I Am Staying With You

Agitation has pummeled the air… it swings blows as swift and sharp winds, with the intent to wipe out the source of its provoked nerve. Fear of not finding it advances its chaotic force. Understanding has saved me from its lacerating passes. Violent gusts have scattered the horizon I used to see; yet my feet remain steadfast on a sure foundation. I have been taught to kneel and wait here, to not fear. The more I wait, the more it blasts my face with shrilling howls. I know it’s afraid, and has every right to be… because I know the One coming, and how every step of His stride comes with the peace to trample over every evil ambush.

My heart calls for You, and here You are, coming to me. You never fail. The assault on my vision and hearing does not obstruct the confidence of Your salvation. By now, I know Your form with out seeing. I know Your manner without hearing.

Once You have reached me, I observe Your motioning. In Your hand You hold Your cup. You move Your hand over its top and gently trace along the edge with Your finger. Between the shafts of friction, I begin to discern a narrow ring perforating through. Each swipe across the brim of Your cup coveys a more absolute ring than the one before, now becoming the reigning sound to me. What I now hear becomes what I see. Your unbroken ringing disturbs the chaos and ricochets its rage. You always save. At last, You tip Your cup and place it over me. All sounds are snuffed out and I fall asleep….

This day is different from all others. I wouldn’t have to have lived forever to know this. The day itself reveals to me it has never been so downcast. It holds the earth of this one moment as a mother cradling her dying child. I looked to the ground to see the ground arrayed with a trail of blood that ended behind a crowd of people. I now knew where I was, and took on the same sickening anguish that plagued the day.

His blood mixed with the dirt alone unleashed rivers from my eyes. I had to see Him, to go after Him, to love Him. The agony of seeing Him kept me to the ground, but I had to keep crawling. No one can comfort His loneliness; I just needed to see Him. The people were expressing hatred through stones or love through wails… Finally I saw through to where He laid limp and worn. Shaking went through my body and my heart sweltered within me.

His head fell to the side and He found me watching Him, and with the weakest nod He strengthened me, and He allowed me to come to His broken body.

I took His head in my hands and held Him across my lap, weeping my love over Him. These eyes I see are the ones saving me. The skin of His body lay as ribbons over His bones. Beyond every blink of His swollen eyes I see the love and obedience to finish. When He looks at me, I am fully convinced nothing can tear me from Him. The more He gazes, the more I am His. I barely notice the puncture of His thorns as I hold Him close to me. These wounds are Yours just as they are mine. As I wrapped around Him, he began to take all my past pains and take them on as His own, almost as if they magnetically left me to attach to Him. Just as Your blood seeped into this dirt, so has Your blood stained me, who came from dust. There is no leaving You now.

I wish I could follow You to the end. I wish I could be with You through all of it… but I know this is Yours. The only way He knew I would let Him go now was with the glimmer of a smile, assuring me this was the very reason He laid down His life. I didn’t think it was possible, but just with a joyful twinkle from His eyes, hope resurrected my heart.

Not too long after, He was taken from my grasp and carried away. Merciless sobs controlled me, and all I could do was hope for tomorrow, and the next, until I would see Him again…

And I know the Day is coming… and how we have no idea… we have no idea what comes from the strength of Your countenance. With one look, the wicked will know a dread that will frantically claw at their bodies to escape Your face. And with one look, the ones who love You, obey You, and fear You will overwhelmingly rejoice in You.

I feel Your hands burning my heart and making it new. I just want to stand blameless before You when You come for us… sometimes that’s all I can hope for, and it’s more than enough to me.

I Acknowledge You

I cannot be severed from You. The day that You found me, You carved Your name in me. You are not near me, You dwell within me. You have rushed through every vein, and You support every breath. My thoughts pass by Your eyes, and Your hands are the walls of my heart. When I look, where can I not find You? Every part of me knows You. My need still reaches out for You, every second. My heart would fail me at the sound of a tear… it would all together kill me to split from You.

Everyday I find myself enraptured by Your love. What is desired in a man is kindness, and You have been the one to show me that kindness. Every time You extend Your hand to me, I can fully yield to You. There has never been a moment where I feel like I need to pull back. All of me can be poured into You without hesitation or uncertainty. I don't have to worry about You forsaking me… I know that You never will.

My heart remembers the day when You met me. You know where You brought me from. You were the only one to break through the crowd of those who hated me. They had arrows for eyes, and their mouths devised violence. They tied cords around my neck, and pressed my face to the dirt. They said I could not have You, that You would never come, that You didn't want me. But there was always a flutter of hope that they were wrong. I steadily looked to the ground to keep from being pierced by those who taunted me. They kicked at my sides to see if I would bite back. They laughed and beat me as a piƱata to see what would burst out. I was examined like a lab rat to see how I would react. I had been a thorn in their sides because I did not fulfill their expectations. It was joyful to them to see me lie there, defeated by their every scheme. I was a joke to them, nothing but a useless toy.

