I had known Him for a long time, served Him for a long time. But recently, something seemed empty and missing. Finally I realized that I did not really, truly understand or even feel His love. It was something that I knew about in my head, but it wasn't reality for me in the way that it needed to be.
I began to cry out to Him, in desperation. I asked Him to show me his love, help me understand and more importantly know it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I know He heard me when I prayed, but I did not ever expect that magnitude of His answer.
One day, I began to pray and just talk with Him, share my heart with Him. That's where it began. I don't really know exactly what a vision is, so I can't call it that. The best description is a very strong mental image, a picture, but more than that. I heard His voice, not an audible one, but one that was unmistakable within my spirit, speak to me.
"Come spend time with Me. Join me in my retreat." He said.
It was not the kind of invitation I could walk away from. "I want to spend time with You." I said. I saw, if you can call it that, a picture of a house, more of a summer vacation house, nestled into a beautiful wooded area. An idyllic scene, really. I approached the door and knocked. I felt a pang of fear, wondering if that was what I was to do. A moment later, though, He opened the door and welcomed me into His presence.
The house was not large, but it was comfortable, peaceful. The sun shone brightly through the windows, light seemed to permeate every area. He showed me to a room in which I was to stay and invited me to sup with Him.
The meal was served shortly. I do not recall ever really noticing what there was served, His presence filled the room and that was all I could focus on. He spoke to me and I spoke with Him, I still do not recall what we were talking about, things, relationships, people that had been weighing upon my heart I suppose. I began to share my heart with Him. At one point though, He winced.
Immediately, I realized that I had said something that hurt Him, displeased Him perhaps. He said nothing, but I knew what had happened. "I'm sorry!" I cried out. "I said something wrong and I've hurt you!" I did not know what else to say.
The thing that surprised me the most in that moment, and would continue to surprise me for a very long time, was the fact that He was not angry. I could feel His sadness, that was unmistakable, but there was no anger. He was quiet for a long moment. I held my breath, not knowing what would come next. I am glad that I did not know though, for what was to follow was truly beyond all that I could understand then.
Finally He says, "Come, walk with Me."