Friday, August 30, 2013

Before The Takeover: A Warm Wind

It feels like yesterday

and yet it's been eight years since you knocked upon my door.
So many times before I thought I might have heard something -
a gentle rap followed by a soft voice.  But I chose to keep moving, keep busy -
preoccupy myself with people and things and dreams -
bitter realities, false senses of security, illusions of perfection, procrastination,   disingenuous love
and bottled solutions taking me only so high.
I was living the life of a fictitious woman -
the woman I had become.

Finally, the day came -

a beautiful summer day, when I walked into the sanctuary BROKEN,
but not admitting it -
Still smiling at the crowd, still posing in the mirror, still conversing with friends
about incremental and monumental gains in my life -
All the while my tongue feeling thick and heavy -
incessant throbbing between my ears as if my mind was angry at the thought of sending me words to spew out for no reason and piercing no one.
I was so tired, but still fighting my sleep -
so conscious of time, which I had concluded was my enemy.

It was a little after 2 o'clock and I sat within the first pews, waiting for the crowd to leave. I was waiting for something to happen -

wanting something to overcome me and bring me to a place where peace
would finally prevail and cast a glow about me,
inviting others to inquire about the freedom in my life
or about the ability to lay hold of peace in the middle of a storm,
experiencing the blessing of closing my eyes and truly resting -
not worrying about tomorrow or anything that happened "today."

So I began to pray softly, silently to myself as I heard others being prayed for

about sickness and substance abuse, finances and forgiveness.
The hard oak pews had begun to make my thighs and behind ache for sitting so long,
but I continued to dig deeper for answers about deliverance.
I wanted freedom from all the years of putting on a jovial face
while I was dying inside -
so many years of "living" life where lies abounded so I could hide.

At last,

it was as if something began to divide within me -
the separation of lies from truth, dark from light, clean from tainted, pretense vs. reality of who I was and what I had become.  As this was shown to me,
I began to cry as if I had had tears stored up in what were  freshly punctured barrels. Then, I felt someone take my hand as I continued to cry out to God and thank Him
for His mercy and His forgiveness, His LOVE and PROTECTION,
especially throughout all the years that I chose to ignore His Knock -
ignore His Voice, calling me from the only life I knew.
Here He was offering me THE BEST LIFE -
silencing that persistent question in my mind: "Is this all there is?!?"
Boyfriends with empty promises, pockets with holes,
momentary highs upon sexual plateaus??? Lying out at the beach,
shopping, eating, drinking, dreaming -
my moods changing by the hour, sometimes by the minute...

I opened my eyes to see the woman who had begun to lead me up to the front of the altar.  She stopped at the first pew and released my hand.  Then, she stepped in front of me and began to pray with her hand raised above my forehead.  I stared at her moist palm as she prayed for me and as I prayed quietly for myself.

Suddenly, I felt this warm wind blow inside my body.

I had no idea what was happening to me.  
All I knew was that the sensation was
gentle and yet powerful at the same time -
So amazingly gentle that all I could do was envision my body falling onto a bed of billowy, white clouds -
So powerful that it blew me down, but I had no desire to break my fall -
No desire to reach out for support. It was as if I floated there, peacefully , feeling the contrast of my warm body against the cold floor as tears flowed from my eyes into my hair.

It felt like LOVE, itself, had actually stepped outside of our intellectual definitions;

it was no longer simply a word we toss around in poems or sing about in music -
For Love, in that moment, had wrapped HIMSELF around my body and come to dwell within me.


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