I lived on a high desert.
At night the moon acted as a spotlight throwing my shadow against the sagebrush as I trekked to nowhere in particular. When the moon slept, the stars would take its place and light my path. After a while, the silence was interrupted only by my ears straining for a sound not willing to be revealed. Then a gust of wind would dance at my feet and kiss my face only to run and hide in the arms of that same silence.
Now with even the silence gone, I entered a state of being authored by a god I could not name. Like Moses, I was intrigued by a previously unseen ‘burning bush’ that would not change its state from burning nor be consumed. Bowing to its charm I entered a rest unwilling to disguise itself with any activity or thought.
There I paused as if a stranger before an odd-looking door leading to a surprise I was not yet prepared to know. I knocked. It was already open, but I did not know it had been opened years before my birth. In fact, it has always been open. I called in, “Can someone come out and play?”
My chest leapt for joy at something that had left its footprints over every moment of my self-awareness. Its name was ‘I AM always with you.’
Yes, IT had always been there.
Frightened at this discovery I withdrew to the stars and wind and turned for home, humanity, and any distraction I could conjure. Escape itself ran through my legs and soon my heart followed with fearful cadence to my running. Once shrouded by my house and in the presence of my wife and child, I cautiously ventured toward sleep, hoping that stalking revelation would vanish with the dawn and be put to rest.
But even that phrase, put to rest, caused the desert to reappear in its all-encompassing silence. Over time, and with age itself, I began to lose command of the now too familiar distractions. Friends and family died by the hordes leaving few behind. Our dance was at an end with more shadows twirling into the dark than music to accompany. Their exit was promising my own re-entrance into His presence once this body was silenced. The distractions were all but gone.
Even now my body has joined in the mutiny, leaving me with an empty schooner’s riggings creaking, declaring the best had passed. Unwillingly, I discovered myself once again before that open door but I know the name of the one on whom to call. With shame, I bowed to the silence and re-discovered, from the inside, the “I AM always with you”. The betrothal to Jesus had now become a marriage feast.
I was one and the same time married to this ineffable presence who not only authored and finished the events, but the heartbeats to go with it. I discovered a desert full of all I needed for both living this life and remaining in that union with life itself from which I had tried so hard to ignore. I had joined the wind and had begun a dance for which all are invited.
Thank You, Jesus.