shouting into the wind

they drove to the coast for the day. she had some props to stage and photograph for a piece she was writing. she invited him along for company, for help and because she loved him.

it wasn’t a good weather day at the beach. the temperature was cold and the sky was overcast. the wind blew hard. after parking the car, they got out their cameras to explore the treasures of the beach.

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photo credit: jane doe

it wasn’t long before he began walking the other direction, intently focused on unusual birds and adjusting camera settings. maybe today he would get perfect shots that would fix all the broken things.

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photo credit: jane doe

she watched him go, giving him time do what he loved. it was low tide, offering them a rare opportunity to see eddies and tide pools normally hidden in high tide. the wind and the waves formed intricate designs and patterns in the sand. she took a few photos as she admired the handiwork and creativity of the one who’d made it all.

after a while she needed his help.  she began calling his name as she walked toward him. to her surprise, he turned and walked the other direction, oblivious to her calls, to her existence on the beach with him. she started shouting his name hoping he would hear her voice above the wind, willing him to hear her deep calling to his.

suddenly, stark reality pierced her heart. tears and wind stung her eyes. she stopped shouting and stopped walking.  she stood still in the wind watching him walk further away from her.

she realized he wouldn’t have needed to hear her if he saw her and honored her in his heart. he would have sensed her need and heard her calling him in his spirit.

but he couldn’t honor her because he didn’t honor father. and there were things blocking his vertical relationship with his abba. they were cameras, lenses, flash drives, birds, animals, all good things, yes, but they’d become idols.

the very gifts he’d been given were now stumbling blocks as he looked to them for identity and fulfillment. every day, he put them first, blocking the goodness, love and healing father wanted to pour into him.

those good things caused blindness, a tunnel vision in every part of his life. he was unable to see anyone else because he was focused on himself. similar to a funhouse mirror, the tunnel vision was destroying the very relationships he said mattered most to him.

vertical relationships with father, jesus and holy spirit must be correctly aligned for horizontal relationships with people to work.

first things first.

jane doe productions © 2018

 

 

authority and submission

it was relatively the same conversation on a different day, this time via telephone.

he was complaining about the demons in the apartment. it was the same lot that lived there before her arrival and after she’d left. the older residents had likely invited a few new ones by now.

the latest round of harassment and victimization included an apple thrown across the kitchen, cupboard doors opening and slamming shut with a new stunt thrown into the mix. one of them had taken his laptop and chucked it on the floor when he wasn’t home. this act of destruction required a trip to the big box electronics store for repairs.

she shook her head, listening in frustration. the demons had never messed with her. when she was around they’d fled to dark corners and closets.

he went on, wallowing in self-pity about the bad things they were doing to him. it was a ploy for sympathy. of course it was. she bought it for a minute and began praying for him.

he listened as she began, “father, i’m seriously tired of listening to all the crap the enemy is doing to _______. she began to take authority over the enemy but something wasn’t right. she stopped.

she turned her attention back to him. “you know, we’ve had this conversation multiple times. you were made for so much more. you were not made to live at this level in this misery. if you would fully come into your identity in jesus, you wouldn’t have to put up with this crap.”

he said nothing in response to the truth he was hearing. he never did, never engaged in this part of his salvation. self-pity had a louder voice again this go ’round.

they finished their conversation and she went on with her day. same old story. she shook her head. it was another reminder of why they weren’t together anymore. choices and free will. sigh.

two days later, she saw a post by graham cooke on facebook. her eyes grew wide as saucers when she read it. not only did the light bulb go on, it blew up.

papa graham offered this wisdom: “process is where we discover god at work in our lives. it is where we submit to the work of his hands. process is everything. there is no growth or maturity without it.

if we do not submit to the process, the enemy will not submit to us. the process is the foundation for our obedience, which results in our authority. there is no authority outside of our submission.” (from qualities of a spiritual warrior by graham cooke)

authority courthouse
photo credit: pixabay

there it was. she knew this was spot on. there is no authority outside of our submission. she’d been through process learning obedience. she had been granted authority and father god continued to increase it. it was the reason stuff moved when she was around.

merriam-webster defines authority as 1. power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior, and 2. freedom granted by one in authority.

submission is defined as 1. the condition of being submissive, humble, or compliant, and 2. an act of submitting to the authority or control of another.

as she mulled over graham’s words, holy spirit added to it. “submission is also a choice to trust, to receive love, to have full on relationship with papa, jesus and me. it’s believing we have your best interests in mind always. it’s believing we are always good.

it’s submitting to being and living as the new creation that you already are. to remain locked into your former identity as a dead man only produces more death.

sure, papa’s children will go to heaven, but they will not experience the righteousness, peace and joy of our kingdom here without submission, without the process or the journey.

becoming a manifested son or daughter is a choice. you cannot rule and reign with jesus outside of embracing your son ship.”

who are you? the new man or the dead man?

what is your identity in jesus?

