Friday, December 8, 2017

When I Saw You

May 24, 2013 Journal

Last night, when I was with Jesus, my spirit was still warm from the time before, like coals that are alive and glowing after a bonfire, resonating with His presence like the bow strings of an instrument just after it has played a concerto with great energy and then been swiftly lifted. I was clinging close to Him, the One who is the source of the music, the One who is the Light that sets to fire. But all was at rest, because the music He was playing was like something that is hummed quietly before sleep. I was close enough to hear this sound. I touched His closed eyes, feeling how tender the skin was, how soft. I closed my eyes, and I could feel fingertips of God touch my face, the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb, the One who holds all power and authority, Whose hands can trace out constellations and call down mountains. He could breathe on me too strongly and I would wither, but the touch of His fingers on my face was as soft as snowfall, as careful as a fine calligraphy brush. It was the first time I’d ever been able to be that perceptive, that trusting.

May 25, 2013 Journal

You are the one that sees Me, Jesus said to me today, as though naming me.

And I remembered how He had said once that seeing clearly in that place was almost like my work- the thing that I practice or invest myself in.

I stifled the first impulse to deny this and instead considered it. I thought about how many times I had begged Jesus to let me see Him- how He had summed it up for me, you want to see Me, He had said, so quietly.

I considered how I was seeing Him much more clearly. In fact, today I saw His hand almost with so much texture- and I realized again that Jesus is as much human as He is divine- His hands and face show some signs of wear and tear- weather beaten, Jesus said to me once, recently, with amiable humor- and I remembered that He must have spent nights outside and His days outside as well.

May 27, 2013 Journal

“But I make account of none of these, neither do I count my life precious to myself, so that I finish my course with joy, and the ministration that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify fully the good news of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24 YLT

I had a dream. Well, not a dream. I was with Jesus and we went up into the sky and there were storm clouds there and we passed up through and into them, and I kept thinking or hearing those Scriptures that say He makes the storm His messenger, He rides the clouds, the clouds go before Him, and so I said, "Okay, okay, I understand it."

The wind was whipping our hair around our faces and the lightening was striking within the cloud, with all the superheated energy, but I wasn’t afraid because I was in His arms. Then we began to sink down and down and I saw below me the roofs of our new housing development. (Keith and I had recently contracted to build a new house instead of signing up for another year with in the rental house.)

That confused me; I’ve never been with Jesus and seen a physical place that I could recognize from my present life, so I held back out of fear and then I accepted and we went down and down until we stood on the sidewalk across from our building lot.

And again I was afraid and again I submitted to being there and I saw our house completed but rising up behind it was this massive wooden structure.

I realized it was the prow of a boat- it was an ark, so massive it seemed almost to block out the sky and it seemed to be made of cedar wood burnished or varnished a deep red color and again I was afraid and again I made myself present.

And the ark crushed the new house to bits and pieces, filling the sky as it did so. I mean, it was massive and we rose up into the sky and I saw our tiny figures against the massive prow of this ark as we rose up, and then we were on the deck, but the deck was full of holes so that I could see down in, or else the deck itself was dissolving before my eyes, I couldn’t tell which.

The interior of the ark was sloshing with water- it was full to the brim with water, a great depth and a great weight of water, and again, fear gripped me. I felt a lot of fear, looking down into that water and I remembered a nightmare I had had as a child, that the floor of the gym was opening up beneath my feet and people were falling into the chasm that was revealed.

But I moved through and past this fear and as I did, the entire ark burst and the water burst out and flooded the entire housing development, sweeping all the houses away, leaving pools of water and water soaked ground behind, a deep brown, rich color, glistening in the sun.

Then it was over, and I asked Jesus, "What does it mean?"

And He said that the new house symbolized this life, security in this life and that my nightmare was about the fear of death, and I had associated the dream with the seeing holes in the deck and the water below, but that such an association was not the meaning.

So then I thought about it from many angles. I know the ark is Christ, who is the source of the living water, the living water that overwhelms the present life, the small present life.

It was strange that the ark held the flood, whereas before, the ark rode on the flood. What does this reversal mean?

Does this mean like a flood of pure life, as opposed to a flood of death? If the ark is Christ, then He is come bringing pure life. It’s a reversal of life over death. The fear of death is absorbed into Him, broken open, His life sweeps away the smallness of our present preoccupation.

