and gestures to the curio cabinet between the windows. “This is a place for you to keep what I will give to you where it will be before you and not lost or forgotten.” The cabinet is empty.

He takes my hands in His and presses something cold and hard into my hands. I look at it and see a faceted crystal heart, about the size of a golf ball. “This is a marker for you to remember when you first understood that I love you exactly the way I have made you, I do not want you to be anything else.”

Biting my lip, I am at a loss for words, the crystal piece held tightly in my hands. I walk haltingly to the cabinet and set the crystal heart on the center of the uppermost of the glass shelves. Carefully I close the door to the cabinet and turn back to Him. As I do, for a moment I fear that this means He is going to leave now.

“No, little one, “He smiles. “Don’t you see, the first place in the castle you made ready is the place for being with Me. I am pleased. I want to be with you here. I am not leaving. Come sit by the fire with me again.”

With great relief, I step back to my spot on the rug at His feet. As I sit back down, I am touch by a new fear. It comes pouring out of me before I can stop it. “Is there to be correction, rebuke here?” I find I draw back from Him slightly.

He pauses for a moment before responding. “No, child, that is for outside in the garden, by the tree. This is a place of intimacy; I can speak directly to your heart here. I will not hurt you here; I will not betray your trust in this place. When you invite Me in here it is an act of trust and I will not betray that.” There is firmness in His tone that assures me He means what He says.

Something in what He has said resonates with me, I cannot get past it. Betray, He will not betray that trust. I wrestle with it for a moment, then I see. Once, long ago as a child I allowed daddy into this place of trust, but he used it for rebuke. He did not hear my heart, could not understand my heart, he brought painful rebuke into this place. I try to push back the pain from that as it wells up fresh in my chest. I suddenly realize, I shut the door then, and no one has been here since.

I begin to understand now. This is why I have never really felt loved by Him. I shut the door because of the hurt. I have kept Him out, refused to let Him in, failed to accept what He has offered to me.

“Papa forgive me for shutting you out! I have kept these doors shut for so long, have forced You away when You have tried to come in! I repent for keeping You out and for all the excuses I have made for why You did not come in! Forgive me! Please, heal this in me, change these things in me!” I pour out my heart to him, weeping as I see His truth.

He draws me into His lap, comforting and restoring me. “My daughter, do not be afraid to engage you faith, to believe what I have said, all that I have told you. I will heal and restore you and help you to grow in all these things.” He whispers in my ear. He holds me to His heart and rocks me gently for what seems a long time. “Will you let Me correct you? There are insecurities I want you to be freed from.”

My heart sinks a bit at His words and I am torn. He is not demanding this of me now, but I am reminded of when He asked me to expose my wounds to Him. He allowed me to walk with them for a time, but then required that I obey. I do not want to go down that path again. I think I would rather follow Him in this now, before it becomes more difficult to do so. Swallowing hard against the fear, I whisper, “Yes.”

“We must go outside for this.” He explains, helping me to my feet.

I hate to leave this place, this closeness with Him. Yet, as He takes my arm in His, I do not feel a separation from Him. He is still close by my side; there are no barriers between us. In a silence that is curiously unstrained, we walk back outside, through the courtyard and cross the bridge. Following the edge of the moat, we find our way back to the grove of magnolia tree and the water fall.

part 3-->

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