(copyright © 2017 jane doe)

full exposure

it had been nearly three weeks since they’d spoken. it was the longest they’d ever gone without any communication.

she’d made the upgrade in her own identity and it caused a shift between them. in the process, the battle had intensified. father was bringing her into higher levels of rest and trust. after the first week of silence, she settled into it. it was all right.

then the direction shifted. she was still  at work one day when she began to see a restaurant they frequented often in her mind. once, twice and a third time she saw it.

then came the phone call from a trusted friend. after conversation, it was clear: it was time to go back into the fray, to fight for him, to fight for them. destinies were at stake.

she texted him once. he read it and did not respond. she sent another, letting him know where she was. silence. then a text response. “what do you want?” she felt his anger.

this was not normal. “what do you mean?” she texted back. then her phone rang. “where are you?” yes. he was angry. and he had been angry for over two weeks.

after some conversation, the reason for his anger became clear. the enemy had whispered lies to him about her. he had believed the worst of her based on his experience with someone else.

 

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photo credit: pixabay

 

the liar had worked hard to make him believe they were exactly the same. they were not. she unraveled the lie and presented the truth to him.

his face grew darker. in his anger, she could see he wanted to believe the lie over the truth. it was easier than admitting he hadn’t questioned the lying spirits with their accusing voices. pride was right there to justify his actions and misplaced anger.

she didn’t pull any punches. “you need to delineate a clear line between her actions and mine. we are not the same. i do not do what she did. if you don’t keep it separate, i’m going to get the crap beat out of me.” she meant it figuratively, but he went off.

“what do you mean? i’m going to beat you up?” she looked him in the eyes over her bowl of nachos. “no. i mean that i will get hurt.”

he sat back in his chair taking in the weight of her words. she went to the restroom. “daddy, I don’t know what to to. i need more grace and mercy over us here. help me.” she went back out to the table.

his features had softened slightly. “how do we fix this?” he asked. she shrugged her shoulders. “wipe the slate clean?” he nodded, adding, “hit the reset button?” she nodded.

nothing felt like it had been reset. the atmosphere was heavy. not only was he sitting on the other side of the table, but so were the demons who’d been tormenting him in recent months. they hung on his shoulders and whispered lies to him. she could see them and hear when they spoke through his mouth.

he didn’t have a skill set for combatting them yet. but he would. and when he knew the truth, it would make him free.

fear, rejection, poverty, infirmity, jealousy and pride. and here they were all together at dinner. no wonder it was challenging to navigate. and deep within this beautiful man was a small boy who needed healing.

they did okay when the conversation centered around what each of them had been doing for activities, how the family was, etc.

pride became impatient with the niceties and began telling her what he would and would not do, ripping on the plans father god had shown them both together.

she stayed still as long as she could, her heart racing as the liar attempted to deconstruct what father had already begun in building them together as one.

when the conversation crossed the line, she put on her coat and set her purse on the table. she stood before him, hardly believing the words he’d spoken. this clearly was not him.

the pain was in her eyes, in her words. she could see that he saw it. his own pain and woundedness was so great, all he could do was take it out on her in the moment.

she looked over at him before she walked away. shaking her head sadly, she said, “you don’t want to let the best thing you’ve got in your life walk out the door.” it was not bragging. it was arrogant. it was just true.

she left. he didn’t go after her. as she walked to the car, she made one remark to father. “i know, i know, i will believe and trust right now that what the enemy meant here for evil tonight, you will make work for our good.”

she got in the car and waited to see if he would come to stop her. he did not.

she debriefed the whole thing with wise counsel. some of this had been father’s doing. he wanted to expose things in the man that had been hidden. she had called them out and brought light into them.

exposure had occurred. the enemy had lost ground that he would never get back. checkmate.

twenty-four hours later, she was exhausted from the skirmish, unfriended and exiled. these were but temporary conditions. she declared victory and full restoration with a song in her heart.

light always exposes the darkness.