Jesus, had You not pursued me, I would never have known Your love for me. My heart deeply loves You, because You were gracious to me. You did not even expect me to meet You half way. I was weak and pathetic. You saw what I saw, shuffling feet of those who scorned me. The flutter of hope that I had, gave a desperate nudge when I saw Your feet before me. Your feet were strong and immovable. You were positioned in grace, and mounted in mercy. Life awakened my eyes. You lowered Yourself to me. You found me. All of those who stood around me became ashamed when they found out that You loved me, when You held my face and told me I was worthy. They fled and were afraid. I was covered with dry blood and cracked mud, but You looked at me like I was one of Your very own. All this time, and You did want me. All of the lies were shut up with just one look in Your eyes.

My Lord, thank You for claiming me… and not leaving me to the mercy of my enemies. I am thankful for every mark of suffering along the way. My afflictions have been my teachers. Every bitter thing is sweet. Pain brings me to You. My happiness glories in You. I have crawled on bare hands and knees through briers just to reach You, so my sores are for You, and gladly. These scars remind me of two things: how You save, and who I do not want to become. You saved me from rejection; I never want to reject. You saved me from malice; I never want to hate. You saved me from lies and doubt, so I love, love, love, truth… and require it of myself to keep integrity. I love what is on the other side of nightmares. I know You have stripped me of strongholds and walls that could reach the sun, that it has left me tender and vulnerable. But You also have cupped Your hands over me, and You never let me out of Your sight.

Jesus, I have made up my mind. If I go alone… then I go alone. It's not the worst thing. The worst thing is to fear. I am tired of being afraid. Your fingerprints are all over me. When the evil find me, they can identify my Defender. All I see is You now… and those who fear You and love You surround You. You have brought me from out of the scorching sun into Your pleasant shade. I know You are holding something in Your hands… that You will soon open them to me. In the meantime, I continue to say that I love You … and that I never want to be apart from You, not even a moment.

You Are The Sound Of Home

~The stillness liberates a sound of peace. My heart is as steady as the current of its voice. A joyful light rolls over the face of this thirsty land, pouring knowledge throughout its expanse. As I stand and wait I watch over the hills. Every slope rises and falls into a mysteriously beautiful atmosphere. Between each curve there is a wind carrying through with a gentle message, working with the heavens to articulate its passion. Its soaring fervor forces a gust straight through my spirit, dropping me to my knees.

Beneath my hands I can feel an enticing hum. The soft sand dances and skips along this curious tone. I press my ear to the ground; my heart expresses deep longing to find its beginning. The breeze maintains the same intriguing hum and guides me along my back, compassing me to the origin of this homely sound.

I feel the closeness of uniting as my heart races and joins in the hum that surrounds the life of this land. This path is narrow but precise, palpitating stronger with each desperate step. Above this hill the path hugs, I can see that my heart will no longer have to seek to find. The journey my feet have known falls behind the hill that holds back what is glorious. The heavens occupy the reflection of what is beyond. I so desire to run into the arms of the skies… but I am mesmerized by the glory veiled. Everything I ever dreamed is inhabited beneath the hill before me. The caring light of the heaven opens its arms and reaches for me, to welcome me, and to hold me. My steps no longer need the guidance of the path behind me. What is before me has now found me.

The brilliance of what shines blinds my understanding of the things shyly seen. I hear the constant hum, mingled with joyful songs, and intimate praises. I realize some One is behind me. His left hand supports the back of my neck while His right hand is cupped over my eyes. He pushes me through the presence of thousands upon thousands on my every side. They feel like the love of a family. They feel like the company of friends. My heart is drawn backwards, towards the One who is leading me, wanting so urgently to face the One who loves me.

Your pace slows down and Your grace hesitates my walk. I anxiously wait while You have paused me in Your arms. I am engulfed in such a deep sea of penetrating love. Your hand politely nudges me forward as Your other hand falls from my eyes. The breathing light swarms all over me, clothing my whole body in the lyrics of truth, the composition of this heavenly hum.

Beautiful forms circle me, but the light overlays the faces of these joyful companions. I turn frantically to look into the eyes of the One behind me, but He is not there. My eyes weave within the crowd to find the One I love. I cannot find Him, but His presence wafts in between my feet and through my arms easing my heart into an understanding calm.

Your light lowers to a tender glow, resting easy on the faces of these fellow lovers of You. Now I can see them clearly. They all have incomparable features, but they all look like You. Each one speaks of Your intricate design, all are carved with Your care. It is beautifully obvious You mold each heart intimately to mirror Your desires.

The eyes of my brothers and sisters speak of the stories You have written them. Some look sad, as though their hopes had set sail into a godless horizon, but Your salvation came to them in Your redeeming dawn. And some seemed pierced with a throbbing wound leaving them alone to slowly fade, but You set a steady flow of your streaming blood to unite their hearts into Your body, to live forever. This multitude lives. The tribulations from times past only serve as the spark that ignites the fire raging in these thankful hearts. They all look into me as they welcome me to into them, and I see You in them, and that You are not too far at all.

