Here I Am

Here I am. Today.  Not yesterday, not tomorrow,yet here I am.  I feel constrained, yetthat is exactly what I don’t want.  Idon’t want to be tied to anything, I want to be alone, and free, and motion-full,not distracted by other stories that invade my mind.  I wish I wish.  That seems to be my life song.  Regret. Yet I don’t want it. Remorse.  Yet not over sin, justover decisions, decisions that are neither good nor bad, but simply are.  I am. He is.  They are.  It is. And so we exist.

I began, 20 plus years ago, I barely was.  I try to invade the space where thatoccurred, the time when that occurred, the itthat that occurred.  I barely was, yet Igrew, unnoticed, unknown, unfelt, unheard, unseen.  My heart was formed.  And then my heart beat its first beat.  My face was formed—unique—my fingers andtheir fingerprints, my eyes, and their first glimmer of light, so faint throughthe darkness in my cocoon.  Yet it wasnot mine.  Already the world did notbelong to me.  It was hers.  It was his. It was His. 

I was born, and chaos began. Not my chaos, but chaos that would change my life before most of itbegan.  And so I drank another child’sdrink, and waited, cared for by foreign hands, the first words I heard withclarity not being uttered in the language I would learn to speak first, but inthe gentle sing-song of my first country. Time slowed, then, my little fingers grasping for what wasn’t, my tinymind completely unaware of the prayers cast frantically at the feet of theFather.  My mother lives today.  He saved her. And He would save me.

I don’t know what happened those first few years.  Those memories will have to wait untilfurther revelation.  Until then, I relyon second-hand information, but these are my words.  Relating unnecessary foolishness can wait forother epics.  I was 2, it was mybirthday, the carpet was red, and there was a closet.  That is my earliest recognizable memory,though I have no idea why.  And then Iwas 3, and the carpet was mint green (except it wasn’t).  There were stairs, and a balcony, and I wasborn in the kitchen (except I wasn’t). Ice cream cake.  Granny in theliving room—or is that a photograph? Feeding the ducks—or is that a photograph too?  Dancing in the isle, swinging on the swings,exploring the shed, listening for cougars; now the memories begin to tricklemore freely.  My blue flowered coat,standing on the grass, and then my tree. Now the recollections flow abundantly; my imagination was unleashed.  I could create.

My childhood was beautiful, I danced, I lived, I was.  We played together, we lived together.  My big self is simply an echo of my smallself.  At first I thought it was theother way ‘round, but it’s not, at least I don’t think so.  I was so aware of life, so aware of theearth’s spinning, and of the ever-changing stability of green-ness andwind.  I played with imagination, I livedin it, and I revelled in it, drinking in the possibilities like elixir that mylife depended on.  Truly immersing myselfin the realm of the unknown was my daily sup. I was fulfilled in my life, for it existed within the One in whom my life began—a pattern that breaks all tooquickly for many people.  But this is mystory—His story in me.  I could list manylittle regrets, of the kind that seem so monumental as a child.  Sometimes, when I soak my soul in the fabricof my childhood, they still feel huge, untameable, unconquerable, and my heartcries a little.  Then slowly, my heart’sgrubby little fist releases its hold: “Take it, God, it never was mine”. 

Choir.  Capture theflag.  Schoolwork.  Nonsense. My tree.  Oh, to twist among itsbranches again—and yet somehow there is incredible comfort in the fact thatbecause it was good and it happened, it will always exist.  There is nothing about those moments thatneed ever be snuffed out; I can return to that occurrence any time Iplease.  What a beautiful thought!

And then childhood began to wane, and so did I.  Isn’t that what happens to most of us?  When childhood dies, so does a big piece ofour souls.  Mine was slower to becrushed, and solid food has reconstructed much of the repairable parts, yet Istill grow worried about the areas that seem irretrievable, unattainable.  Perhaps one day, or one something else.

Regrets really began. The leadings were inaudible, the directions unclear.  I ploughed forward, unable to make out facesin my soul.  And then, just as I was nolonger able to be me, all hell broke loose, because I did.  I wanted so desperately to be me, for thattiny 2-celled organism I had been some 16 years before to come back to life inmy heart.  I tried.  I tried. I tried so hard.  Trying doesn’twork.  And I wasn’t.

I dabbled, I twirled, I drank in the wind, running amuck inchaos of my own, revelling in the wonders that God has rightly placed in thisworld, from willow, to blood, to body.  Islowly soaked my soul in shame, though I was performing this un-sacred actunaware.  It would take God to resurrectmy heart, for it was no longer human, but ghoulish, though its emitting offaerie projections and faux-truth un-realities remained consistent with mydeeper yearnings.  Yet the cries of myvery being were being slowly stifled too, and so I longed with all that I amfor Truth.  Searching frantically withgrace became my bread and water, no longer satisfied with the first fruits,drinking un-filled of another one’s drink. My pudding was swirled.  Myvanilla was tainted.  My blood was givenup.  I was all but dead. 

And I did not know it.

Deeper rumblings were roaring forth, covering the veryexistence of life itself with vitality. He is alone so that I am not.  Hewas, so that I can be.  I am, because Healways has been.  The Lion’s Song hasbeen sung—is singing.  Creation arose fromits grotesque slumber.  Salvation is.

And I existed.  Thedarkness, with its snaky fingers and shadowy penetrations, was tornexcruciatingly from my heart, as I writhed in terror and regret, weeping andfalling in repentance before the Lamb who is a Lion.  Perhaps one time I shall comprehend themagnitude of that occasion, but today, I can only say that it was the mostviolent experience of my life to date. My life was torn from me, reformed, un-violated, grace poured out, andfaith appropriated.  My death wasundone. 

Yet am I who I was?  Iam who I can be, somewhere, yet I don’t even know me.  I followed the will of God, I went where Iwas supposed to go, and then all of a sudden silent disruptions began to cloudmy clear horizon.  Uncontrollable fogbegan to cover my paths, and fear began to creep its crawly little noses intomy peaceful heart.  It was different thistime, for I was covered differently, my two-cell self far better preserved, butit hurts.  To this moment, there remainssome of that terror, that fright, that distrust that is so shameful to one whonames the Name of the Most High.  If Hecan tear the shroud of night from the blackest of blood-pumping organs, He canbe trusted.  Yet the future scaresme. 

The future is no less real than the past, I realize that,but its un-reality is unnerving.  My calmhas been lost, is lost, yet it is.  Hecan restore it, as He has restored all else and can and will.  Time is irrelevant, if I am surrendered,submitted, cured, healed, not in control.  Restrained in freedom to the King: That isLife.  That is Truth. 

I have found Truth.  Iam afraid of the future, and the past, and the present.  I am afraid of life.  I am not afraid of Life.  Life abundantly, that is what I ampromised.  I am promised, for I existwithin The Promise.  I am redeemed.  I must walk. I walk. 

A conclusion cannot be come to, for time is irrelevant, andthere is no conclusion for irrelevancy of being, and so all that I can say isthis: I am in Him who is I AM.


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