*

Last night I was hurting so deeply from the anxiety of posting my last blog; I was regretting it so much and feeling as though I had failed Jesus terribly and that I must be the most blasphemous, ridiculous joke of a person and He leaned over me and pulled me in and said, Jenny.

He said it with tender, quiet authority. Immediately I stopped everything I was doing and looked at Him, like oh my goodness, Jesus just said my name. Then I had to withdraw from the experience to consider it from all angles (because I could either spend my whole attention receiving the spiritual experience, or my whole attention pondering what I had seen. Both are necessary, but I could not do both very well at the same time) and then I returned to being with Jesus and focused on His face and I said tentatively, "What?  What did You want to say to me?"

And He said, gently, just stop. By which Jesus meant, stop hurting yourself. Stop doing this to yourself. Just stop.

And I tried.

This morning, Jesus patient coaxed me to Him, first taking the time to reassure me, again, that He told me to write that blog, that He gave me His words, those were His words, that He was using them and I was meant to speak them, to write them. You’re a messenger, He said. I whispered, “Yes. I know. You have told me. It must be true. It is true.”

I took His hand and was leading Jesus through the house and then I realized who I was leading. I turned and looked at Jesus and delight washed over me and left me shy and in awe. I paused and leaned against the door frame, and then ran to Him and got caught up in His arms.

And I realized that Jesus had longed for me and so He had coaxed me, reassured me, set me at ease, and brought me to where He was. Jesus had done this because He wanted me with Him.

We were walking back to the house after swimming in the lake and we paused in the bushes with the dark green foliage, like rhododendrons that grow so thickly between the lake and the koi pond. I hung back as we were passing though there to the house. There are times when I suddenly remember Who I am with, and the only response possible is to stop everything in wonder and look at Him. When I stopped, Jesus paused.

When we walk through there, often He bends down to lift a branch out of the way, but He was at that time standing straight amid the profusion of leafy branches, still wet with water from the lake. There is a lucidity about Jesus that is both tranquil and beautiful. Jesus looks as calm and immoveable as an oak tree, and He is as serene and full of light as the cloudless sky. He doesn’t have to try and do to anything to be this way, He just is this way. I was looking at Jesus with the natural deference and stillness that seeing Him evokes, and He smiled, the expression on His face and in His eyes showing a warm affection and happiness that is very human. I remembered how He is the second Adam and we are His Eve, His gift.

I stepped close to Him. “I want to be wholly with You,” I whispered, longingly. “I want to be with You and see You.” By which I meant, I wanted the wholeness of heaven, how He is there, as He lives there now, and no longer with this incomplete spiritual sight with its coming and going- no more veil at all, completely to be in His presence, as completely as I am in my physical room when I wake in the morning, and there it all is, right there, going nowhere and in all directions fixed and yet fluid in all the motions of life.

What do you want Me to do? Jesus seemed to ask, with His compassionate regard- this feeling of tenderness that takes into loving consideration all that I am, and places a value on what I say that I can't understand. I can’t explain how Jesus put it; it was as if He was coaxing me to say something out loud and I was shy to say it, because I didn’t know everything that it meant, or what it would require, but it was the thing I was longing for, and the thing Jesus was wanting me to say, so I said it. I stepped close to Jesus and I whispered.

“Come,” I whispered, urgently. “Come quickly.” I meant, here, to this time and place- to return, to come back and take His place and to rule and reign here on earth and to make everything right.

I hung on His neck and longed for this, longed for Jesus to bring things to a conclusion, so there would be no more suffering, so I and all in Him and this world would be completely with Him. I knew Jesus heard and received my words. When Jesus hears something, it is not in a passing way. He keeps the words with Him.

May 28, 2013 Journal

From a blog I didn’t post:

I understood something differently recently, but it's difficult to explain. Jesus often called the religious leaders hypocrites or actors.

I'm beginning to think that this is because they had a false sense of self and ignoring it is like having a beam in their eye. So they dressed up their outer behavior, their outer appearance- like a white washed tomb- and went about pretending- living a lie. This lie imprisons them. They are a slave to this lie.

