“I want to speak something to you now that you have not heard before.” I strive to listen, to hear His heartbeat, and I feel His arms tighten powerfully around me. “Not long ago you were waiting to hear that you were not faithful either. That was the one thing that was not shaken from you. The parable of the talents has always touched you. You have wondered which servant you were. You have been the servant with five talents. You have taken what you have had and used it and made it grow through your service, in school, in your work. Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into your Father’s joy.”
I long to receive these words, but some how they do not penetrate, they fall away from me, even as the memory, the emotion of correction and rebuke flood in. “Papa,” I stammer, not sure of what to say or do.
“Shh-- I know. All you can see is rebuke and correction. Let Me walk with you there for a moment.”
Confused I follow Him through the thoughts of my heart. We watch again the time of rebuke, the times of correction. I am filled with the old sense of pain and disconnection.
He whispers to me, “You have stopping this memory too soon. Walk a little further through the memory.”
As I obey, I see each of these times has also brought obedience, forgiveness and most of all closeness with Him.
“This is where you must come to as the flesh draws you here.”
My heart suddenly understands what He means. Yet it feels like my heart is still untouched. There is yet a wall. “What is this, Papa? I want so much to receive what You are giving, but I cannot get through this. What is standing in the way?” I cry out in frustration.
With out criticism or condemnation, He shows me. I see a small cabinet, like a medicine cabinet in a dark wall. I open it and draw out a brown bottle clearly labeled as poison. Each time there is praise or comfort to me I poison it with this!
“What is this poison?” I murmur in horror
Quietly He replies, ”A structure you heart has built out of the judgments and vows surrounding your mother and her ways.”
“Oh, Papa!” I see the truth of His words. “What do I do with it ?. How do I get rid of this? Do we need to go back out side? I will gladly go-I must get rid of this!”
He pauses before answering. “What does your heart need?”
It takes me a long time to answer. “I think it is my flesh that cries out for harshness, but that will only feed the problem I can’t help but feel this sounds like a copout, though, that I am trying to take the easy way out. But still I am more able to believe in the harshness than Your tenderness towards me. So perhaps that is not the way.“ I do not know what else to say, I hope I have answered rightly, not angered Him.
He tucks my head under His chin and draws me close. He is not angry!
“I want you to receive my tenderness. To receive at an unquestionable place my approval and love for you this is a structure of the flesh, so it must be dealt with in the flesh. Bring your flesh under submission to the Spirit and it will fall.” He whispers south in my ear in a tone so far from rebuke there is no mistaking it.
There is quietness as I begin to bring my flesh under submission.
Finally, in His still soft voice He begins to speak to me. “This comes from a very deep, dark, old place in your heart, even from your infancy.”
I see my mother, late at night walking the floor with a crying, colicky, premature infant that I know is me. She is alternately angry and tender, comforting, then cursing in Spanish. I cannot hear what she is saying.
“Uncover yourself, child,” He tells me. “You must bare yourself to hear.”
As I obey, I remember what a struggle it has been to do this. He takes me back into His lap, holding me tightly, reminding me that I am not facing this alone. Even so, I am suddenly afraid, as if my heart knows what it will hear and is fearful of it. “ Hold me Papa! “I cry, terror rising.
Without hesitation, He tightens His hold around me. “Nothing can hurt you here I am covering and protecting you.” He reminds me of the snake and crocodile I faced in His arms of His strength on my behalf. He reminds me that the victories were found in His arms. “Stay here in my arms and you will conquer this too in my strength.”
I press my head tightly to His chest, hearing His heartbeat. I see my mother again. My guts hurt as I hear the baby cry. I am feeling my own pain I realize. I am difficult to comfort. She is tired and frustrated, even angry. One moment she is tender and patient, the next she is angry and filled with rebuke.
“Que cosa tan fea!” I hear her say, her voice harsh and tired. The words resound and echo within me. “Oh, Papa! This is the poison.”