 

(copyright 2017 jane doe)

galvanized heart

the battles are intense at times.

sometimes jesus asks her if she’s glad she came back from the dead the second time. the first time, she had no choice, but the second time offered the choice of going on to heaven or returning to earth to finish her assignments.

she answers his question each time, thoughtfully and honestly. he laughed at her response one day as she rolled her eyes and said, “maybe not so much today.”

other days, he didn’t have to ask, her joy was apparent. occasionally, her answer didn’t come in words, only tears.

in her innocence, she imagined smooth sailing after making the decision to return to earth and finish what father had given her to do. smooth sailing never came. it did, in fact, get worse. quickly.

the enemy knew where to strike, where she was vulnerable. 3 car crashes weren’t enough; there would be 2 more. the physical injuries were nothing compared to the emotional trauma.

the job layoff came. another house was lost. friends betrayed her. the list of ugly happenings grew.

she thought father was mad at her for a minute. he was not.

the enemy, however, was determined to make her believe father did not love her.

she was in the fire, her own prayers answered a little each day. it was not because father was doing things to her, but because of his work on her heart through the bad things.

it was suffering. in it, she was learning father’s character, faithfulness, love, goodness.

when the man she grew to love came into her life, all hell broke loose again. she paused, retracing her steps, wondering if she’d heard right. she had.

something deeper was at work here. it was that thing she’d asked jesus for years earlier.

she and jesus had been at the kitchen table discussing the book of john. the conversation was lively, playful, then serious.

she’d been reading about what he did and what he said about doing greater works than he did. love was the foundation from which he did everything.

she looked at him across the table and spoke.

 

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photo credit: pixabay

“look, here’s the thing: if you want me to do what you did, and the greater works, then i want the same revelation of your love that john had – or greater, if there is such a thing. i can’t do this without that,” she said, waving her hand across the open book.

in asking, she really didn’t know what she would walk through in pursuit of the prize. she learned to let jesus be enough for her.

over time, father showed her she could be trusted with what was most precious to him: people.

when she stopped fighting the process, it got easier. the human ego is a beast.

she realized she had to lay down her life, all of it, so someone else could be free. even if that someone acted like an arch enemy most of the time. the price was high. she decided to pay it.

over time, the filters came off. the religion came off. the politics came off. the judgments came off. the false identity fell away.

one day, she saw it. it was a fraction of the suffering jesus endured.

she saw enough to get it. any remaining resistance melted away. it was the ‘ah ha’ moment. this was what it meant to lay down one life for another. sacrifice.

she saw the price of her own salvation, layer after layer, along with the sea of people who’d played a role in it, willing or not.

that thing she’d asked for? he gave it to her after all the mess was washed away.

he spoke. “your heart is now galvanized in my love.”

galvanization is the process of ‘adding a protective layer of coating to keep something from rusting.’

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photo credit: pixabay

ask for it.

(copyright © 2017 jane doe)

 

 

 

 

 

 

their first date

he called her shortly after their meeting at the food shelf.

he was excited, enthusiastic, like a little child gifted with a new toy.

he rode his bicycle and met her in a public square close to where her clay hut was located.

she observed his gestures as he spoke.

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photo credit: n. leblanc

she listened to his words, the inflection of his voice as he talked about his life.

she picked up different spirits on him. poverty. self-pity and infirmity. the dominant spirit was fear. it controlled the others.

he reminded her of the men and women papa had shown her outside the homeless shelter only days earlier. it has been a set up for this moment with him.

papa had gently asked her to look into the face of each person.

“i want you to look into their faces. look into each person’s eyes.”

“each of them had a family. each of them had hopes and dreams. not one of them ever expected to find themselves here.”

tears ran down her cheeks as she looked into each face that night.

some people engaged her, meeting her gaze with their own.

others stared back with vacant eyes.

some were drug addicts. some were alcoholics. some were mentally ill. some were plagued with all those things.

all of them were tormented and suffering.

those brief encounters with these children of papa had changed her, wrecked her for good. compassion welled up in her heart.

she listened to him talk about his experiences.

she felt his pain, his abandonment, his loss.

she heard the silent questions in his heart.

he wondered what he had done to deserve the things that happened to him.

they conversed opposite each other outside on park benches until it became too cold to endure.

they began the process of saying goodnight to each other.

she walked over to him. leaning down, she gave him a light kiss on his right cheek, kissing the scar located there just above his beard.

it was tender, gentle. a kiss from heaven.

she placed her hand on his heart and asked papa to heal it.

he said he felt something warm wash over him.

it was a tingling in his heart he had never felt before.

she knew what that feeling was. she told him papa loved him.

they made plans to get together again.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)