Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Chapter 7:The Study, pt. 1
We sit together quietly this way for a long time. Finally, from His arms I look out over the disheveled hall. ‘Where do I begin?” I wonder. A large part of me is ready just to do, to do something, to do anything, to just begin somewhere and start getting stuff done. Another part of me desperately wants to do something for Him, perhaps find the kitchen and prepare a meal. I have invited Him in, shouldn’t I do that? A small, quiet voice inside me though urges me to give even this over to Him. So I look up at Him, wondering what He would want to do.
“Let’s begin in the study.” He suggests, helping me to my feet.
“I don’t know where that is, I don’t know the way.” I stammer, suddenly embarrassed that I do not know my way around this place.
Taking my arm to guide me, He assures me, “I’ll show you.”
I marvel that He knows this place so well, while I do not. He laughs, “I am the architect.” I hear the gentle smile in His voice.
He leads me through the foyer and to the right to a room which seems to be quite a way down the hall. The room, on the right hand side of the hall way, is of moderate size with high ceilings. On the left hand wall there are wall to wall bookcases. The opposite wall holds a large fire place. The facing wall has two large windows extending from floor to ceiling. The room is dark and dusty, unused for a long time. I feel like part of me knows this place, even though it seems unfamiliar now.
“I suppose we should start at the windows and let some light in?” I ask, taking a tentative step toward the windows.
He smiles and nods.
Deep burgundy-red velvet curtain panels with heavy bullion fringe flank the windows while a matching swag drapes the top. The curtains are drawn closed, shielding the room from light. With some effort, I pull the curtains open, expecting light to come in. But it does not; the windows are filthy as well. I hate cleaning windows, but I go about the task without complaint.
As the windows become clean, light pours into the room enabling me to really see the room for the first time. I am amazed. The walls are paneled in a stunning wood, the color of a light mahogany but with the pattern of a bird’s eye maple. The wood floor matches the walls, mahogany inlaid with an elegant but simple pattern. The ceiling is brilliant white plaster with beams that match the paneling. Already the room feels warm and inviting to me.
Now that I can see much more clearly, I take a little time to look around the room and see its details. Between the windows there is a large curio cabinet with rounded glass doors in the front. Below the right hand window there is a large wooden trunk with a flat top. I wonder what it contains. To the left, I can see the shelves are filled with rows and rows of books. A library ladder leans against the shelves at the far corner of the room. Looking toward the fireplace I see two red leather wing back chairs in front of the huge fireplace. Doors flank the fireplace on either side.
The room is dusty from disuse, but not damaged in any way. I find such joy in cleaning a place that is so inviting and beautiful.
“Will many people come here?” I ask, wondering the purpose of this place.
“No,” He replies. “This place is just for you and I, a place where you may sit at My feet and learn from Me. The books are all that I will teach you.”
My hear soars to hear this. I have dreamt of sitting at His feet and listening to Him as Mary sat at the feet of Christ.
I go to clean the fireplace; it looks at though it has never really been lit. The hearth, which is tiled, flat on the floor is inlaid with gold filigree as is the tile around the front of the fire place. The fire place tools, wood basket and the filigree screen that sits in front of the fire place are all gold too. A carved wood mantle, simple and elegant, holds two gold candle sticks with burgundy taper candles. Above the mantle hangs a large mirror.
Finished with the fireplace, I begin to sweep the floor. As I do, I notice the floor seems covered with shards of broken glass. “What is this?” I ask surprised because I do not see evidence of what has been shattered here.
“Broken dreams that you have let die here.” He poignantly replies.
I feel suddenly heartbroken hearing this, despair pouring over me. I know it is true. I have given up on even having dreams any more, contenting myself with the day to day. I have even questioned whether or not I should have dreams at all. He seems saddened at all that lays in ruins here. His sadness pushes me past where my own broken heart can go alone. “Oh Papa! I repent for all those vows—of not being good enough, those abortive judgments and vows wrought even at my birth, that have left these dreams lying in shards!”
I turn away from Him, to sob into my hands, but He is there as I do. He takes me into His arms and holds me to His breast. “It is all right. We will rebuild them.” I am assured by His words, that perhaps all is not lost now. I take comfort in that possibility.