I can't help but think that this false self is like an idol- an idol of self. They must polish this idol and appease this idol and tend this idol of their outer self, ignoring the inward man.

Because they are judging themselves, they are constantly judging others. They are guarding their idol- their image, their status, their poofed up dignity- and looking down at or adoring and giving praise to others that live the same way, but with an even more polished appearance- they are extending praise amid themselves, coming in their own name, praising each other, a little circle of outer persons, apparently godly idol worshipers who are slaves to their sin.

They create and sustain systems of power and they will commit murder to protect their power, their place. They will throw others who are weaker away to protect their idol of outer self. Nothing can touch or tarnish their idol- they are polishing the outside of those cups all the time.

Recently, I connected this understanding to the image of God shattering something with a rod of iron- smashing something brittle- like pottery- something like an idol.

The real person inside is not smashed- the outer, false self, the brittle lie- the idol- that is smashed.

Or, to use another metaphor, it's like a house built on the sands of religious performance. When the torrent of water comes, the house is ruined and the destruction of the house is great- the man himself is not lost.

Why? Because he's loved, that why. Because he's us- we have all been through or are going through or will go through this process. When two blind people, certain they can see clearly, fall into a ditch, that ditch is the mercy of God. By it, they realize that there is something wrong with their sight. Jesus does not want them to remain in the ditch, in a watery mess of all they had wrongly built; He wants them to come to themselves, repent and run to Him for mercy, healing, and balm for sight.

I know, because I had an idol of outer, religious performance. I tended this idol every day, very carefully. It was very brittle. I was a slave to this idol. I judged others on how well they tended their appearance. I prided myself on the religious leader that I was following. (This was the person who had begun the church in which I grew up. He had passed away before I was born, but in that church, we attempted to follow closely his teachings and felt that we were elevated from all other churches because of it.)

One day- I have no idea why- I became aware of this. It was as if I felt myself to be caged in a rusted suit of painful armor- armor that wouldn't move right, that blinded me, imprisoned me, stuffed with religious pride like rotten fruit cake. I must have been sixteen or seventeen years old.

I was so horrified- horror suffused my entire being. I cried out to God, in that moment, to smash that pride apart- to break it apart. He did, but it took years. It's on-going.

Recently, I was with Jesus and I was thinking about something that truly is horrible, and it was making me angry that was happening, and I found myself wanting Him to do something about it- to bring that situation to an end.

Then I was horrified! I was horrified that I wanted my anger to move God. Without words, I poured this entire thought process to Jesus, as though revealing my heart- here is what I thought, here is what I feel; I don’t know how to sort through all this, please help me.

Jesus took my hand and pressed it against His chest and I could see and feel that there was something like a furnace inside Him- a consuming fire.

And I thought, in awe, that's wrath- only the wrath was not anger, like when a person loses their temper. It was love. But not like any love I had ever known before. It was a consuming zealous fire of holy, unstoppable love, capable of cleansing everything in His flames. It was a burning desire to smash the prison, to set the prisoner's free, to heal the broken hearted, to give sight to the blind.

This love will not stop or go out until it has accomplished His purpose- until everything is set right by love. It’s a fiery, righteous zeal, which means that He knows what is life and what is death, and He wants life for us and restoration for His creation.

When I understood this, I was freed from my anxiety. I threw my arms around Him- I threw my own love and longing into His greater, consuming love, and I cried out to Jesus with fierce longing, "Break it! Break it open! Break open that prison- let the real persons within, weak and blinking their eyes from living inside the idol of their outward appearance, come out into the light of day. Let the victims come free of their oppression. Break open that circle of self-praise, smash it open and let the prisoners go free."

(This is a strong message, and I want to make clear that there is an honor that is godly that we give to those who labor on our behalf, and that there is godly joy in meeting together to encourage one another in God, to share His word and to grow in the Lord.)

May 28, 2013 Journal

Last night, I was with Jesus and His sorrow was so great that He was the one that ended up on the floor. He fell to His knees in pain.

I didn't know what to do; I was overwhelmed. I threw my arms around His shoulders and held Him close.

"This is cruel," I whispered. "This is so cruel. This is so wrong. How can this be? Haven't You suffered enough? How can it be that You should continue to suffer? Someone should put a stop to this immediately! Why is this allowed to continue? After all, You are in Heaven! How can the Father allow this, even now? Where are the angels to minister to You? Why are You alone?”