My celebration with them is pleasing and watching their jubilant testimonies amazes me, but I still long even more to find You. I see the crowd, caught up in their admirable fellowship, but the breeze picks up again to move me along.

I begin to walk amidst the people, searching for Your familiar face. Your breath wraps around my wrists and pulls me away from the crowd and into a open field. I can see You from afar. My heart wishes it could speed through the air to reach You more swiftly. My legs are relieved that I have finally met the place to approach You.

I run into Your craving embrace. Your hands hold my face to Yours and I swim in the deepness of Your eyes. Every tear that falls, You catch. Your strong fingers wipe away each tear with Your electric touch, healing their every trace. Your everlasting arms assure me that I am held by You forever. I rest my head into Your shoulders to sink heavy in Your heart. Your press Your lips into my head as You sway me in Your love. Your eyes close tightly together, and even You let tears escape from Your heart. I cling even tighter to You, Jesus. The breeze of heaven clings to us, and I begin to hear a sound that I have known without knowing. Your heart moves, and You hum Your love to me. Each beat of my heart consumes what comes from Your voice, like an unrelenting fire in a parched forest.

You have entwined Your love in the grooves of my heart, never to be untied. All of heaven is a hug to me, the enduring capture of my Everlasting Father.~

Before You

Father, I feel You. Dark clouds may send lightening to strike me, and thunder may violently shake the ground beneath me, but it doesn't concern me. The breeze of Your passing by holds me still. Your soft word rides upon the coming wind, brushing peace against me at the break of its wave. They roll away, just to return again, and again. You place Your peace on its circuit, reviving and restoring. The ground broke open with its dried roots grasping my legs to drag me down. You collected Your words and spun them as a whirlwind to surround me. Your defense spiraled my body as a weightless feather and sharply divided the splintered vines. They snapped back and recoiled beneath the earth. Peace sailed through and securely placed me in You.

When I am awake, I feel You. When I close my eyes, I am before You.

The walls of this room pulsate with You. You blanket the floors as they brace for Your coming. The dark corners murmur of Your mysteries, pining to manifest in Your light. The air fastens to cling to You when You appear. Any moment. At any moment, You will be here. So I close my eyes and wait. Every rest allures You closer and closer. Once my heart stoops, I know that You, my King, have come.

Your eyes speak to me as a dream. I love Your face. This room hovers together over Your shoulders to cherish every word that forms from Your lips. I too can hardly take the anticipation of what You will say to me. You look into my heart to stretch its borders, making room to occupy Your voice. My heart can no longer contain Your love that cascades over me. Tear races after tear the more You make home with me. You hold my face and wipe the tears that name my smothered heart.

Your sound breaks and ripples all the way through. Everything in me melts like wax and makes way for the flood of Your healing. Nothing withholds from You. Everything reaches to be touched by You.

You tell me that no one can take this from me, that You have brought me here for Your purpose. You tell me that I may sit among lions that thrash against me with their paws and chomp at me with their hungry teeth, but that You sit before me holding my hands and keeping my gaze. You tell me to focus on You, and not give heed to the lions that encircle me with their condemning chant. Your words and Your words alone contain the commands of my life.

I open my eyes to see Yours teaching me how You understand. What You desire in me does not cause You to pound Your fist in my face. You whisper Your desire over and over until my heart sways and my spirit follows. Your patience eases through. Your kindness lessens my grip allowing Your hands to mold Your image. You hold my chest and breathe Your grace into the lungs of my life. I expand with Your mercy, and I release Your love. This is walking with You. This is life with You.

The room is silent, drenched in the heaviness of Your presence. The dark corners stretch for Your holiness. You join them both, creating a deep, blue halo beaming from Your caring demeanor. Your attention dropped to my hands. Curiosity brought me to the awareness of my hands, and I did not realize they held something. I especially did not expect for them to hold something You desired. The thought of having something to lay before You downpoured a gratitude too heavy to possess.

You opened my fingers and gently took what I held. I saw what it was, and as much as I pressed and grinded to make it pleasing, it wasn't admirable at all. Yet, Your eyes squinted above Your pleased smile. Then You became very serious, with an intense passion, as if you were holding the only thing You valued. You turned from me and walked towards the center of the dark room where a subtle and living light beamed down. You placed Your knee down and spread what was in my hands on the ground, in the light.

I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing. My heart sank so low with awesome wonder. I sat down before Him, and watched Him as He studied what was before Him. Back and forth, He surveyed with His gentle eyes. So many tears blurred my vision. As one fell, I could see for a moment. But soon, another one came. My tears were worshiping Him. My Creator…. the Creator, was touching and breathing life into what He took from me. I thought it was ugly, but He touched it, and He crowned it as lovely. He returned to me from where I sat and bent down, kissed my forehead as I closed my eyes. My heart sealed what He showed me and I awoke.

When I am awake I feel Him, when I close my eyes, I see Him.

