Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Christmas Kiss from Heaven



I received an odd Christmas blessing this morning. I drifted off to sleep with the prayer that God would bind me to Him and help me correctly discern everything that it is He would have me do. I prayed that I would not be like the Church at Ephesus of whom He Who was alive, dead and alive forevermore said had lost their First Love. I spent the wee hours of the night posting what I had copied of the all the critical Amazon online reviews of the Passionate Housewives book onto my other website, since I received many emails about their disappearance on the eve of the celebration and remembrance of our Savior’s Birth. It certainly was not what I picked as an ideal Christmas Eve activity.



Despite the fact that I have always said that each day should be like Christmas Day and Resurrection / Easter Day for the Christian, I expressed my sadness in prayer at dealing with such a thing on a special day of celebration. I remembered though, the first Christmas after I was saved. I spent a great deal of that time grieving the death and loss of my Godparent’s 12 year old daughter who was, in my now subjective memory, one of my most favorite people in the whole world. This was certainly not an ideal Christmas activity for our deeply grieving families. We were all lost in a strange dream that year. It was a day of special understanding for me as a baby, baby Christian and at the same time, a special day of great grief.

That year, I received a copy of the old, vinyl record album of “An Evening with John Denver” and my own little Sears catalog record player. I spent a lot of time listening to that album, and I used to feel, with some songs in particular, that the Holy Spirit was singing deep into every fiber of my being. I used to imagine guitar strings vibrating and that my bones vibrated just like the strings. The words would cover me with comfort like a warm blanket. One song in particular went very deep, and it seemed as though the world would stop for the Holy Spirit to sing to me, just like when the world hushed to hear angels sing to shepherds keeping their flocks by night.

In the wee hours, I went to sleep with sweet love for Jesus and deep sadness on my heart and mind, thinking of all this spiritual abuse and so many who have suffered and continue to suffer because of it all. As I often pray, I asked the Lord to always keep me bound to my First Love and to restore me to it and Him if I’ve wandered away from Him. (For me, there was much displacement from love and joy --apart from the love that accompanies great, crushing sadness-- due to the confusion and anger and betrayal at the hands of my brethren and my shepherds.) And I awakened with an odd surprise. Before I even opened my eyes, perhaps as part of a dream, this old song long forgotten was playing like it had so many times on the stereo in my parent’s living room, washing over me with my sinews vibrating along with every guitar string. That old piece of vinyl didn’t make it much past my 12th birthday because I had played it so many times, always hearing the Holy Spirit speak to me in an unexpected place. It’s been many years since I specifically thought of it. I awakened, remembered, rejoiced and wept.

So if you are here today, reading this odd entry, realize that part of leaving spiritual abuse involves what is often like a black cloud of melancholy that tricks you into believing that all the good you remember is long past. BELIEVE ME when I tell you that it is just a dream and only a season. Your time of intimacy and joy and blessing with the Lover of Your Soul is not gone – not just a mere thing of the past. Read these lyrics, and sing them if you know them. If you have the album, get it and listen and let it vibrate deep in your bones. Hold on and be encouraged, for your time has just begun. It will find you if you persevere, and you, the Bride of Christ, will eat of the Tree of Life in the precious Presence of the Lord.


~~~~~

My Sweet Lady
music and lyrics by John Denver



Lady, are you crying,
do the tears belong to me
Did you think our time together was all gone?

Lady, you've been dreaming
I'm as close as I can be
And I swear to you our time has just begun


Close your eyes and rest your weary mind
I promise I will stay right here beside you
Today our lives were joined,
became entwined
I wish that you could know how much I love you

Lady, are you happy,
do you feel the way I do
Are there meanings that you've never seen before?

Lady, my sweet lady,
I just can't believe it's true
And it's like I've never ever loved before

Close your eyes and rest your weary mind
I promise I will stay right here beside you
Today our lives were joined,
became entwined
I wish that you could know how much I love you

Lady, are you crying,
do the tears belong to me
Did you think our time together was all gone?

Lady, my sweet lady,


I'm as close as I can be


And I swear to you our time has just begun
~~~~~

Revelation 2:7

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes,
I will give the right to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the paradise of God.
.
[Late entry/addendum 25Dec07: Funny how our emotions cloud our memories. After thinking about this sweet song, I realized that I didn't receive that album until a few years later when my Godparents' other daughter married just a week before Christmas. My participation in the wedding intensified my memory of the association of Christmas with the loss of one of my most favorite people in the world, and my grief became clouded in my memory. I'm glad that the song endured as a transcendent thread through grief.]
3 COMMENTS:

Anonymous said...
Cindy,Thank you for your sweet words of hope and comfort:"Your time of intimacy and joy and blessing with the Lover of Your Soul is not gone – not just a mere thing of the past."May God continue to keep your heart sensitive to fellow believers who have suffered spiritual abuse.Wendy Duncan
December 26, 2007 8:30 AM

Traci said...
Cindy,Interesting you would write this. I had almost all of John Denver's music in my teens and early 20's. I am getting better but I occassionally 'lament'over all the years spent in bad teaching and ask 'what if'... and where I would be or how I might be different if alot of it hadn't happened. Inspite of it all though, I do believe Jesus was there.I still wonder why sometimes , since He is our shepherd why He didn't protect me/us from this ?Thanks for this entry. It was very comforting. Continued blessing to you and your family as you grab tight onto TRUTH.!!
December 26, 2007 12:08 PM

simplegifts3 said...
Cindy, as I requested, I received Paul Pott's album "One Chance" for a Christmas present from my daughters. I looked up the English lyrics to "Con Ti Partiro," and that song reminds me of Jesus and my relationship to Him. I enjoyed this entry, and to the commenter above who wonders why God allows those times of confusion, I say, "ditto," and also that God is always good. But I still struggle with confusion as well.
December 26, 2007 2:18 PM