Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chapter 32 : Returning to the abyss, pt. 3

I see a fait light at the bottom of the stairs through the hold in the wall. I can also hear the voice of the abyss growing louder. I shake my head, intentionally ringing the chimes in my ears to drown out, or at least subdue for a moment the awful voice. Yet I can hear it faintly and if I attend to it, I feel its grip sending stabs of pain deep throughout my gut.

This is different than before, much stronger, more forceful. It is different in nature too, more direct, harder to recognize for what it is, harder to ignore. “Why is it different here?” I must ask.

“The abyss is losing its grip on you. It is fighting to keep hold, to keep power over you. You are threatening to escape it fully. The abyss does not give up its captives lightly.” He explains. “I am here with you. I am your refuge and your strength. You do not need to be afraid.” He reminds, “Let that become truth to you.”

I breathe in deeply, smelling His fragrance, choosing now. “I will believe Your word. I will believe you meant what You said. I will believe.” The voices of the abyss seem to quieter now.

I glance back at the wall. It is torn open and I could scramble through the hole. I am unsure what to do though. “Papa?”

“What do you want here?’ He replies. “You may crawl through the wall, but then the wall will remain within.”

Of course! I could have seen that for myself! I am ready to be done with this obstacle, to press through it. It looks as though I could press and have it give way. But the tunnel is narrow and the block would cause me to stumble. No, I have to get rid of them, there is no other choice. “Papa, please show me, what are these, how do I get rid of them? How do I give them to you?” I turn to look at Him as He nods at me and I know now that I have chosen well.

I look back at the wall, focusing on the stone at the bottom left. It seems to be holding much together. “What is that stone, Papa?” I whisper quietly, biting my lower lip in anticipation. I think I know what it is already. The stone suddenly has a face I recognize. Then there is another and another. Soon the entire bottom row of stones is covered with faces of individuals whose words flung me into the abyss years ago.

Above them I see more faces, still more who are associated with my plunge into this darkness. In the center I see the face of my mother.

“Why is she here?” I ask without realizing I have spoken. Then I see her turning her back on me because I have done something that displeased her. And for that moment I no longer existed to her. I was not wanted! That is what ties all these faces together! Each one of them has said to me, you are not wanted!”

“Papa, What do I do with this? How do I tear this down? I cry out raggedly.

“Forgive them.” His answer is simple, yet profound I had buried all of this underground, deep, so deeply that I no longer could see it not know that it was there. Yet these faces still called out their dreadful message to me.

Swallowing hard, I reply, “Yes, Papa, I will.” Slowly, one by one, I forgive and release each one.

“ I forgive her for the words she spoke, for what she did. I give her to you—she is no longer my problem. I forgive her.” I speak the to first face on the wall. I hear a sharp crack and see the corner stone begin to split. “Papa, I forgive them. I release them to you. I hold nothing against them any longer. I forgive them. I forgive these others and I release them to you. They are now yours. “

A long horizontal crack opens along the bottom row of stones now. “I forgive the teachers, the administrators, the others. I release them into your hands. I do not have to fight their words any more. They are yours!” The crack starts extending upwards now.

The most difficult one is still at hand. Taking a deep breath, “Papa, I forgive my mother, now. I release her to you. I forgive her for turning away, for ignoring me, for not meeting my heart’s cry. I forgive her! Papa, please bring restoration to her! Please. She has lived with the consequences for long enough, set her free Papa! Set her free!.”

The stairway resounds with a loud crack that echoes painfully through my head. The stabbing, throbbing pain shoots through my temples and echoes within me. A loud rumble distracts me from it as I see the wall crumble into a heap at my feet.

“Papa, I repent for my unforgiveness, for failing to forgive these, for building this wall within me. Tear it down! Take it, crush it! Leave none of it within me. I know I cannot be what you have desired if it remains. Destroy it completely!” I struggle to life a heavy stone to give to Him hoping He will destroy it. It is too much for me, though and I cannot lift it.

Suddenly, He is at my side, now taking the stone from me, lifting, then crushing it by His mighty power. It is so effortless to Him! His strength amazes me. One by one, He crushes the stones until only powder remains.

“Spread this on the path and pack it down well underfoot lest any dust remains airborn.” He instructs.

Painstakingly, I spread the crushed stone along the staired path towards the door. I do not go down further than we have already come. Meticulously, I tread along the entire area, trying to firmly pack the crushed stone into place.