Jesus, I thank You that when turbulence comes and the windy storm causes sand to fill in Your footprints, that You pull me through with Your voice. I hear You and You alone… the voice of my Shepherd.



Why do we pass by our Lord when we see Him there weeping? He laments over a people named Judas. He knows of that Day, when they will be exposed, when a kiss won’t endear Him. His light will manifest their tumult of sins behind their backs and they will face their shame before a Just God whose wrath will be poured out on the sons of disobedience. His heart is heavy with grief because they don’t know that they are Tares, they indulge in the appearance and foolishly disregard the sacrifice. He screams at them through the cross, He shoves them with His Word, He pleads with His Spirit, but they refuse to listen and they don’t repent.

I feel like an arm, but I can’t embrace. I feel like a hand, but I can’t heal. I feel like a foot, but I can’t run to the lost. I feel like a head, but I can’t speak. My flesh is warm and My heart beats, but I am paralyzed. It’s because I have no spine. There is no backbone to lift Me up so that the members of My body can move and be Me. I am disembodied... and I hang here alone, unnoticed. Is My blood not sufficient? Was the giving of My body not enough? Was there more than death to defeat? In My Kingdom, is there not enough room? I have stretched out My hands all day long and all I desire is that you love one another, yet you resist Me. If I have called you to love your enemies, then how much more should you affectionately love your brothers and sisters? When My love truly is in the midst of you, I will move and You will see My glory among you.

I was born into the world in lowliness, but you seek status. I smiled at a stranger, but you stiffened your neck to a sister and to a brother. I rode on a donkey through a crowd of praise that I knew would turn into a mob of hate, but you walk with arrogance past a friend. I ate with sinners, you divide. I took your place in death, and you betray Me. You worship Me, but reject My image bearers. They are all around you, and I am not separate from them... I am in them. You reject them, you reject Me. Your hatred for them is your hatred for Me. Your hardened heart towards them is pride before Me. How do I accept a blemished offering? I am holy, I will not be pleased with it. If you fear man, you don’t fear Me. Flaunt yourself in My robe before My people, but My righteousness doesn’t fit a hypocrite. You can not hold Me and push Me at the same time. My cross cries out to you, humble yourself and love those I have given to you to show Myself lovely through. Love them, every one of them, and please Me. By loving them, You love Me.

“Lord, don’t let hypocrisy be named among us. Save us from such deceit. You resist the proud, so remove it from us, that we can approach You and know Your grace. Teach us to submit to one another in fear of You, and to restore one another with Your Words. Let our hearts sincerely have compassion towards one another. Give us understanding, one of our most wonderful gifts, and let our gentleness be known by all men. The only boldness we should have is in facing the enemy with Your victory, not in ranking ourselves above our brothers and sisters. Remind us that our goodness is nothing apart from You. Conceit, and a haughty look, let them not be remembered in Your sight when You look at us. You are holy, let us get on our knees and be holy as You are holy.

My King, on that Day, when Your feet touch the earth, I pray that you are pleased with us and that Your anger passes over us because we are marked by Your blood, because we bow low before You. When the earth is sifted as wheat, let us remain in You, and keep us for Your keeping, because we call upon Your name and because You have redeemed us. Jesus, I thank you that You didn’t pass me by when I laid bare and broken before You. If You, being our God, didn’t recognize our mourning and regret, or didn’t accept our repentance or considered our sorrow, You would still be the Almighty and would be just in Your judgment. You would still be considered righteous in all Your ways. But You did hear our cries and chose to preserve us. You are slow to anger and great in mercy. We sing of Your righteousness and bless Your holy name. Our eyes look expectantly to You, we still need Your saving. Let Your love arise within Your body of believers and bind us together. I thank You for Your people, they resemble You, and I rejoice in the day that I get to share Your love, and receive Your love, with those You call Yours. For all that You have done, I pray that You are satisfied with the labor of Your soul. Amen.”

My Sleep

Jesus, allow me to approach You, my King. Permit me to come near You. For the night no longer welcomes my rest. Something ransoms the laying down of my head. When the sun falls behind the earth, a melody dances in my hearing and lures my sleep away. When I close my eyes, I remember its place… everything in me reaches to dwell in this well acquainted song. I have heard it before. It's Your song You sing to me. I heard Your lovingkindness beckoning me to pursue the trace of this sweet-sounding canopy. My heart caught the sound of Your voice and leaped to return to You. Your invitation compelled me to arise and chase after the dawning of Your Word. No stars lit the way; there was no moon to guide me. The resonance of Your song ushered me through a foreign land, and brought me to Your holy hill. Let me ascend to You, my rest longs for You.

Please Father, the night does not remember me, so let me stay with You tonight. Lead me with Your hand to travel along Your ways, and let my feet treasure Your paths of peace. All around me, Your glory promenades me further along, and farther away. Your home eases every desire and soothes every passion. It is here where they are realized. In Your place, they are let loose to bask in Your pleasure. Their expectation is to illuminate Your goodness and shine forth Your grace. I have no greater honor, my Lord. There is nowhere else to belong; no other room to hang up my will.