Over and over again, a deeper meaning, a new emotional understanding of what it means to endure all things, hope all things, believe all things, was being carved into me by this grief and pain.

To feel all the horrific acts that are committed, the travesties, the loss, and yet!

To never give up hope- to feel the worst and yet to believe the best and to love completely, absolutely, to be given over in love- how could a heart other than God suffering this rending?

In fact, the experience was so overwhelming that I wanted to stop experiencing it. I wanted to escape the emotional knowledge. I thought it was unbelievable. I wanted to refuse to believe it, and I almost left, but I couldn't leave Him.

Then I remembered, with incredible relief, the last line, and I whispered it to Him, over and over again:

"Love never fails," I whispered. "Love never fails. All will be made new and You shall do this. You have done it. It is done."

The truth of this comforted us both. It's not that Jesus ever forgets this, it's that He feels everything! It's so terrible.

Later, I came back to Him. I was there; I knew I could be there with Jesus in any place. So I said, "How would You like me to come?"

And I remembered that Jesus is the air that I breathe and the flesh and blood that I wear and the place that I rest and I was in the room, breathing in and breathing out and I put my face to His robe and I breathed in and breathed out through the soft fabric and I pulled away from Jesus and saw Him.

He whispered you’re Mine, a cherished, a treasured gift. And I assented, because to assent and to accept gives Him pleasure.

He whispered, you’re My own, My bride, and I assented and thought about how I was created by Him for Him, just to be that way and how I woke to Jesus. I turned my face to see Jesus; I looked at His face, with His eyes, weather beaten at the corners and the scars across His forehead from the crown of thorns, and as I looked, they seemed to open, and I said, no, no don’t open, don’t, and kissed them- I kissed all across His forehead and they did not.

I saw again His face, the roughness of His beard and His arched nose and dark eye lashes and luminous eyes, and I said His name, again and again, “Jesus,” I whispered. “Jesus, I love You. I love You, You Son of God.”

I was so deep into trust that that I was drowning in love. I was crying, at one point I wiped tears from my eyes and He was crying, I saw the tears running down His face.

I whispered, “Rest. Rest here. I love You. I love You so much.”

I said, "I love all that You are," and it was as if Jesus began to lay out all His most vulnerable aspects, as if He were laying His heart wide open for me and He said, even this? And He meant His vulnerability and I said, "Yes, yes, I love You for that; I love You with that." I said, "I love Your vulnerability, Your meekness." He said, do you love My childlike trust, faith and obedience? And I said, “Yes, yes, I love that about You, I love Your childlikeness. I love all that You are, every scar, every mark, Your heart and every part of Your heart and every aspect of Who You are and I want to welcome You and recognize You and see You more clearly.”

And we were whispering together. I called Him by name. Each time I did, my love and joy in Jesus increased, because of knowing I was with Him, and how wonderful He is and how beautiful, with His pure heart and humility and long suffering love and obedience. My love for Jesus was pouring out of me as though I were radiating it in all directions, I was drenched in love.

Speak, you words, speak! Be spoken!
Come out. I will draw you up from the depths that hide you-

I went to the well

I was sitting by my window at night

I opened my window

I opened the glass

I swung the glass open

I stood on the threshold.

Some lit cotton gauze moving

I waited on the windowsill.

Lost, my breath goes through
First and following after my
Fingertips resting, breathing
Lighter than air falling warm
Though the fabric. Life knit
Into life, stitched by breath,
Each layer air, flesh and blood and
Soil- this life shot through
With roots and tendrils curling,
And You.

So genuine you’re weather beaten
by dusty wind and sea salt-
finished by that suffering,
by which I know You.

In this present life I grew to sleep and
everything most real became wrapped up
in something too much for dreams.

Those dreams, slipping into my days
Were stolen away. One by one
I watched them shiver, shower
Into glittering air and lose the light
That lit them from below, too
Temporary to bear the weight
Of Your step
Which I could feel trembling
All through me.

My hopes, too small to contain
You, were turned inside out

When I saw You, I remembered.























