Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Vision

I had a vision this morning.

I know that sounds strange, and ultra charismatic...and it's not like a vision the way we imagine they were in the Bible, lest you tune me out and think "bless her heart."

It was more like a movie reel playing a scene in my mind, directly following a prayer. It happens to me a lot, words from the Lord that are actually pictures in my heart and mind. I guess He speaks to me that way because I'm a writer, and I can put words with snapshots and scenes.

I'm going to try and give this vision words. Hopefully the metaphorical movie reel will become clear as I type it out.

There is a boat out on open, ocean water. No waves, no storm, just calm, gently swaying current, and a strong, stable, waterproof floating ship atop the deep. 

The people in the boat are alert, and actively caring for their craft. A big wind kicks up from time to time, and it causes them to have to work hard, to buckle down, dig deep, and maintain all that they care about, which is all bobbing up and down on the water with them. Its mostly peaceful. Its safe. It's comfortable. Its all they know.

And then, out of nowhere ,with no forewarning, no time to mentally or physically prepare, a huge wave crashes over the deck.

A person falls into the water, knocked overboard unexpectedly, without a chance to even take a deep breath. And they sink, hard and fast.

The darkness of the water is all consuming. No way to know if there are giant, flesh eating creatures around, or where the bottom is, or which way is up. All the person feels is panic. 

Must get air.
Must find a way out.
Must get back to the boat.

Flailing, struggling, trying...and still sinking. And through the person's mind flashes the thoughts: If I had only known it was coming, I could've taken a breath first, or I would've grabbed the rail and not fallen in. I wasn't safe, but I didn't know it, and now I'm drowning.

It seems as if the sinking takes forever, and also that it's only an instant. And then...they hit the bottom. It makes a sound that ripples through the dark depths. BOOM. Silt and sediment cloud up around them as they land hard on the rocky ground.

And the panic has now become terror. No matter how much they struggled and tried to find their way up...they still sank to the bottom of the deepest, darkest water they had ever floated atop. 

And now they will drown. No chance they can survive this.

So, the person settles down onto the rocky floor, accepting at long last that there will be no escape, or quick recovery, or rescue. This is the end of everything. So...they curl into a ball on the bottom of an ocean.

Moments pass. The 'thud' sound the person made as they hit the rock has rippled out, out, out, and disappeared. There is only the sound of their heartbeat now, as they wait for the end to come.

Beat. Beat. Beat.

Beat. Beat. Beat.

Thrown violently from the safety of their boat, lost in unknown waters, sunk to the bottom of an abyss, curled in a ball on the bottom of the ocean...certain they will die.

But their heart continues to beat.

They don't understand at first. How are they not consumed by the darkness, the water, the suffocation? Why haven't they died from the crushing pain of so much pressure? They certainly FEEL the pain. It should kill them. It feels like it IS killing them.

And how are they still breathing? All that surrounds them is water, and liquid cannot be drawn into lungs. It's impossible.

But still, there is breath, and a heartbeat...they have sunk deeper than a person can survive, in darkness and pain and fear and questions.

They are curled up around themselves, waiting for death, almost wishing for it in some of the most painful moments. Eyes squeezed shut tight, wishing for it to just be OVER, one way or the other.

And then, then a realization. 

The bedrock they are curled up on, the very bottom of the place where they lay...its the heart that is is breathing for them. It is the reason they have not died from the pain, or been drowned by the crushing water, or eaten alive by the terror.

I have been that person. I resonate deeply with all the feelings. The safety of the boat, with work to be done and battles to face, but overall safety and comfort as the prevailing theme. 

And then the wave.
The sinking.
The shock and confusion.
The very dark.
The crushing pressure on my chest.
The gasping, the flailing, the struggling.

Most of all, I resonate with the BOOM of rock bottom. And what follows. The terror that becomes inability to fight anymore, that becomes curled-into-a-ball acceptance, eyes tightly shut, waiting for the pain to end, one way or another. 

I recall the moment when I realized that, despite the fact I was unable to catch a breath...I hadn't drowned. Despite the surety that my broken, SHATTERED heart would simply be unable to continue beating...still the beat, beat, beat sounded in my ears.

And when I finally realized that it was the Rock beneath me that was breathing for me, and it was His heart that was beating in my chest...oh, the sweet relief.

In my vision, the person wasn't saved from the depths. In fact, it ended with them still on the bottom of the ocean, curled into a ball, eyes tightly shut, pressure crushing them, pain consuming them.

But...there was breath, and there was a beating heart.

And the word from the Lord is this, for us all: WHEN the wave, the killer wave we never see coming, crashes over us and knocks us out of our boat, and we sink, hard and fast, to the the very bottom of the darkest place we have ever been...WHEN we are torn between wanting to get out as fast as we can and just shutting our eyes and waiting for it to kill us...WHEN we flail and strike against the pain...WHEN we accept it and decide to just allow the depths to crush us...WHEN we hit the rocky bottom, and believe with absolute certainty that this is the worst place we have ever been and we will NEVER escape...

It's there, its RIGHT THERE, that we are closer to the Air, to the Heartbeat, to the Light, than we have ever been before.

But we have to sink to find it. 

Can we? Will we? Dare we curl up on the bottom of the ocean and let our spirits cry out with words we cannot find...and then wait, listening, for the beating of His heart, the breath from His Spirit, to meet us there?

Oh, God, let it be so in our lives. When all hope is lost, when all strength has failed, when we are drowning slowly and terrifyingly...

Thank You that You are breathing for us, and living in us, and that Bedrock is the safest place to be.

I don't know who all this vision is meant for, only that it ministers to ME today, and I hope it does to someone else as well.