Accompany my eyes to Yours. Strengthen my heart to gaze into Yours. Your face is so beautiful before me; so radiant with joy and gently arrayed with love. Father, I love You. Even Your eyes are lit up with Your song, and my soul engages Your singing. When You look into me… how do I not unravel at the approach of Your gaze? You are too wonderful for me. Life that waits at the entrance of Your words holds my being together in Your penetrating righteousness. Cover me. Remember that the breath You have given me is only dressed in dust. My soul is only clothed by Your command. I stand before You and my knees do not support me steadily, yet my feet give no order to stand. Cause my spirit to unite with Your presence. Let me just be with You, as a daughter with her father. The created being known by the Creator.

When I press my head into Your chest, I hear the heart of my Savior pound away the face of the earth. All that is left is You… only You. The kiss You leave upon my check forever binds me to You. Adonay, my Adonay, why does a tear stroll down Your affectionate countenance? How is it that You love me so much? I suppose the inhabitants of eternity endlessly toil in this mystery. I do not ponder alone at how such an affair has been settled in all of Heaven. So many, my Lord, so many of us revere Your precious gift.

I can tell by the look in Your eyes and the sigh that just departed Your chest that the new day is pressing and the sun is crowning. Our meeting ends, yearning for another. All of creation is awakening to You. Jesus… Jesus, before I return to the morning, give me one thing for the exchange of my heart. There is not much I hold in my hands to offer. However, my Lord, what I do have belongs to You. Let the fullness of my heart and the breath of my life go up before You. I pray that my offering is acceptable to You. Grant my eyes the remembrance of Your smile, and let not my ears forget Your laughter. Father, leave Your print on me and set me aside for You. I have seen marvelous things in Your twilight; midway sun and moon. My heart already wishes the night would pull over the day with its starry drapes again… for another song… for another night with You.

Lifter Of My Head

A sovereign quake pivots from the north to the south, from the east to the west. My hearing aspires to harness its sequence, but I fail to secure a bearing. It seems sporadic and has variable outbreaks, yet I apprehend a design of order. The residual of its path leaves behind a deafening drone. An awesome mist wreaths the majestic province while adoration sails in a haze. Somewhere in its shifting I hear an appointed trill gliding through. The closer it gets the more it matures into a profound ringing. Abruptly it crescendos through me, and pounds corkscrews into the earth.

My face settles in the soft rich soil. The earthen scent acquaints me to this homeland. Slowly my understanding returns from fog. Looking around I observe as the mist mobilizes into a heavy and gradual spin, thickening into a cloud. I am centered, trying to perceive this holy billowing as it revolves powerfully and peacefully around me.

Before I can even raise myself up, the atmosphere narrows in, and I feel a heavy imprint in the soil before me, followed by another. My body halts. I even try to compose my quivering that falls between the deep quake below. The haze scrolls back, exposing a figure I can only see through my peripheral.

The moment I raised my eyes forward and rested them on my first sight, revelation spoke to me. I saw Your gentle toes placed in the dew coated earth where Your peaceful feet fastened. Your legs pillared through with strength and honor. Your waist wrapped with might and spiraled upward around Your back curved in righteousness. Your shoulders broad as the Almighty sloping down humbly into Your chest, protective like a father. You have the neck of a counselor. You have skin of a savior, robed in a king's garment. Wisdom crowns Your head with glory. You have the face of God. Your eyes blaze with fiery passion. Life forms Your lips. Everything I take in when I look at You instructs me affectionately. Every time I see you, I am overwhelmed with the infinite discovery of You.

You face me to You. You hold my forehead and give knowledge. You touch my eyes and give discernment. You brush my lips and give wisdom. You press my heart and give understanding.

The Creator offers His hand…

My eyes open to us walking through a golden field of wheat, just as the sun slows into dusk. Mellow clouds stroke the broad orange sky as the winds push them along. I twist my arm with His as He engages in conversation, close by His side. I follow His lead and pleasantly reminisce with my Lord.

Between recalling and sharing my stories, I see Your eyes sparkle with each memory. I love to know that You were there, no matter what it entailed. You being there was the good part. You being there was the life, and You being there was the life that was behind the death. No matter what, I love You being there…

There was a battlefield and the infernal territory was obscure. I walked through the biting heat, mingled with infiltrating sulfur. The dark ones prowled between ravenous pits of fire that funneled above. I was armored in light, and loathed. The hideous creatures were afraid and sulked in shadows. Around me were shrieks, other evils gathered in jeering amusement. The malicious beasts became increasingly uncomfortable with me as their intruder.

The more I walked, the more they were forced. They licked their fangs, and salivated for my destruction. They snorted and heaved when the aroma of the Lamb reached their flaring, craved nostrils. A thirst for bloodshed shot through them, enticing them beyond measly restraint. Their muscles contracted and twitched, stomping for the command.