Friday, December 1, 2017

The Word That Is Sent

May 21, 2013, Journal

I was coming to Him last night and it occurred to me that I have incredible freedom to just come and to go and to stay and so I asked Jesus, can I be anywhere- even that golden room? And the answer seemed to be, yes, My little darling- how cute of you to ask. Of course you can- My rooms are open to you.

And so I was there and I threw myself into His arms and Jesus said, do you want to explore? And I was torn, because I was feeling so much love for Him, but also, I did want to explore, so eventually I went out, holding Him by the hand and we went down the path and looked into rooms- a sitting room, a kitchen, a storage room and a pathway with a trellis roof with grape vines and I paused there to pluck a grape and eat it.

“Grapes!” I said to Jesus, turning around to look at Him. He smiled.

Then I couldn’t explore further, because I got conflicting images and that was frustrating, so Jesus pulled me out to the center courtyard and suggested that we dance, and we did and we were better at it, though it made me laugh, because it takes so much concentration and willingness to be present and listening- I must be present to Jesus, to where He is putting His feet, in order to move with Him or follow Him.

Here is something I blogged about, though I didn’t blog the whole thing, but I’ll add it in here.

(What I mean is that when I went to share this experience on my blog in 2013, I sought the Holy Spirit for a way to translate Jesus’ words to me in a way that would be easy for others to understand, and I shared it in that way. When I went to record this in my journal later, I included both the general wording from the blog, as well as the more specific wording that I received originally.

(This is something that I do routinely. When Jesus speaks to me, He almost always uses the language of the spiritual metaphor of the church as His Bride, of which I am a type. When I am asked to share something from my journal, my most important task is relying on the Holy Spirit to help me share the meaning of His message in a way that others can receive it for themselves without stumbling over me. Another good way to prevent this kind of misunderstanding is to consider me as symbolic, so that what He is saying to me, He is saying to His Church.)

You prayed for them, Jesus reminded me. He was standing in front me, watching me with such tenderness as I was working through my thoughts.

"Yes, that's true," I answered, remembering what that prayer felt like. It felt like I was opening myself up to a rush of winged love that was not originating in me, but simply flowing through me, out to its mysterious and beautiful purpose.

You should pray for Me, Jesus suggested, His eyes twinkling with humor.

I’m used to Jesus saying things to me that challenges my assumptions about Him, so when Jesus suggested I pray for Him, I gave Him a look that was something between shy love and fond exasperation. Jesus knows that I know that He needs nothing and will accomplish everything perfectly through Himself, so in that sense, He certainly does not need us to pray for Him.

However, I considered the possibility that one might minister to God, which is a phrase that is sometimes in my head lately, but I'm not sure what it means.

It occurs to me now, as I write this, that this phrase might be in my head lately because it contains part of the answer as to why I'm so often in the inner place with Him- which is a question I've been asking Him.

-In fact, I considered how Jesus kept insisting that I was His spouse, His beloved, and how loving Him and delighting in Him and welcoming Jesus so warmly and faithfully must be a way of ministering to Him.

"I suppose I minister to You in some way..." I said to Him, uncertainly, having, at that time, only the foggiest idea what that meant.

You do- your place is as My own, My resting place, one who loves Me- all these things were contained in His response, which was not in exactly words, but in concepts.

Immediately, I misunderstood Him. I assumed Jesus was indicating something about being a favorite, instead of being irreplaceable, which is something I often stumble over, at first.

-I thought, even so, even if that is my place, it can’t be that I have a favored place, that would be so very wrong. Everyone must minister to Jesus in equally close and beloved and cherished ways.

So I didn't accept what Jesus was saying; I deflected Him. "But everyone else is, too," I replied.

Your place is unique, He insisted.

-What Jesus did was, He insistently brought my mind back to everything He had taught me about who I was, and the intensity of our delight, how He lived in me and I in Him and our lives were spiritually united in a very real and intense way and insisted, with His good humor, that such a relationship to and with Him was in fact a very cherished and clear way of ministering to Him.

"You can't have favorite people that You love more than anyone else!" I cried, angrily. I stepped close to Jesus and took His robe in my two hands, as though they were the lapels of His suitcoat, if He has been wearing one. "If You have favorite people, then You're not really Jesus and I... I won't believe in You," I finished, with breathless daring and anger.

