Thursday, May 31, 2012

Health and Healing for Body and Soul.6

"Likewise, I tell you, there is great joy in the presence of the Father and all of the angels, when one turns from their path of wrongdoing."

"She spoke softly, just barely forming the words with her lips. She felt self-conscious and was willing to admit it.  "Uh...hello."  Maybe He heard her, maybe He didn't.  She said it again. "Hello."  That should be enough.  "I imagine you know who I am but I'll introduce myself anyway.  It just seems the thing to do.  My name is Sally Beth Roe, and I guess one refers to you as...God.  Or maybe Jesus...I've heard that done.  Or...Lord.  I guess you go by several titles and so I hope you'll indulge me if I grope a bit.  It's been a long time since I tried to pray."

"Uh...anyway, I'd like to meet with you today and discuss my life and what possible role you might wish to play in it.  And thank you in advance for your time and attention." [After giving God some background] Sally paused.  Was there some kind of awakening happening inside her?  God could hear her, she could sense it; she just knew it.  That was strange.  It was something new.

Sally stopped to think.  How should she say it?  Just what was it she wanted from God?  "I guess..."  Uh-oh, emotion. Maybe this is why I can't get around to it.  "I guess I just wanted to ask you about your love...I need to know that You'll..."  She stopped.  Tears were forming in the corners of her eyes.

"Excuse me.  This is difficult.  There are a lot of years involved, a lot of emotion"...a deep breath..."Anyway, I was trying to say that...I would very much like you to accept me."  She stopped and let the tightness in her throat ease.  "Because...I've been told that you love me, and that you've arranged for all my wrongs, my moral trespasses, to be paid for and forgiven.  I've come to understand that Jesus died to pay my penalty, to satisfy your holy justice.  Um...I appreciate that.  Thank you for that kind of love."

"But if you will have me...if you will only accept me, I would be more than willing to hand over all that I am and all that I have, whatever it may be worth"...Words from thirty years ago came to her mind, and they captured her feelings perfectly.  "Jesus..." She couldn't stop the emotions this time. Her face flushed, her eyes filled, and she was afraid to go on.  "Jesus...I want you to come into my heart.  I want you to forgive me.  Please forgive me."

...With a new found freedom seclusion brought, the heart of stone became a heart of flesh, the deepest cries of the heart became a fountain, and she and the Lord God began to talk about things as the minutes slipped by unnoticed and the world around her became unimportant.

Above, as if another sun had arisen, the darkness opened and pure, white rays broke through the treetops, flooding Sally Beth Roe with heavenly light, shining through to her heart, her innermost spirit, obscuring her form with a blinding fire of holiness.  Slowly, without sensation, without sound, she settled forward, her face to the ground, her spirit awash with the presence of God.

All around her, like spokes of a wondrous wheel, like beams of light emanating from a sun, angelic blades lay flat on the ground, their tips turned toward her, their handles extending outward, held in the strong fists of hundreds of noble warriors who knelt in perfect, concentric circles of glory, light and worship, their heads to the ground, their wings stretching skyward like a flourishing, animated garden of flames.  They were silent, filled with a holy dread.

As in countless times past, in countless places, with marvelous, inscrutable wonder, the Lamb of God stood among them, the Word of God, and more: the final Word, the end of all discussion and challenge, the Creator and the Truth that holds all creation together--most wondrous of all and most inscrutable of all, the Savior, a title the angels would always behold and marvel about, but which only mankind could know and understand.

He had come to be the Savior of this woman.  He knew her by name, and speaking her name, He touched her.

And her sins were gone.

A rustling began in the first row of angels, then in the next, then, like a wave rushing outward, the silken wings of row upon row of warriors caught the air, raising a roar, and lifted the angels to their feet.  The warriors held their swords heavenward, a forest of fiery blades, and began to shout in tumultuous joy, their voices rumbling and shaking the whole spiritual realm.

Guilo, as brilliantly glorified as ever he was, took his place above them all, and swept his sword about in burning circles as he shouted, "Worthy is the Lamb!"

"Worthy is the Lamb!" the warriors thundered.
"Worthy is the Lamb!" Guilo shouted more loudly.
"Worthy is the Lamb!" they all answered.
"For He was slain!"
"For He was slain!"

Guilo pointed his sword at Sally Beth Roe, prostrate, her face to the ground, still communing with her new found Savior.  "And with his blood has purchased for God, the woman, Sally Beth Roe!"

Their swords waved, and their light pierced the darkness as lightning pierces the night.  "He has purchased Sally Beth Roe!"

"Worthy is the lamb Who was slain," Guilo began, and then they all sang the words together with voices that shook the earth, "to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

Then came another roar, from voices and from wings, and another flashing of hundreds of swords.  The wings took hold, and the skies filled with warriors, swirling, shouting, cheering, worshiping, their light washing over the earth for miles around.

from Piercing the Darkness, by Frank Peretti, pages 319-322