Finally a creature panicked and broke through, howling and hurling towards me, slicing my cheek with a strong slash of its black, razor-tipped talon. As if it cursed itself, it receded back and deteriorated in torture. The wicked audience jubilated for the entertainment. Their eyes flared with red hypnosis and set their desire once again on me as prey.

My gash throbbed and stung. I placed my hand over the wound and saw that blood spilled from it, causing the hungry enemies to cough and hack from their strong thirst.

I heard a precise dart of an arrow pass by my ear. Nothing had changed. No dark enemy had fallen. I heard another arrow missile through the air, yet I saw no defeat. Suddenly a golden bow appeared in my hand and drove strength through my arm. My right hand felt a thrust of power, and I saw that I held a shaft of light that took the form of an arrow. I sensed a discouraging demeanor in the pack of beasts.

Their legs weakened and they turned into a mass whine. The red that swirled in their eyes dissolved and filled with doom. I lifted the bow, pulled the arrow back, and released a soaring arrow that shot straight through a devilish skull. They scattered in dreadful derision. As an arrow propelled, another appeared. One by one, they fell, dissolving in the torture of their own master.

It was eerily quiet around me as embers and ashes drifted chaotically through the dense air. I turned around to face a vast army of disciplined and hate consumed warriors of evil. The hate in their eyes had reached completeness, fully becoming vessels for their master.

They all just stood there with steady stature in ranks. There were thousands of them standing in the clearing beneath the black mountains. All of them seemed empty. My face was before them, yet they failed to comprehend me, or anything at all.

The ground began to roll with a quake. Once again, heavenly reinforcement came to me. Truth riveted down my arm and fashioned a sword in my grip. It had the weight of glory, its point justifying and the cut, convicting. The ground began to churn, ripping it from its foundation. The ranks remained comatose while their kingdom was shaking.

A brilliant light lacerated the sky above the black mountains and its rays breached the clearing. My heart skipped when I saw Home open it gates above me. The earth was trembling and began to split open. Violent magma was boiling and spiting over the ground. The sword tugged with a message to hastily advance forward.

With the sword in hand, I dashed as fast as I could down the hill that descended into the quaking domain and swung the sword heavenward. The Light gave power to the sword and destroyed each rank I broke through. The more I ran, the more strength came to me.

I couldn't stop running. With each defeat, the light intensified. Sounds too loud to distinguish dominated my hearing. I just ran, and ran, and ran. Until I finally fainted in my exhaustion, grounding me to the earth again...

My heart was desperate to calm down, my lungs trying to keep up. My chest hurt from the strenuous struggle to keep breathing. My eyes would roll from the tiresome trial to regain my composure. Feeling the light on my skin gently assured me I was home. Still trying to stabilize my wheezing breath, I became aware of an angelic choir that immediately began to sooth my distress.

My grip was still firmly grasping the sword given to me as I laid coiled on the ground. Notes of gentleness, peace, kindness, and love were sung to me in a way so unheard of. Each tone ministered me to finally rest.

Angelic ones started encircling me. Deep breaths of recovery smoothly left and returned while my body was retreating there. They were watching me, and even more assembled. My eyes glanced to see friendly smiles. It was so silent around me. Nothing was around but the sound of beautiful voices at a further distance. The closest thing to me was a feather that floated its way down to me from the movement of curious angels.

A subtle stir arose in the gathering of hosts. From the farthest one onward, one by one, they would step aside, making a pathway for the One coming through. From their reaction… I knew it was You. They closed the circle that broke from Your coming. You saw me, now lying at Your feet, resting with the sword tucked underneath me. Your brilliance strained my sight of You. Then You knelt and lifted my head, engulfing me in another hug.

My Soul, Wait Silently For God Alone

"Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon His God." -Isaiah 50:10

There is a place that I have found in You where nothing hinders me from seeing Your face. Up above, there is a noise that is not familiar, it doesn't quite ring true to who You are. When I heard Your name, it pulled me under. I gave no fight to stay above. Your voice pulled my heart down like an anchor, and when I reached the bottom, I burrowed in Your hands as You received me. The sound from above no longer stung, all I could hear was the symphony of Your grace and mercy, lacing together what had become unwoven.

I have all of eternity to know who You are, but even now, I see you more clearly than before. All the days of clinging to the dirt, waiting for Your rescue, have led me to this. I can't hide my face from You, and I can't speak because You have ravished my heart. When You show me Your hands, I don't understand why it is that You have written my name on Your palms, but Your love tells me that I don't have to; this passes understanding. When I look away from You, I feel like a dirty rag being held by a righteous King, I feel like I don't fit in the hallows of Your hands. The accuser has no say in the matter when the King has swept me away for saving, even though I may look like something a beggar wouldn't even salvage. Where did the noise come from in the first place? When I look around, I see no one pointing fingers, but I feel it. The words that I hear sound like Yours, but they are vacant of Your truth, they carry no grace. Why do I hear it, but I don't see it?

