The ‘Journeyer” found herself in a solitary setting, along a river. She knew not what had brought her to this place. It was as if she just arrived there after a long walk. There was a clearing and she noticed a waterfall. She was hot and tired and in need of refreshing. The scene before her of water, trees and wild flowers; the cheerful sound of birds singing stirred her spirit. She felt the urge to plunge into the water, to swim…to shower under the flow of the falls. Oh, the joy, the freedom, the renewing she experienced as she frolicked in those waters!
Looking back at the shore, she noticed a white, linen gown hanging from a bush. Leaving the water she saw a blanket spread on the ground. A lunch had been set out on the covering and a lovely book bag was there. It looked very familiar! In her spirit there was a ‘knowing’ that the gown, the meal and the book bag were for her.
A quiet prompting from deep within her being said: “Eat child, and rest awhile.” So she dressed and ate, perusing the books all the while. The warm sun, caressing her body bade her to sleep. She closed her eyes and listened to the lullaby being sung so sweetly all around her.
A while later, she was awakened by the sound of barking dogs coming closer. She saw a pack of animals racing toward her: there were a few poodles, a couple of long haired mixed breeds and several labs, with one large male lab leading the pack. By now, the frightened woman was standing, even debating whether to run for her life or climb the nearest tree!
It couldn’t be, but in the blink of her eye, she suddenly recognized each excited animal bolting toward her. They were beloved companions she had known in the other place! The jumping, quivering, squealing bodies of pure love swept over her. That afternoon (or was it evening?) they wrestled and played and walked along the riverbank. The sun was setting when she fell asleep surrounded by her loving pets. Under her head, stretched out as a pillow, was the large, black male.
She arose early the next morning, to a fresh new day in this wondrous place. Once again, she entered the waters and returned to find her blanket prepared with a clean gown and a meal spread out before her. As she ate, she observed woodland animals coming to the water. They had no fear of the woman’s presence…certainly they did not hurry. Every now and then one would approach her and allow her gentle hand to stroke it.
And then it happened! In the distance was the figure of a person coming closer. Various animals were escorting him. Her pets went out to meet the stranger with barks of joy and wagging tails. The birds sang louder, hopping excitedly from tree to bush.
The figure was closer now. He wore a robe and his long hair shone as once seen in old pictures. He was carrying a staff and there were sheep ambling along beside him as well. She knew it was The Shepherd and she fell on her knees. “Arise child” He said. “I have been waiting for you.” He took her hand and raised her to her feet. She beheld the eyes of Love looking deep into her own eyes. “”Come, let us reason together.” He said. They walked and talked of many things.
I’m not sure how long she was in that place of cleansing and refreshing. But He came to her regularly. Sometimes He taught her great truths, and often she would pour out her heart to Him. Other times they would take long walks and sing songs of praise.
She was most surprised when one day, He led her to a beautiful spot in the woods. She saw two easels, brushes and paints laid out on a table. They spent hours capturing the scene before them on canvas. At one point, the fledgling artist was struggling. He then stood behind her, and with His hand on hers, He guided her strokes and prepared the exact colors of paint to complete the scene.
Then came the day when the “Journeyer” knew upon arising that this day was going to be different. From deep with her being she felt the prodding to leave this special place and press on further than she had ever gone.
Following the river, she was not in her usual strolling mode. This time she walked as one with purpose to some unknown destination. The daylight around her seemed to get brighter. Somehow, the song of the birds and the sound of the water were accompanied by voices singing a chorus of pure majesty. Coming up over a hill, her eyes fell upon a beautiful city stretched out before her. Her heart began to race and her steps turned into running.
Before her was a majestic building…maybe a church or a temple. The woman followed the crowd that had come out of nowhere, and they soon entered the Holy Place. Great pillars lined each side of the building. Throngs of worshipers were present; some were standing, some were kneeling. Many lifted up holy hands. Before them was a magnificent throne, high and lifted up. Voices, like many waters sang songs of highest praise. For a while, she stood behind a pillar and watched and listened, as her heart nearly pounded out of her body.
Finally, her eyes focused on the object of all this worship. There He was, seated on the throne. Around and about Him were beings of ‘light’. The stairs leading up to His throne were filled with the train of His Glory.
He called her forth from her hiding place, though no word was spoken. As she climbed the golden steps, her whole being was filled with the Presence of the King of Kings and
Lord of Lords; the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. She could no longer stand before Him, but fell prostrate His feet.
After awhile, a hand touched her shoulder and she knew that touch well. And she heard these words:
“Well done My good and faithful servant.”
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