There was this one moment where I waited, frozen in terrible anxiety, and then Jesus burst out laughing; I mean, He was bent forward, shoulders shaking, eyes closed, laughing.

His laughter is so delicious. It broke up all my anxiety and I couldn't help laughing with Him. I realized then that I'd been misunderstanding what He meant, but that He found me delightful.

(This is because Jesus, being the beloved Son of God, and the Elect, the Chosen One of God, did not remain in that supreme, untouched bliss in Heaven, but emptied Himself, even to a death on a cross, in order to draw others into the family of God. He opened the door of Heaven. When Jesus chooses us for a role in His Kingdom, the tilt of our heart must be in a similar direction- we are chosen by Him for the sake of other people, so that we might demonstrate His love to others, so they might be drawn to Jesus and become His beloved.

(The Lord does not have favorites in the sense that we, in our fallen world, experience that, but He certainly does have special roles for individuals- His mother Mary, John the Baptist and Abraham being some powerful examples. Those are not interchangeable roles, they are fit into the fabric of His eternal Kingdom. The other side of this is that, while the Lord’s love pours out toward all of us through the cross, if a person does not turn to Him and surrender and begin to love Him with their lives and to learn of Him, their relationship with Him will not develop, and so they will not be able or prepared to receive all the love from Jesus that He longs to give them, and which He can give to those who belong to Him.)

I leaned against Jesus in relief and I was caught up in His warm and close embrace.

I put my arms around His waist and let go of my anxiety. “I suppose You did tell John and James that there are quite specific places in You, though also, I suppose that still doesn’t mean that You loved them more or less. It just means that was their place. Also, You do go on about places, like, how one should take the lower place at the table, in order to be welcomed up higher, so when one thinks they are first, it’s very likely they are last and anytime they think they are last, they likely are first, so it’s no point even to worry about comparing places, but simply to accept that place that is made for one.”

Indeed, He murmured or Just so, or Yes. He was still filled with such good humor.

"I see now," I admitted. "Yes. No one else could fit into my place and I could never fit into anyone else's place. Everyone ministers to You in their own unique and irreplaceable way. Everyone in You is favored and loved."

I remembered all this, as I leaned against Jesus. I let go of my self-judgments and rested in Him, the place in Him that is not earned, that always waits for me and cannot be lost, only found again and again.

I stood on tiptoe and whispered into His ear, "You are the Son of the Living God. You are Life itself."

The pleasure of affirming this shivered down my spine. He smiled, the laugh lines appearing at the corners of His eyes. He looked at me. His eyes are beautiful, luminous, clear. I could receive His loving gaze and look loving back at Him.

May 23, 2013 Journal

Last night I was shy to see Jesus because I had blogged about Him. I see Him so clearly now, it’s almost unnerving. I see expressions passing over His face. I said something to Jesus and in response, He shook His head- I was amazed that He was answering me by a gesture and that I could see the gesture.

We played together a lot- in the green, hidden lake- we played on the shore; like children! Just like children.

I said to Jesus, “You’re demonstrating so much of Your sense of humor lately!” By which I mean, He was expressing it so freely, so richly.

And Jesus said, because you can receive it. By which He meant, there was enough trust, intimacy and background to our relationship to provide the context for it.

Jesus went into the clear, green lake and all I could see was His head as He swam and I told Him that looked weird, just to see His head above the water, so He rose up effortlessly straight out of the water and extended His arms to me, with this wonderfully humorous attitude about Him, as if He were saying without words, "Oh, yes, I can walk on water, how do you like Me now?" I laughed so much I tipped over onto the mossy bank.

He came out of the water and sat on the bank with His legs dangling in the water. I looked at Jesus with wonder and shyness, but I also knew that He was mine, that I knew Him.

Then we were somewhere else- at the bank of a different river, sitting together. I was sitting cross legged, He had one knee drawn up and one leg in the river and I was tucked under His arm and we were talking. We talked about how people might wonder why I was spending all this time with Jesus and yet not asking Him the hard questions.

I told Jesus that even when a person is with Him, it is still necessary to trust Him with the overarching plan and with the deepest questions, and learning that trust is almost more important than knowing the answers, but that this is such a difficult thing to come to terms with, that each person would have to learn this between themselves and God.