As I sat in the darkness, I groped for You. I couldn't find You, but I heard You coming. As You came closer, the sound became louder, nagging and prodding, trying to disfigure the One I know. When all became black, all I could do was wait and rely on You. You always seek after Your sheep, so surely You would come. When I became overwhelmed in my cries, and my throat dried up from panting, You picked me up and carried me away. The darkness that was thick now seemed like a vaporous cloud; it just whiffed under Your feet as nothing. When You raptured me, and held me in Your fire, Your truth spoke so smoothly, with no confrontation to come up behind as to twist it. Why did I feel reproach when I looked into Your face and saw pure desire? If my Judge didn't even condemn me, then who did? No one even sat in my company. And then I realized, I had dethroned the one who is Just, and lorded all things over me by my own will. Why have I picked up stones against myself and allow my heart to condemn me. Father, forgive me of this. I know that You are greater than my heart, and You know all things.

We meet here as before. I embrace Your feet at the cross as Your blood rushes over me, washing all the stains that were imprinted on me when I went astray. Let Your fire blaze through all that exists in me so that I can forever behold Your face. My heart lays bare before You; You are mindful of all its workings…You be my Judge. No one, including myself, knows me like You do. Your correction is accompanied with Your mercy, but above, where the static convicts, it brings nothing but a death sentence spoken with words from a mouthful of fangs. Below, where You have pulled me, is where Your peace ministers to me. Thank You for leading me here.

Jesus….my Savior, my body writhes in its longing for You, and my tears continually fall at Your feet, because I miss You, because I can't wait to see You. I hear the anticipation in Your footsteps to gather us to Yourself, and it makes me tremble. Let me sleep in Your arms, let me rest here. "As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness" (Psalm 17:15).

The River

Once my bare feet appeared on the cool marble of Your sanctuary hall, I breathed in deep. Releasing my fears and all that burdens me escapes through one trusting sigh. Gratitude welcomes joy, reverence, and passion to leap in and cram my heart. The towering walls are cloaked with the scene of Your infinite universe, yet I can discern its narrowness, demanding a definite regard for what settles here in this place. The stone walkway seems to travel forever as it fades into the decorated cosmos, and all of gravity's tug pulls me forward.

All of my strengths effort is in placing one foot in front of the other. Knowing that I am just a human progressing forward in His holy inhabitation sends an overpowering shudder in and out of my body. And this is just His hallway. I walk further into this beautiful and majestic realm, and the closer I come, the more my heart drums and heaves with emotions too heavy to bear. "I am on my way to seeing Him. He is too awesome to behold. He is righteous and worthy to be feared… how could I ever gaze into Him? How will I be able to withstand our meeting? My strength is only weakness, how can one survive this? He is strong and compassionate beyond my limited comprehension. He is lovely. He is so lovely. I never knew such a powerful kindness like the one I find in Him. He is just. He is merciful. He is gracious. He is holy. How can I look at Him? How will I not fall dead just in approaching Him?"

My mind pours a continuous account of His character and my heart releases a confirming wave, crashing down at the sound of His name. I have a constant struggle between the strongest desire to leap into Him and the aching intimation of His power; yet both seem necessary. A message signals in me to remember that He was the one who invited me. Another deep breath. I find some overlaying relief, and a caring strength, even though my mortally concerns still threaten me. My faith heightens as my feet trail further, not knowing when my purpose will finally stall me. A few more steps, and suddenly the darkness buries my consciousness in another place, a memory.

Warmth settles me. My eyes lift tenderly to take in all the brilliance. The first color delighting me is green. I am sitting in the middle of meadow, placed on soft grass. My eyes avert to the sky and the stunning light gracefully yields to expose a royal blue stretch populated with powerful clouds, all stacked upon each other as if they were in their proper positions. A rhythmic purr would blow upon the blades of the field, and they would give back by reflecting the sun that fed them. I wanted to stay there as long as I could, but it was never up to me.

After taking in all the beauty here, the heat slowly intensified, and I began to thirst. The sun assaulted my back with heat would not relent, so I got up in search of some means of refreshment. The earth and all it offered quickly became a luxury to me as I fell into great need. My heart knocked softly on my chest until it beckoned more impatiently. Painful burdens were at its door. The light that once entertained me eased behind in sympathy, encouraging me to find comfort. I didn't know what to do but run, in the hopes to stumble upon anything. My senses turned from the peace I enjoyed to face an onslaught of exhaustion, panting, and the pounding of my heart. It seemed senseless to run for anything in such a wide plain with no markings, but my feet put forth a desperate intention when my will would have rather been laid to rest.

Finally I reached a new terrain, a long bed of smooth rocks that turned out of my sight into more grass. I was in great amazement to have found a River. I heard the beginning of soft water trickle up and over each stone in its way. I wish it were a rushing river that I could fully plunge into, but I knew to wait. My knees buckled and I collapsed on them. My hands steadied themselves on the rocks as water slid between my fingers. I braced myself and faced the sky again, the sun no longer attacking my flesh. Waiting became a beautiful sound, just as it did before, when I first arrived here. Sounds cooed in; sounds of the breeze, and sounds of the water.

