Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Chapter 7: The Study, pt. 3
The tree is beautiful in the moonlight. The entire garden is inviting even in the soft darkness of the night. Somehow it surprises me to find it so after battling the monsters that used to dwell here. He guides me to the lowest branch of the tree. Reluctant, only because I dread to see my own sin, I rest there, waiting to see what He desires to show me. He begins.
I see once again my idolatry. I see that I have placed my idol, my warped image of myself ahead of His truth. In seeing myself as lowest, the exception to His rules, I have called Him a liar! I have called Him a liar! I have treated His promises, everything, as meaningless, worthless. When I have turned my back on what He has promised and refused to believe that He meant what He said, I dishonored Him and defiled myself!
The wretchedness of this revelation hits my like a bucket of cold water, chilling me to the core. I am sickened by what I see, but I cannot deny any of it. I have! I have called Him a liar, to others and even to His face. I have denied His truthfulness, I have denied His holiness! My gut wrenches at the awfulness of what I am seeing!
“Papa, forgive me!” I cry out, clinging to the branch for strength. “I repent, Papa, I have called you a liar! I repent! Forgive me. Forgive me!” There are no other words I can speak, nothing left to say.
I feel His gentle hand on my shoulder. He is not angry. Still I am surprised that He is not. Rather than meeting me with harshness, recrimination, or criticism, He simply tells me, “Go wash now. There are stains beneath your robe. Go wash in the pool.” Nothing more, no demands, no conditions, only –go wash.
Carefully, I make my way to the waterfall to free myself from the stains of my own sin. “Set my heart free to trust, Papa! Break down these structures, built of my own pride. Teach my how to trust in all that You have promised.”
He nods, gesturing down to the waters around me. In the moonlight, I see the stains washing away, out of the pool, out of the garden, carried away in the current. They are gone from me.
“Come,” He holds out His hand to me. “Let us go back to the study.”
“We can go back? After this?” I am surprised at His offer.
“Yes, as long as you invite me in, then I will return with you.” He helps me from the water and entwines my arm in His.
“Please, Papa, please come in.” I am so relieved at His words, I can find no other words of my own. We begin the walk back into the castle. Finally, I must ask, “You’re not angry?” I just need to hear it from Him; I long to be certain of what I think and hope is true.
“No, I am not angry. You are my daughter. This is part of being a creature of flesh, not because you are so unworthy. This is just the nature of dying to self and living to the Spirit. I am not angry over this at all.” Lovingly, He reaches and presses my head against His shoulder, reassuring me that it is all right.
Still, I feel it difficult to reconnect.
“After I correct you, child, you must come to Me. I will not turn you away, but as an act of faith, you must come to Me. Correction does not separate you from Me, it brings you closer. Your habit though, is to turn from Me, to run away. I will wait for you, but you must come and seek Me. If I allow you to wait for Me to come to you, you will reject and turn away from Me, feeding those things you are putting to death. Let me help you. I want to show you those things that are standing in the way of connection to Me.”
“I want to see them and change them. Please show me.”
“I will.” He presses my head to His shoulder once again and we continue to walk back to the study.