Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Light in the Darkness

After I closed the door to my room to try and block out distractions, I turned around and walked to the corner. Sitting in the rocking chair in the corner of the room, I closed my eyes this morning in prayer as I do every morning. The room around me faded away as I tried to place aside all worries and cares of the day to come. 

A bright white box captures my field of vision. It is standing in the center of a large room all by itself. I am drawn towards it. I walked over to it. Stretching out my hand, I place my palm flat up against it. A pleasant warmth penetrates my hand as the box seems to pulsate under my touch.

"So, beloved, while waiting for this, make every effort to be found without stain or defilement, and at peace in his sight.
Consider that our Lord's patience is directed towards salvation." ~ 2 Peter 3: 14-15a

I start to walk around the container, the box. At first I let my hand fall to my side, but the desire to remain in contact with this almost living object with strong. I found my hand rising to touch it as I walk. My fingertips first gently brushed the smooth wall. Then my hand seemed to slide across the surface. It felt as smooth and soft as the finest silk. It was as though I had to stay in contact with whatever laid beyond. If I could wrap my arms around this box and hug it, I would.

Circling around, all the sides were sealed. All the walls are as smooth as seamless glass. Whatever it was, I could not open it. Sitting down with my back against it, I stared out into the vast expanse beyond. My eyes notice a stain on the floor ahead and to the left of where I sit. It looked like a coffee stain except it was blacker than any coffee I had ever seen. There was an odd smoky iridescence to the surface, like dirty oil. After a while, I began to notice it was slowly bubbling and hissing as if it were alive.

A feeling of caution crept into my heart, so I pulled my eyes away. Looking up to the walls across and to the right from me I saw a red blemish as if a glass of wine had been splashed on the wall. It looked old. With brown oxidation around the edges. As I stared at it though something unexpected happened. I blinked wondering if it was a trick of the eyes. It wasn’t.

I gasp and covered my mouth in astonishment. The stain was darkening to a crimson. It seemed to be oozing from the wall itself as if it were bleeding. I spread across and began to drip down. It was happening slowly, but constantly.

“Where am I?” I ask into the nothingness.

The box at my back felt like love and goodness. The stain and blemish appeared to ooze and bubble in ways that made me weary of approaching and touching them.

“What is that?” I ask.

All the marks seem to be going darker the more I looked at them. After a while I began to wonder what the marks would feel like to touch. It was as though the fear and weariness I first felt had ebbed and grown into curiosity.

So strong with the draw of curiosity, I had to stand up. With on hand still on the box, I took a step towards the black stain. The pull away from the warmth of the box was so gradual, I failed to notice at first how cold the darkness was I was inching into. The light around me had faded into a dim glow, but I did not notice as my eyes were fixed on the stain.

With one finger, I popped a black, oily bubble. But it didn’t pop. Instead it began to envelope my finger and started to climb up my hand. I yanked my hand away, but the blackness continued to spread.

Curiosity began to turn into fear again. I tried in to wipe it off on me pants, but I couldn’t. I grabbed the bottom of my shirt and used it like a towel, but nothing would come off. It seemed to have seeped in to my skin.

It was continuing to spread up, from my hand to my forearm, and then up to my elbow. When it reach my shoulder, I could see it out of the corner of my eye bubbling under my skin. I turned to leave the stain, but it had grown all around me like a puddle.

Everything was dark, including myself. I felt so alone. Tears began to fall from my eyes as it felt like all hope had been snuffed out. I cried out in my alarm and despair, “O God!”

I expected the darkness to swallow up my cry, but a deep voice answered me, “Yes?”

I turned around and around until I saw the white box, glowing like an inviting ember. No darkness touched it.

“Please help me!” I cried as I looked at my other hand and saw it had blackened as well.

“Come to me,” He answered me.

“Where are you?” I shouted back.

“Follow your heart; my spirit will guide you. Come back to me.”

By the time I had decided to walk back to the white box, my feet were already taking me there. When I got there the blackness on my skin was grotesque in comparison to the spotless purity of the chamber. Knowing I did not find a door when I was walking around the box before, I began knocking on the first wall I approached, hoping and praying for someone to help me. The wall fell away. The bright, burning light it exposed within made me turn my eyes away.

“What do you want me to do for you?” The deep voice asked, but this time with so much power in His voice my knees collapsed to the ground.

“Please make me clean. Save me,” I begged once I found my voice.

I felt a hand, with the same warmth and pulse as the box touch the top of my head.

“What happened that you are stained?” He gently asked.

The love and compassion in his voice pulled the words out of my mouth. I told him of all I had done. In that contrite and humbling moment, my fears evaporated and were replaced with hope.
“You are made clean,” He answered me when I was done.

I felt the warmth spread from his hand on my head to my neck and down my arms. I opened my eyes to see my hands folded in prayer, but they were no longer black. They were clean and glowing. I felt joyful.

The hand left my head and I looked up to see who had saved me. I saw a hand held out in front of my face. So I took it and stood. Strong hands embraced my shoulders and then spun me around. The room and all that is beyond was clean and spotless too.

“Go,” He said, “and sin no more.”

I turned and asked him in awe, “Who are you?”

“I AM,” He answered me.

“Will I see you again?”I asked, still perplexed.

“Search your heart to know me. Then come, find me in the garden.”

“How will I know the way?”

“I am the way; the truth and the life. I am the light in the darkness.” He answered me. “Those who have gone before you will guide you to me if you recognize them and ask along your journey. Will you come?”

“Yes,” I said and then the white room faded back to the rocking chair in my room.

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