Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Painting with Jesus

A glimpse into the past few days between me and Jesus:


Jesus takes me by the hand and runs me thru the streets of gold- we turn down a golden alley on the left and he opens a door on the left. (It is hard to call this an alley, because it is so full of light and gold shines everywhere, not at all like the alleys on earth!)
We enter a room FULL of jewels of every color. This treasure room has sapphires, rubies, diamonds and all kinds of gems I do not know the names of. There are master paintings all over, and flowers are growing from the jewel pots! (instead of dirt, there’s more jewels!) Jesus begins adorning me with jewels. He places a beautiful belt around my waist that drips in diamonds- it hangs like a chord after it’s tied around my waist.He gives me a small strip of a crown to wear across my head- and adorns my feet with dainty shoes made of a million jewels that blend together into clear like glass. They are not uncomfortable at all, it feels as if I’m wearing soft downy feather pillows on my feet. I see a bracelet on my arm, lavished in diamonds of every color- and I know I am being prepared for my wedding.
I say “Isn’t it going to be too much?” I want HIM to be the focus of attention= I shouldn’t be so “eye-catchingly beautiful”. And I know that even with all of this on- He will still be the one that takes everyone’s breath away. His beauty and light will make all of this pale in comparison.
So, I can go ahead and keep adding jewels to my wardrobe. I wonder, “where did all these come from anyway?”
And I know- each jewel is a praise I’ve lifted up to Him with all my heart and soul… He stored them up to bless me with. And he reminded me- that the diamonds were made from my tears- not just the tears of pain- but also from the tears of joy that I’ve shed when entering His presence.

Another day…
I see Jesus standing by a beautiful painting of a sunset over a lake. The water is full of reflections, like diamonds on each ripple in the water. I am dazzled by the beauty in this painting. He is still painting it, with special heavenly paint. This paint is not just “building up layer on top of layer” ending in a dull muddy mess… this paint is actually changing the painting with each stroke into more dazzling beauty. I begin to get dizzy pressing in to hear Jesus as he paints. He turns to steady me, his hands on my shoulders, as we face the painting together. I ask him what is important about this phrase “steady in the storm” that has been imprinted as the title of this painting in my mind.
I envision a tornado… a deadly chaotic storm… a storm that brings fear and pain. But Jesus is “steady in the storm” as he walks through it. He can look around from inside the storm and see everything blowing around and he will not get hurt.
I begin to get frustrated because I know that he intends to take me inside the storm that is me. Why?? I thought I was done with all this “healing” stuff!!!
His reply… not until I’m in heaven will my journey be done.
Am I okay with that?
Yes… I am aware that some people never get to go on this journey at all. I feel sorry for them. I think of hiking in the mountains and the incredible view that is visible only at the end of the journey. I begin to appreciate this opportunity instead of resenting it.

So.. Jesus and I prepare for a journey into the storm. He hands me some “night vision goggles” and tells me that these will help me to see what he wants me to see along the way. They are perfect for exposing defense mechanisms along the way… and that is what we are really here to do.
Eventually we reach a painful place. As I enter this place with Jesus, I become aware of the fact that my tears and choking voice are fading. A new “tough girl” attitude has taken control of my emotions. At the same time, I also realize that I no longer see or hear Jesus. Numbness has taken over, and I don’t feel the pain anymore. I realize there is a giant wall that has just gone up between me and Jesus. I don’t see him and he doesn’t answer me when I call to him. Tough girl doesn’t really care… but I am sure that I am tired of having walls. I beg him to tear it down or create a door or something… but all I have is this numb, cold wall and a tough girl ready to end the journey.
I close my eyes… and travel back to the room of jewels and paintings, where I know it’s easy to find my Jesus. There he is… right by my side.. I can feel him steady my shoulders once again. Peace and comfort replace the numbness and cold. With a sigh of relief… Jesus and I can then go back to the wall and look at it from the outside.
My wall is like an old castle wall. A fortress… of large gray blocks that reach as high as the sky. No cracks for vines to crawl up, no chance of knocking it down. But Jesus points out that it’s not responsible for holding anything up. It’s just a wall standing alone in the middle of nowhere. It’s okay if we tear it down.
Instead of knocking it over into a pile of rubbish- Jesus begins to paint over it with his special heavenly paint. We paint together and CHANGE the wall into a beautiful wildflower field at the top of a mountain. We aren’t just covering up the wall... we are transforming it and replacing it with something beautiful. The names of the paint colors are love, joy and hope… and I am filled with all three of these as we paint together.
When the wall is gone, I walk into the field with Jesus. I see the ‘tough girl” over in the far right of the field, hiding in the tall grasses. For a moment I picture Jesus sitting next to her, back to back… and I imagine him giving her a flower… but then she is gone…. poof … forever.
My defense mechanism serves no purpose any longer… for I have Jesus, my master painter with me always.
Just Jesus and me… steady in the storm.