"Where is our Beloved, the one we created to be with us?
He has gone missing.
I must find him.
And so, it begins...
"There! He is laying alone in the dark, covered in mud. We must find a way to bring him back to us. He was created to walk with us, but he has forgotten how."
"We must remind him."
"We must teach him once again. My Son, you must go. Bring back the connection that once was, but is no more. I must warn you, it will be hard, but I will be with you until the end, and then again after the end."
And so, it begins...
I came to the place we had created, now tainted by the enemy. The shadow of his influence manifested itself in repugnant garbage littering the ground. Everywhere the eye landed was covered with darkness and filth. Clouds of flies buzzed ominously across the sky. Evil had become tangible. This was a dangerous place.
I could feel my Father's presence in my soul, guiding me in the paths of safety as I searched for our beloved. As I picked my way through the mountains of trash, I thought of another road I walked, one that would be continuously strenuous, marked with pain, but ultimately yield the greatest reward. Yes, we would be united once more, but in this place governed by time, patience would be the key. The process would be long and grueling, but in the twinkling of an eye it would end. And then, then it would begin again, and oh, what a glorious beginning it would be. My heart burned to be reunited with this one lost child.
Ah! There he was, lying on the road, oblivious to my presence, not taking in anything but himself. Standing beside him, my heart broke to see his pitiful, emaciated form, moaning and crawling about, blind to the world around him. Oh, he was meant for so much greater things! We were meant to know each other intimately, like I know my Father, but this one knew nothing of me. This had to change. I would die to see this man restored.
"PETER!" I yelled, "Arise, I AM here."
As he became aware of me, I could see the battle raging in his heart. The enemy clung to him so tightly that the slime sticking to his skin seemed antagonistic, trying to blind him to my presence.
"Be gone, evil one," I commanded, "Your work here is ended, my time for this one is now."
The film covering his eyes immediately drew away, revealing bright blue underneath. In those eyes, written plainly, was the desire I was hoping to find, the desire I needed in order to work.
Gently I asked, "Walk with me?"
To my sheer joy, Peter, whom I loved with every fiber of my being, reached toward my outstretched hand.
"I want to, but how?" he said.
"Just one step at a time, my beloved"
And so, it begins. I cleansed Him from head to toe, clothed him in a radiant tunic of the purest white linen, and gently took his hand. Here he was, unstained and uninhibited, the man that our plan revolved around. This was him! My heart leapt for joy as I beheld him the way he was meant to be, free from the enemy's filth and ready to walk.
Ah, but what cruelty, his strength had been leeched out of him by the years of wallowing in the muck and mire. His pitiful frame made my heart ache for him. His legs and arms looked as if they had never been used, frail and lean. His bright eyes were sunken in a gaunt, drawn face.
"We must strengthen Him" was my quick prayer. In the quiet of my heart I called out to my Father. "Abba," I said, "give this little one strength as he learns to walk with us. My desire is for him, this you know." And with that, I led him forward. As with all children, he began by falling on his face, and as with all fathers, my Father was overjoyed that he was learning.
How great was my joy when he took his first step! My heart turned violently inside my chest as I saw, in his heart, the burning desire to follow me. I could see in his eyes the longing to run, to leap, and it filled me with unspeakable excitement. I too was eager for those days, to run through my Father's golden fields. Oh, how I longed to walk in the cool of the woods with him, or to gaze off of the beautiful mountain peaks at the rolling plains below. My heart burst with a craving for this man's fellowship.
"He must learn to walk first," my Father quietly interrupted, "see, he has to concentrate his entire mind on staying upright."
"Of course, Papa. You are right."
A small sigh escaped my mouth as I turned my mind back to the task at hand. He had to learn to walk without thinking before he could really know me.
"Look how far he has come! Abba, he can take many steps now. Yes, they are unsure and faltering, and he falls yet again, but soon, soon he will be able to follow us wherever we lead. Soon we will know each other."
We both knew that day would come, but Peter had one thing standing in his way. His body had been cleaned, but it was not yet strong. Even now he was on the ground, covered in the slime once again. And while he was there, the enemy had the power to entice him.
Yet something was different this time. This time he was not taking my hand. The enemy had convinced him that walking was not worth the pain of learning. He had given up.
"Peter, Arise!" I pleaded, but the enemy had stopped up his ears with the muck of the earth.
"I am here my child," I said, reaching out to him. But I could tell his heart was no longer searching. As he rolled about on the ground, his eyes became clogged with garbage once again, blocking out our light.
And so, it begins…
He has been in this state for some time. At first he would try to walk again, but he did it alone, and was so blinded that he would collide with things and cause more pain than good.
As the long months went by I begged my Father to let me intercede. Often, Peter would smash into walls in a headlong fall, or crawl into a thorn-bush, and his pain would become mine. I would weep with him and weep for him, longing to intercede, to save him from his own foolishness. Yet he had rejected my help, and I would not go against his will, for I loved him. My Father and I agreed that the best way would be if he were to come to me of his own choosing.
