As a writer there are stories I want to write, and then there are stories that want to be written. These stories tell themselves and I am the invited guest to their sacred unfolding. In such moments, I am merely Witness. My silent participation is to wait, observe, absorb, and record. A word is spoken into thin air and, like a seed, it explodes into a multitude of colors bursting with light and life. Word gives birth to more words – and the story evolves itself.
The Jungle, The Lion and The Tiger
I awoke to a crisp fresh air that smelled of evergreen trees and grass after a heavy rain. The air was cool and the atmosphere was quiet, peaceful. I rose from my springy bed of grass and looked around me. I was in a beautiful jungle that grew wild & lush on terraced steps going all the way up the steep side of a mountain. It was covered by a gigantic glass dome barely discernible above the soaring white clouds in a clear blue sky.
An invitation lingered in the air, beckoning me to walk on and explore. I don’t know how long I spent walking among the trees – time felt irrelevant and feeble in the presence of such beauty – when suddenly out of my blind spot came a huge Lion. He was tall, my head only came up to the bottom of his mane. The lion looked at me with a gaze so steady and calm. Raising his paw, he gently pushed me down into the grass and held me there. Was this friend or foe? I wasn’t sure. His paw on my chest wouldn’t allow me to get up, yet I didn’t feel afraid.
As I considered my next course of action, around the corner of my blind spot – where the lion had come from – came a striped tiger. I did not need a second to ponder if this was a friend or foe, so vile and evil was its presence. I stayed down in the bed of grass, the pressure of the lion’s paw on my chest now a comforting reassurance that I was hidden. The tiger, obviously not wanting to engage in a losing battle with the lion, skirted around him and went on its way without ever catching sight of me.
The lion lifted his paw off me and I stood up, unsure what I should do next. I was reluctant to continue exploring the beautiful jungle that had felt safe and wonderful but which now carried a sense of foreboding and dread. The lion was silent but his eyes were beautiful and deep with a compassion that felt as sturdy and immense as a mountain. He started walking and I knew He meant for me to follow.
We arrived at a narrow ledge on the steep side of the mountain we were on. On the ground was laid out a large blanket in the most beautiful shade of blue – words can’t do justice to the beauty of this jewel-toned color that was something between turquoise and teal – that looked like it was alive. An understanding passed from the lion’s heart to mine and it told me to lay under that blanket and stay there until told otherwise. I lay face down on the thick, soft grass beneath the blanket, completely covered from head to toe.
It was bright and airy beneath that blanket. I turned to my right and saw someone else under that blanket. A beautiful African lady dressed head-to-toe in the same vibrant blue as the blanket. She had on a headdress in that same shade of blue, and had a presence that was impossible to ignore. She turned to smile cheekily at me and then got up from beneath the blanket and started shouting loudly, her calls echoing through the jungle as she challenged the tiger with a lighthearted and cheerful confidence that seemed to me a stark contrast to the un-nameable dread the tiger carried. Terrified that she would draw attention to us, I signaled for her to keep quiet and get back beneath the blanket but she was unafraid and only smiled as she continued boldly calling out.
Papa’s Long Game
I awoke and discovered it had been a dream. Papa sat by my bed, smiling. Reaching out to take my hand, He began to speak to me of many things and part of it goes like this:
“The enemy is playing the waiting game. But I AM playing an even longer game.
The enemy’s strategy has been to wear people down with fear and hopelessness during the prolonged pandemic and in the midst of bad news, to the point that they begin making decisions & taking positions on issues based on fear, frustration, and hopelessness. This year, the enemy is going to increase his assault. Already, many of my people have entered this year feeling the weight of an un-nameable dread. The threat of things to come looms over their hearts as fear seeks fertile ground to take root. Blind spots left unprotected will be vulnerable to the enemy’s ambush. This is the strategy of the enemy – his strategy is to wear you down over time. I AM exposing this so My people are not caught off-guard.
I AM the better chess player. I have an even longer game. I have a plan and My strategy will win out in the end, but My people must stay in peace and patience to see My strategies triumph.
Remain in Peace while you wait for the storm to pass. Do not receive discouragement when solutions seem to take time. Be patient. I am playing the long game for a bigger victory.
Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square – Proverbs 1
Remaining hidden in My peace and patience will lead you to Wisdom. She is a friend you will need while you out-wait the enemy. Do not be tempted to rush into instant solutions; let Wisdom speak for you and trust Me to fight for you.”
I woke up and found that this too had been a dream. As I mulled over this dream-that-felt-real, I turned to my left and saw a prophet sitting on the couch beside me, waiting for me to awake.
“Write it down,” was his instruction and then he was gone (how typical of a prophet!).
The Fourth Awakening
I woke up for the fourth time, and found myself awake for real.
I have done my best to be faithful to the story in letting it write itself without embellishment. I pray it finds its way to the hearts it wrote itself for.