The trickling stream matured as it grew into a hurried flow. It was now reaching my waist as I continued waiting on my knees. The pressure of the River surged against my heart, awakening the very reason why I was here. All the oppression that pounded on my heart insulted even more frantically. This is the place. This is where I let go. So that's what I did… I let go. My heart opened its door, and as the River passed me, it flowed through and washed it all away.

The River gained more and more power as it added upon itself and became one single tide. My knees picked up from the rocks and I drifted off to float abandoned along with the current. The water ran anxiously in its purpose, knowing it was responsible for me as its guest.

The flow slowed again, and quieted itself, becoming a pure slate that moved more beneath than on its surface. Mostly unaware of my state of being, I did notice a stir in the sky again. The light huddled next to the sun beaming a hushed enthusiasm, while the clouds tried to force in between. The River slowed to silence and my body at last stopped and rested against what seemed like a deeply rooted tree. Water continued to flow past as my venture downstream was interrupted.

The light that was above me had rapidly spread over me. I heard a deep muffled sound. I heard it again. This time the sound sent a gentle electric force that sat upon the water and sailed off. Again, the sound came, creating a jolting static, piercing the water that activated my heart. The deep tone sounded yet again, and it blurred in and out from sound to syllable. My mind made a mad dash connection and forced me to recognize that what I was hearing was my name.

Before I could comprehend what was taking place, two arms dove into the water and braced around and beneath me. As He pulled me to Himself, the weight of water that filled my clothing poured back into the River. He spoke my name again, and I looked at Him, knowing that He would find me, and loving Him for it. He took me in His sigh, relieved that He had kept me. I was wearied beyond my control. So I burrowed into His chest as He turned from the River to carry me home.

Darkness again. I feel the cool touch of marble under my feet. My eyes open to see the end of the walkway, and at the end of the walkway, a throne. My heart recognizes the silhouette of the One enthroned before my eyes do. His posture allows me the confidence to approach Him with the passion I have for Him. He knows my heart fears Him. It seems with each step I take towards Him, my soul wraps another heavy blanket of love for Him. It is so heavy on me that it amazes me I am even able to reach Him.

At the base of His throne He extends His right hand to me. Placing my hand in His weakens my knees, realizing who I am with, yet my steps are strengthened. He returns to sit on His throne but He sits in a way that shows I have His attention. With my hand in His, He raises my hand to kiss it. Feeling the portion of His love for me sent me to my knees again weeping at His feet. It must have been hours I sat with my arms rested on His knees, sobbing uncontrollably as tears ran down to His feet. When I could no longer cry, I took His warm and humble feet in my hands and onto my lap. I was in such deep wonder over the scars in His feet, almost feeling the return of my tears. But my mind went to so many places as I studied His scars. I finally felt ready to tell Him my heart again, to entrust Him with my cares by my surrendered will. I looked up into His fatherly face, very aware of the lump in my throat that made it nearly impossible to speak… and He held my hand and welcomed every word.

"My Father, I remember all the days You saved me. By recounting all my scars, I remember Your every rescue. I am so glad You brought me here so I could personally thank You. I wish I could say how much I love You over and over. By the time I say it once, I feel too much time has passed before I am compelled to say it again. I am satisfied with You, and sitting here worshiping You is my most prized possession… my time here with You.

Jesus, I trust my life with You. I am content with whatever You place before me. Your eyes showed me that You know my beginning and end, so how could I ever look into Your eyes and question You? Anything that threatens my understanding must bow down before the trust I have in You. There is no other way.

I love how You have guarded my eyes, also for how much I love Your purity. My eyes can't remain on what is not You. I have seen masquerades of You, but Your discernment guides me to Your truth. By Your leading, I am not deceived.

I also love to observe Your ways. I love to watch You in all that You do. No earthly thing can compete for my hearts desire. My desire abides loyally in loving Your commands. I want to fill my purpose by doing what pleases You. I am after Your righteousness, so that I may always have these moments with You. I cannot bear to be far from You, ever.

One more thing… I have watched You from when You first called me and have fallen in love with You more and more. You are a lot of beautiful and terrible things, but the most powerful of them all is Your love. I have witnessed it in all that You are. All Your commandments are drenched with Your love. Therefore I have purposed it in my heart… if I am going to be aggressive in anything, it will be in Your love.

Let me be one of Yours, forever. There is nothing greater. I don't have to walk the whole earth to find this out. Your feet have already walked places I don't need to go and to places where I don't belong. I refuse to accept anything that fogs my sight of You. Protect me and keep me. You are the only one that can. I trust You and I love You."

His heart kept all that I gave Him, and He allowed me to stay even longer. He taught me how simple it was to follow Him. The burdens that were added were not of Him. He also taught me the only way to walk through the gates of righteousness was by having eyes only for Him and by worshiping Him, by understanding who He is. He warned me to let no one rip love from my eyes, to guard it with all I am.

After being with Him again, I gained an immovable confidence that He will strengthen me for the road ahead.~