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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Where Angels Fear to Tread (not about the book) (09/08/11)

TITLE: The Antidote
By Beth Muehlhausen


The Antidote

Maria’s vast heart is a wild and untamed, yet spectacular kingdom – a secret garden, and the Beloved’s sanctuary. However, unchecked imposters slither underfoot in the lower chambers. Vipers of vanity. Serpents of self-importance. Mammoth lizards posing as fearsome dragons of dread.

Distortion. Obsession. Pride. Worldliness. Chaos. Is there hope for redemption of this divine-turned-morbid place? Trembling angels assemble in their heavenly realms to praise their Beloved Most High God, trusting Him to send His Spirit to intercede.

"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."*

Unaware of the Beloved’s presence in the high tower of her heart, and of the angels’ distant vigil, Maria knows only that she is gripped by longing and desperation born of disappointing self-confidence. She squints and grimaces. A distant door suggests escape from her limited self-imposed universe, but it is too far away. Oh, mortal anguish; surely she will drown in this swarming tangle of devilish disillusionment!

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty …”

Amidst the terror, the Beloved’s gentle-but-firm voice calls from the tower housing His indwelling presence: I am here. Celestial light also shines down from this tower, softening the shadows surrounding the doorway and inviting her to come forth and rise to join Him.

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty …”

Maria denies the existence of the voice and light, considering them figments of her imagination. At the same time, the tumbling floor rumbles with thrashing serpentine bodies, initiating more panic. She sinks to her knees as venomous fangs snap-snap, dripping pride’s toxic death. Meanwhile, strains of a divine love song descend from the tower and swell on the other side of the door, beyond the raucous clatter of doom.

Can it be? The song dares - no, urges - her to rise and dance. She hunches in protest, and yet a prayer involuntarily bursts from her lips: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner!”

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty …”

In that moment the light from the doorway grows brighter, and the gracious, compassionate Comforter-Intercessor enters like a dove-turned-prince. He takes Maria by the hand with gentlemanly poise, and pulls her to her feet. She rises on her toes as this Holy Spirit sweeps her from the writhing floor to float and sway above its snapping, snarling mayhem.

From this place of mercy, Maria dares to pause and look down upon so many ugly enemies as they lunge at her heels as if to steal the Beloved’s gift of victory. She locks eye-to-eye with their sinister gazes - alas! - and falls to grovel among them again, sinking in despair and crying in fear.

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty …”

The Beloved calls again, louder this time. She must respond! With faith! And trust! Passion tells her to leave the low life – the darkened, unpredictable inner terrain where she slithers together with misconceptions and lies, and go to higher ground, to Him!

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty …”

As scales fall from Maria’s eyes, the Beloved calls His angels to this heart-scene. They arrive, chanting compelling acapella praises to Him that drown the horrific monologue of demonic hissing.

"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory … “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory … Holy, holy, holy …”*

The Beloved’s voice booms an invitation Maria cannot mistake: “Do you want to get well?”**

“Sir, I need help …”

“Get up … and walk!”***

Maria obediently stands and submits to the Spirit’s welcoming embrace. Together they prance through darkness, over defeat, and dance up the steps of the tower toward the Beloved Lord. Their gait matches the rhythm of Maria’s own pulse as it drums in sync with the Beloved’s song calling from above and the angels’ voices supporting from behind. Unified and yielded to intimacy, Maria weeps with gratitude knowing divine love is the antidote for her autonomous despair.

*Isaiah 6:3, New International Version
**John 5:6b, New International Version
***John 5:8, New International Version

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This article has been read 616 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Margaret Kearley 09/16/11
'And the angels of heaven rejoice over one sinner that repents.' Wow! - what a wonderful description of salvation and the battle for one soul. Mind-blowing! Excellent writing.
Linda Goergen09/18/11
Wow…what a vision of the spiritual battle within hearts! Such a well written and absorbing piece! Great job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/22/11
This is really good. Congratulations for ranking 8th in Masters and 11th overall.