“Is this enough? “ I finally ask.

He looks over my work, pausing to firm up a spot under His own foot. He nods. “Yes, it is done.”

In the silence of the moment I realize a voice has been silenced. I no longer hear “not wanted” in the distance. I am sure though this is not enough, we are not yet complete in our task.

He nods. “You are correct, that was just the first obstacle. But it was not a small one. This wall has influenced every relationship you have in some way or another. It kept you from sharing, especially sharing your needs and kept you from receiving, from allowing others to give to you.

“The wall has been in place a long time. Now that it is gone, you will need to adjust. It will feel threatening to you at first, admitting your needs, letting others touch them. Do not let the fear that you have learned cheat you from this. Push through the fear and take hold of My hand. Draw strength from me and take refuge in Me, not in your own self protection.

“See that what I have given you is good.” His voice is encouraging. I feel anxious though. Do I really want this? A part of me does not. “You flesh.” He offers.

It feels unsafe, exposed. I liked life behind the wall where it was protected, concealed. I feel exposed vulnerable now. I can meet my own needs much more efficiently on my own…

“No—“ He interjects, stopping my run away rationalizations. “You cannot. That is a lie you have learned to believe. You are not designed to be alone. To be complete, you must be tied together with others, fed by and feeding others.

“Do not continue in that deception. You can get by on your own, but you are emaciated, starving for more. Look at what I have just now healed in you—How strong the desire to be filled now that it has seen the light of my restoration! How hungry you are!

“That is the state of your heart. Hungry but you do not even know it. You cannot hear the hunger pangs, yet you are starving. Let me restore that to you-allow you to connect with and receiving from others.”

The silence hangs heavy as He lets me decide. How much easier this would be if I did not have to decided at each step. But I must. I cannot turn away from what He wants.

“Yes, Papa, please, begin the process. I know it will not be instant, please begin to heal and restore this walled up place that I might be able to connect again.” I wish I felt this more as I pray, but it is all that I have at the moment.

He reaches out and takes my shoulders in His hands, presses His forehead to mine. “Reach out to Me, daughter, bridge the gap between us.”

I reach out and grasp His arms, just at the elbow, I can reach no further. His arms are so big, so strong that I cannot even begin to grasp them fully in my hands, but I try none the less.

I can feel His breath warm, even hot upon my face. I breathe it in, at first it is difficult, even suffocating. But then it becomes easier, cooler, freer. I am able to breathe in deeply what He has breathed upon me.

“Breath in my life, My spirit, child. Let it fill and rebuilt you from within.”

A cool breeze blows in through the door, down the long stairs, refreshing and renewing the stale air, echoing what He has said.

I want to reply, but have no words. I just breath and obey what He has spoken. ‘I will supply all your needs according to much riches and glory. I will supply….’

I remember how Elisha brought life to the dead child, laying upon him and breathing upon him. I wonder if perhaps part of my heart—once deal is now coming to life again.

“It is—if you will allow it, even nurture it.” He replies softly.

“How do I nurture this?”

“By taking risks, run barefoot in the grass, hold My hand and run, talk to those you meet along the way and share from the depths of your heart. Hold My hand, I will give you strength.”

I clutch His arms, overwhelmed by the notion. “Show me where and when, Papa. I will, I will do it.” These are words of faith.

“I know you will…” Suddenly I realize, He has faith in, belief in me!. He sees my heart and He believes in me! I realize how little I know my own heart when He believes in me more that I do.

“Thank you Papa, thank you.” Tears slide down my face to the crushed stone below.

Finally, He takes my face in His huge, strong hands. He kisses my forehead, lingering slightly. “I love you.” He reminds me.

“I think I am finally beginning to know that, Papa—finally, maybe….”

He smiles on me. And I wonder at what a strange place, the path to the abyss, it is to finally have that realization. And ironically, in spite of all this I find I begin to run from Him, from all of this. My heart, my flesh I suppose takes off, trying to lose itself in a place He cannot find me. It does not last long this time, only a few hours, not days. My flesh has not been subdued, as my routine has been broken and the flesh gained strength while I did not attend to it. I call out to Him, and He is there.

“Forgive me Papa, I repent,” hanging my head in shame, awaiting the heaviness of His correction.

“No,” He finally says. “You already know, your heart is repentant, there is no need. You know.”

“I repent Papa, I bring my flesh under submission to you. I bring it under your rule.” I return to the routine I had left and find my flesh is once again able to submit.

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