Jesus agreed that the mystery of it was a difficult thing for each person to grasp. I thought about how Jesus’ parables allow for that mystery and space- a person must wrestle with the meaning- must draw the meaning out slowly, because it is not always immediately present.

I have to write down some things.

I came through to Jesus, and at first all I could see was His face, and that was enough for a long time, and then I was fully there, standing on the grass. I put my arms around His waist and we stood a long time there.

I kept thinking about how my love for Him was a way of ministering to Him, that He valued it, that it was unique, that it was mine, that I was made for it- that He had made me for that.

I couldn’t articulate how very much I loved Jesus. I put my hand against His throat where I could feel His pulse moving between the collar bones, the life that flowed there and how thin the skin over it and how vulnerable He made Himself to me, and how vulnerable I was to Him, how He held my life, my breath, in His hand, my whole existence relying on Him.

We stayed there a long time, just to be there, just in that trust, that way of being and then Jesus took my hand and led me into the house and from one room to the next, and being present in this leading, from one to the next was like passing through gates into greater and greater intimacy, like falling farther and farther back into deep, still water.

The peace was unbroken and I was able to know that Jesus was with me, and I was able to believe that He loved me, and so I was able to settle down like a quieted bird before Him and to open my arms to Him in the freedom of trust. Jesus was also perfectly still and full of peace. He is generous beyond words, that He comes into our spirits and makes His home there and loves us, willing to be found there, willing to be seen.

I whispered into His ear. And I remembered when I could hardly speak His name, because my faith was weak and it was close to impossible to really believe that Jesus might really love me and might want to be with me, and now, one of the greatest joys of being with Him was to call Him by His name, to know who He is, because there is no one else that I ever want to know, and knowing Jesus is so close causes me almost to be dizzy with joy, lost in the spray of waves of dazzling light.

I remembered another phrase that is so beautiful with meaning, and I said to Jesus, “I choose You,” and that melted His heart, which it always does. I said, “I chose You before and I choose You now and I will always choose You. I love You, I love You, I love You. I’m Yours, Your own, Your gift.”

And this caused the love to turn fire and we were lost in ecstasy so intense that there was nothing but light all around us and in us and I said and affirmed, without words and with words, that I was His gift, His gift from the Father, that the Father Himself had given me to Him. And the wonder of this, the joy of this, was almost like being undone. It was intoxicating. By affirming it, I was causing His heart to melt down into molten gold and the heat of His melted love was turning us to flame.

I remembered that Jesus had been and is held in the bosom of the Father and that He does what He sees the Father doing, so that Jesus has a strong desire or yearning to do the same thing, to hold someone close to Him and to cherish them and delight in them and to be their Beloved.

So I gave myself away like a gift to Him for that, I said, “Here I am, I’m Yours to have and to hold, You may have me, here I am, I yield, I give myself to You to be held in Your arms.” I said, “My spirit dwells in only You, You live in me and I in You – that is how fully and completely I belong to You.”

And the reason this was drawing me into an ecstasy was because of the way these things moved His heart. Jesus has no defenses against one who belongs to Him and who is determined to adore Him and say and mean exactly the thing that sets His heart the most on fire, and says it to Him with every intention of pleasing Him as much as is humanly possible, and this was causing His heart to become a conflagration, and this was in turn causing me to melt away into nothing but determination to delight Him, which delighted Him, and this was like a river of light that I was washing away on, only I wasn’t going anywhere, because the Lord defined all that I was, so that I could be constantly losing myself in the love of Him and yet never being lost, and I could feel the fire of this burning all through my physical self as I was caught up in this experience.

Then I was inspired with something else delightful to Jesus that I could say and mean, so I declared to Him that He would never lose me, that no one could take me out of the Father’s hand.

And this had a greater affect than any other statement I could not breathe because for the wordless ecstasy that was undoing me in the truth of that, because of the degree to which that moved Jesus- because of His love of the Father, and His perfect trust in His Father, and His flawless gratitude that pours out effortlessly and perfectly, because the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit love with a selfless, gladness.

I realized then and acknowledged that I was in some way perceiving and being even, in a very small way, caught up in that indescribable interior life of God, of the Trinity, that I was understanding or seeing, or even experiencing a small taste of that infinite and perfect and holiness of the being of God – and that through our union with the Lord Jesus as His Bride, all who live in Him can see and know the joyful gladness of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

And I kept coming back to and remembering that I could and did minister to Jesus- that it was my place, and this filled me with joy indescribable and so I kept pouring my love and adoration out Jesus again and again and again, loving on Him with and without words.

