We stand there for a long time.
Finally, He says, " let Me help you unpack your boxes."
My mind flashes back to the three boxes we brought into my new rooms. Part of me, I think, had hoped not to have to deal with them. Deep within, I think I know what His offer means and I am reluctant. At the same time though, another part of me does not want to refuse my Papa anything.
"All right, "I hear myself whisper and I have wrestled with my conflicting thoughts for what seems to be a long time. We turn to leave the balcony, walking through the sitting room toward the door. On the way, we pass a large mirror hanging over the fireplace. I am surprised to hear my own gasp as I see my reflection.
I hardly recognize myself! Garbed from head to toe in His garments of white, wearing jewels inscribed with His grace, I am not what I remember myself to be. "Who is this? What…?" I cannot help but ask.
"A bride." He answers.
I am unable to suppress a small laugh. "Most brides carry flowers not swords." I remark, not in sarcasm, but in genuine wonder at what I see.
"The bride I have bought for My Son carries a sword." He replies.
We pause there a moment more, then continue on. His words stay with me though, to think on later.
Quickly we cover the short distance to my new chambers. As we walk, the words well up in me, not to be held back, "Thank you, Papa, thank you for asking me to stay here, close to You."
"Where else would you stay?" He replies, making me think about what I have just said.
"I had always though, assumed I guess, that I--that you would have wanted me in the guest rooms..." I falter and begin to stammer.
He stops walking and turns to face me now. "And make you a guest in your own home? In your own heart?" I cannot answer Him. Shaking His head, He goes on, "That would reduce you to a position of resentful obedience, obedience without relationship, without love. That is not what I desire for My child."
The firmness and incredulity in His voice just adds to my shame. In my ignorance, that is the very thing I have feared, one of the very reasons I never before considered giving Him the keys to this place. I struggle to find words, unable to look up at Him.
Placing His hands on my shoulders, He continues, "Daughter, I want you close to Me. I have no desire to see you at the other end of the hall. I want you beside Me, to hear My voice and to hear your heart."
Tears trickle down my cheeks as I whisper, "I am sorry Papa, that I still know you so little."
Tenderly, he kisses the top of my head. "You are forgiven." It is more a reminder than a statement of something new. "Come now, to the task at hand."