And yet I was able to steer him away from the more dangerous obstacles that he encountered. The enemy sought his life many times, yet we were able to thwart him, although often our limited influence could not completely protect him. Now he is battered and bruised to such an extent that he barely moves. His spirit is broken; I fear he will lose the desire to live.
But there! What was that? Was it? Could it finally be? Yes! There, in his mind, was regret. There was remorse over his falling away! Oh Abba, Yes! There was the desire there for reconciliation! Joyous day! The long awaited moment had come.
"Now is your time, my Son," spoke my Father's voice.
Simultaneously, joy filled my heart as sorrow invaded my soul. I knew what I had to do; in fact, before I found him I knew I was going to have to do this. I was desperate for the restoration it would bring, and yet I dreaded the steps I would have to take to achieve it. I drew together my resolve, steadied myself, and began praying to my Father as if my life depended on it.
Reaching down to Peter, I spat in my hand and began to massage the fluid into the layers blocking his eyes. Slowly the crusty dirt clouding his vision began to dissolve away until he stared at me once again with those sapphire eyes. I flooded my gaze with all the passion, desire, and longing that I felt for him until it spilled over into my voice as I reached out my hand.
"Walk with Me?"
Tears welled up in his eyes and he looked away. "But, I gave up. You still want me?"
It was then that he began to realize the love that I had for him. It swept over him, penetrating deep into his soul, washing him with my desire.
The moment he reached out his hand to mine, my hesitation at the cost passed. Relief washed over me and tears of joy sprang to my eyes, and I gently enclosed his hand in mine and pulled him to his feet.
The enemy screamed with rage. "You cheat!" he yelled, "that one was rightfully mine!" Haughtily he leered, "You are righteous. You cannot steal from me. Return him!"
"Who said anything about stealing? This was a trade, a life for a life."
And so, it begins...
The grime on Peter began to flow; with a vicious tenacity it attacked my hand, searing my flesh with an acidic hatred. The pain grew. Down my arm it came, burning all the way. Never had I felt this level of pain before. My body began to shake violently. Across my shoulders it crept, leaving an acrid stench in my nostrils. The enemy's laugh rang out over the sizzling of my flesh. Peals of triumphant laughter echoed in my ear drums as the pain intensified and I dropped to my knees. The slime was now down to my waist, dropping toward my feet, consuming my skin like a horde of hungry ants. I could feel it moving slowly up my neck, burning like a thousand tiny fires. It went first toward the sensitive areas of my body, burning with an intensity that turned my stomach. Waves of nausea crashed over me and threatened to make me faint, and yet, I did not. The enemy, in his evil, had caused the acidic slime to move slowest toward the vital parts of my body, in order to extend the pain as long as possible. Even now my head and heart were free of any contamination. It felt like hours of continuous burning before the slime finally reached them. At that moment the pain up to that point had paled in comparison. It touched my heart as if a thousand flaming brands were driven through my chest, searing away flesh but exposing the screeching nerves. I'm not sure what happened next, but I found myself screaming in pain from the depths of my soul, writhing on the ground in agony.
And then the worst part came. The slime reached my head. Agonizingly, it closed over my face, blocking out everything. Everything! I could not feel Him! My Father! Where was He? That comforting presence that had always been there was gone! All that was left was pain, throbbing along my every nerve, piercing through my innermost being, and aching in every muscle, all at the same time. But that was nothing. I could easily have endured with my Father there. But He was gone. He had turned His back and forsaken me. I was alone for the first time in my life. The cold dark enveloped me as even the memory of everything good and whole was driven from me. The anguish added to the agony and I felt like I was being torn apart from the inside. Everything I had left poured out of me, crying for my Father to return. And then… it ended. I was empty, dying. As my life ebbed away, silence replaced the pain. And then... Oh glory, He was back... “TETELESTAI!!”
Time stopped, I was now both alive and dead. I felt nothing, saw nothing, and heard nothing, but I knew. I knew that it was finished. I knew the pain was over. I knew the enemy was defeated. I knew all that was left was to claim the victory. Then it came. The power of the Most High filled me like a rushing river, and I came alive. With a burst of light, everything refocused. I could see Peter again! He was down on the ground, awestruck, blinded by the Father's glory. The enemy was gone; all that was left was the earth we had created. But this man, Peter, the one I loved, the one I died for, this man was free!
I continue to teach Peter, we are walking, now more easily than at first. There is so much we have yet to see, my heart is content to guide him. But there are more lost people, people that need to learn to walk. I want them all. They are rightfully mine and I love them. I am jealous for their love. My heart yearns to walk with them, to show them the wonders of this world. And so, I am constantly searching. I look for those, like Peter, willing to take my hand. My Father has given them the desire to walk. I will find them, I will claim them, and I will love them like they cannot begin to imagine. I want you. I AM coming.