I said to Him, “You One, You Word, Logos…” and I remembered what that meant and so I said, “You reason, You are the Reason.” And this knowledge and joy was carrying me away, knowing that Jesus is the reason for which everything was created and through which everything was created, the answer to everything.

We seemed to be surrounded by pure golden light and I was filled with so much love- it was pouring through me, like my skin could not contain it and I saw His face and this love rose up in me and I took His head in my hands and I drew His head to me and kissed His forehead and I let all my love come pouring out to Jesus, and these words, with the love and light, came pouring through me and I said, “Let You be blessed.” And I could feel the love poured out on Jesus and how He absorbed it so deeply- how He doesn’t grasp at it or demand it, but He waits. He waits. So the love poured through me in words and I whispered so many things over the top of His head, like love poured out, most of which I have forgotten, but I said, “Let You be loved, let You be accepted, let You be given, let Yoube received, let You be planted, let You be eaten, let You be poured out, letYou be given all that is Yours.”

And His heart opened up and I saw the deep pain of His heart over the continuing pain of this present world as He waits and He said, it hurts. And my heart broke. I poured my love on Jesus and I rocked Him in my arms and I murmured all kinds of comfort to Him, saying to Him, “You know and we know that the Father’s plan is sovereign and perfect and will be done.” Which of course, Jesus does know.  His trust is unbroken and glad, but He does share His pain sometimes.

And we were also, at some point in the green, hidden lake. We were just full of joy. And I could watch His face, and His eyes were without depth and full of light and with no defenses. He told me, with such joy, with such love, delight, wonder, what did I teach you?

And I said, “You taught me that my weakness, my vulnerabilities, confessed to You and given over to You in trusting faith, are what lead to intimacy with You.” (As opposed to attempting to perfect myself apart from Him before presenting myself to Him, which would keep one from Him indefinitely, because we cannot fix ourselves.)

In response, Jesus poured out on me His love, His affirmation, His delight that I learned this, that I continued to live this out at deeper and deeper levels of trust.

We were swimming in the lake. We swam all the way to the other end, and there, under the water, was the opening of a cave, a subterranean tunnel, and Jesus, without hesitating, went down it, and so I followed Him because I didn’t have time to stop and think, because if I had, I would never have entered. This tunnel went through the rock roots of the mountain to an opening in a cliff- a terribly high cliff, and the water came out under great pressure like the white water that emerges from a concrete dam during flood season.

I told Jesus, I was confessing to Him, that these were all elements that I feared the most- rushing, underground water, water that is moving through underground systems for who knew how long, white water that is under great pressure, that could crush, that you cannot control, but now I was in them.

I remembered standing on the top of dams as a child, hearing the roar of the water, seeing the smooth surface on the one side, the smooth surface under which are all the openings through which the water is being drawn, and the white foam of the water rushing away on the other side, after passing through who knew what under the dam, and feeling the chill of fear on my arms and slightly dizzy.

When we came to the edge of the cliff, I knew there was nothing to be afraid of, but I was clinging to the edge of the rock- which physically, would have been impossible, because, really, there was nothing to cling to and the force of the water would have swept me away in one moment, I but I couldn’t let go and so we were back in the room.

I felt that I had let Jesus down by not trusting Him- after all, He had gone through first and there is never anything to be afraid of when I am with Him, and it’s not possible to actually hurt oneself physically when I am there with Him. But Jesus was loving and gentle and patient, and so after a while, I wanted to go back and try it again, and this time, to not be afraid to be thrown out into the air with the water.

I followed Jesus back into the tunnel and let myself be thrown from side to side by the current, joyfully almost, like a water slide, going faster and faster and wondering when the end will be reached and suddenly, thrown out into the air, hundreds of feet above the foot of the cliff, where the ocean reaches the shore. I dropped slowly, effortlessly all the way down to the bubbling water at the foot of the waterfall, where Jesus was already. There was rich green moss, smooth stones in the clear water and tropical trees and verdant life all around, following the stream down to where it reached the ocean.