Tall meadow grass blows gently in the wind and sunlight shimmers and flickers behind white clouds in the deep blue, almost purple sky. I slowly walk forward allowing the smells in the breeze to brush gently against my nostrils and my heart rises and falls between sensations of excitement and peace. Single trees in the distance bend slightly with the gentle force of the breeze as their leaves sing in unison like a rustling choir. My mind wanders to where I am, where I am going, but I have the epiphany of the futility of linear time. I am always asking what the point is to everything and in this place, there is no point. Beauty is the reason. Peace is the reason.
The meadow of wind, grass, and lone trees is the place of comfort. The wind of the Ruach gently blowing against me and filling my lungs. The gentle brush of the breeze comforts my heart to know that the invisible Being is manifest like a loving parent gently caressing the face of a child.
Suddenly, a shot of fear and shame rises within me. My spirit realizes that YHVH is drawing near. My own wretchedness comes to the forefront of my mind and my eyes well with tears. I hear His steps approaching but knowing that there is no place hide in a meadow, I lower to my knees and my eyes become fixed on the ground. The terror of His presence consumes me and my eyes slam shut. My heart races and my ears ring with the blood surging into my mind. The stress. Oh the stress. My hands tighten and my knuckles turn white. The entirety of my muscles lock in a frozen, hot tension.
“Cole,” a voice whispers to me as His footsteps slow to a halt in front of me. “Cole, why are you afraid?”
My jaw locks and my throat turns to a desert of terrified reverence. I feebly attempt to open my mouth and speak but nothing responds as my mind races with flashbacks of sins, lusts, and cruelty. I wince at the flashing imagery. I have to answer. The King of Kings has spoken and is seeking an answer from me. Despite the overwhelming shame, I manage to eek out a lowly response.
“Please….,” I whisper through tears. “Please forgive….. No it’s too much.”
I collapse my face into my hands. My eyes run hot and the skin on my face swims in a salty slick of tears and sweat. My entire existence is before me in a moment of shame-drenched revelation.
“You cry not because of who I am, but because of who you are,” YHVH says. “You cry not because of your reverence for me, but because of your wretchedness. I know you and your sin. What I wish to have an answer for is why you continue in your wretchedness when my blood can cover it? Why do you continue to struggle when the answer is always before you?”
My heart tears in two at His words. Why do I not trust? Why do I continue in my suffering when I can submit and receive absolution? My shame is a twisted mix of arrogance and penance. I believe that if I suffer enough, if I rob myself of joy, if I could only fix all my wrongdoings THEN I might be able to stand before Him. What a crippling and finely honed lie to keep me in bondage!!
Barely discernable as language, I cry, “Please forgive me, My Lord and My God. You have shown me so much mercy but I haven’t embraced it and walked in it. You are…….you are…..”
The power emanating from His body changes from an overwhelming regal glory, to an irresistible invitation to mercy. A shimmering energy like a healing lightning flows around my body and neck gyrates in pleasure and the sensation continues down my spine into my arms and then into my fingers and toes. My tears run dry and my breath slows to a calm rhythm. I ponder whether I should lift my head or to continue to stare at the ground. Peace flows around me and I feel Him beckoning to raise my head.
I feel my neck tendons creak as they release the tension of anguish and I slowly raise my eyes. What I gaze upon is beyond human language, beyond comprehension. My heart melts within my chest and the tears return to my eyes with a different composition. Tears of adoration flows down my cheeks. Tears of peace from one who has receive earth-shattering kindness and mercy. Love begins to consume me and every cell in my body feels shalom. He holds out His glorious hand and raises me up to stand. My mind cannot comprehend what it is taking in. My back begins to feel the pressure of two arms embracing, pulling me further into the glorious radiance. I resist but quickly succumb to the invitation. Apprehension leaves me and I collapse with my face on His mighty shoulder. I never want to leave this place of grace and acceptance.
He turns me toward the warmth of the sun which seems insignificant to the warmth and light standing next to me. He puts His hand on my back and as He takes a step forward, He presses against my shoulder in a silent commandment to join Him on the journey.
As I did as a young child hearing about YHVH walking with men, I remember my imaginations of wandering the in Garden with Him and the insurmountable task of imagining what His presence would be like. One of my favorite hymns as I sat in a small town church was “In the Garden.” The imagery in the song of a quiet and peaceful place of simple fellowship. No pretention, no eyes of other people.
Luke 5:16 “But Yeshua Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”
Surrounded by His creation, I seek in my mind for the place of fellowship where my loving Father and I can be alone. I recall the times without Him in my life and how He delivered me. How He left the 99 and came after the 1. The warmth of His mercy and His arms surrounding a scared and scarred lamb who thought he knew better.
Praise be to His glorious name for His mercy endures forever.
Cole Davis and Other Contributors