Monday, March 20, 2006
Chapter 16: The master suite, pt 2
“No.” He says slowly. “I do not want you there. I want you much closer to me.”
I am slow to understand and just stand there looking at Him dumbly. He beckons me to the doorway beside His chambers and opens the door saying, “Here’s where you should be.”
We enter into a smaller suite, laid out in mirror image to His. The sitting room, smaller, but simple and elegant, focuses on a fireplace already crackling warmly with fire. I realize the two chambers share the fireplace, making them almost the same room. A gentle welcoming warmth fills the room, inviting me in.
I feel His hand lay gently upon my shoulder as He explains. “I want to close to me, child. I want you to know that I am here, that if you call out to Me in the night I will hear you and be here with you.” I am so relieved that He should want me to so close to Him.
I do not want to question His instructions, so I carefully walk into the room. Setting my boxes down on the table in the middle of the sitting room, I look around the rooms for a moment trying to grasp all that has taken place in just a short time. Then I realize that I do not see Him.
“Child,” I hear his voice a small distance away. “Come to my chamber.” I did not realize He had left! Hastily I obey.
“Yes, Papa.” I call out rushing through His door, a little breathless from my dash to get to His rooms. Immediately I notice a beautifully wrapped box sitting on a table in the sitting room.
“It is for you.” He explains, nodding toward the gift.
“Why?” I find myself asking before it can stop myself. An anxiety I do not understand tinges my voice.
“Just because I want to bless you.” He replies, smiling gently at me. He ushers me in and I sit down in the chair beside the table. I cannot bring myself to reach toward the box, much less open it. I simply cannot receive it.
“It is yours whether you choose to open it or not” He kindly assures me, encouraging but not pushing me.
Still, I am paralyzed, afraid to even touch it. “Why could I received the oil from You, but not this?” I ask aloud, frustrated and bewildered in myself.
“What do you expect?” He asks.
The word ‘expect’ floods me with realization. Gifts have long been a difficult thing for me. It is a language of love I understand and I love to give gifts. But it is so hard for me to receive. I avoid opening gifts, especially publicly and dread the disappointment that comes.
“What disappointment?” He gently probes as if wanting me to see something more.
“The disappointment of knowing I’m not known, of knowing that no one is listening or pay attention to me, the disappointment of not feeling loved.” I reply, shocked in my own honesty. I see myself caught in a catch twenty-two. Gifts speak to my heart, but I cannot receive them with joy, or even at all because of the expectation of pain.
I see myself as a girl, around the age where the abyss began to call to me. During the Christmastime when my parents and bought me a very nice doll but I hated it. I was bitterly disappointed, not because there was something else I wanted, but because I felt so I ignored. No one knew me well enough to know that I truly would not have wanted that. I cried then, but claimed it was with happiness because I could not disappoint them with the truth.
Other memories of gifts given in ways to emphasize convenience and obligation flood in. I cannot hold back the tears no longer, as I bury my face and my hands and sob.
Tenderly he puts His hand on my shoulder, waiting patiently until the sobs have subsided. “You can take it with you, you do not have to open it now.”
“No,” I cry again. I am sure He knew I would say that. “It is time for change, I want to be able to receive.” I try to pick up the box, but still cannot. “What do I need to do to be able to change this?”
“Give me your expectations.” He explains.
Suddenly, in my hands I see a black rose, dried and crushed from being carried. I give it to Him. He hands me the box.
Carefully, I unwrap it and open the lid, but I cannot see inside. My bewilderment shows clearly on my face as I look up at Him.
“Throw this into the fire.” He hands me the rose. Tears spring to my eyes as I set down the box and walk the few steps toward the fireplace. Repenting of my expectations, I throw the rose into the fire. The flames flare up, reminding me of the cloak that He burned earlier. I sob into my hands again, feeling overwhelmed by the sense that I no longer know who I am. I feel like so much of what I have always known, of who I have always been is changing so quickly and I do not know how to keep up. He is there right beside me, now, His arm around my shoulders as I cry.