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            You are the darkness. Not the absence of light, but light’s canvas—the space of silence in between the tree branches and the earth, my heart and the stars. On earth’s carpet, I am hidden securely against your chest—heartbeat to heartbeat. You are like burrowing my face into soft pillows. I don’t have to fill the emptiness with anxious thoughts anymore, trying to keep your attention. Your inmost being is my silhouette. The burning amber light of love unravels fear, isolation, and seriousness, and buries them in the mountain caves like Lazarus dancing out of his grave clothes. Hovering dreams of promise saturate my mind—I am not alone. I slacken, becoming weightless, empty, and full all at once.

Papa, I didn’t know I could look you in the eyes, and you would look back with a delight that has danced with Jesus and Holy Spirit ages before time was a concept. You have given me sight to see that I am seen. I am known. I am your son.

You are the thick forest hemming me in your darkness—colossal oaks, deeply rooted and head-lifting tall. Confidently resting in your identity, ancient but ever-fresh wisdom. I don’t have to be my own protector from pain. You are my oaken shield, enabling me to receive life with a tender heart.

“You will grow strong like me, young sapling, if you wrap your roots around my heart.”

You are trustworthy, my unshakeable habitation, my sanctuary of peace.

You are the song of light planted in my soul like a field of luminaries—melodies you have sung over me since I was just a thought in your mind. With hands that snapped the stars into flame, you form me with white fire.

You breathe the song into my lungs, “I love you.”

I inhale the beautiful perfume, the breath that blew the northern lights on the glaciers. Warm imagination runs down my throat.

I exhale wide-eyed, “He loves me!”

In our shared breathing, the dance of shadow and flame, I finally hear his tone of voice—not shame or disappointment—delight!

  “Come light up the trees!” he grins.

I get to sing with you?

Holy Spirit skips around laughing, “I made you with a song to sing.”

It is in Beauty that I realize my beauty. My voice is important! I sing your Name like no one else. My heart runs around, a little boy catching lightning bugs, like Zaccheus handing out gifts of gold because Jesus delighted in him. You have taught me how to smile.

Safe and valued, I open my mouth and release electric waves and floating candles, a re-creation of your first creation.

You join my melody, a love song in a harmony of strings, cinnamon, and sweet honey, filling up your forest-heart with joy.

I get to be in your center for the rest of my life, this deep, dark forest of delight.

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