Up a 5:30 am. Sweats on. Hubby up. Shower running in the background while she whips up breakfast. Kids tumbling into the lighting-up living room with their blankies and bears already whining, “Mom, I’m hungry!”
Fast-forward an hour…breakfast is finished, husband is gone to work, kids are getting dressed, Danette is cleaning up from breakfast. Her mind was dashing from thought to thought as she scrubbed last night’s smelly fish-fry off the cast iron skillet. She was thinking about her friend and the concerns she had for her, which led to a thought about her tendency to say what people want to hear rather than speak the fire of truth that burns, shut-up in her. That led to a thought about how much she wants to go on a retreat, which led to a thought about how much she knows she needs and longs for some quiet time in the mornings with her Bible and journal and the ever-present Spirit of God yet she always falls for the temptation of another hour of sleep when the mornings come. This led to a thought which sounded different…she didn’t think she thought it, rather it seemed to come sweeping over her like an unexpected burst of wind. It was an interruption…that’s what it was! An interruption of her thoughts.
“Put your hands in the air and pull back the drapes.” The thought commanded in a quiet yet powerful tone- like a sudden wind which tussles your hair.
Danette argued with the thought but didn’t open her mouth. “I don’t own drapes.”
“Lift up your hands and pull back the drapes.” the thought encouraged…more gusts of disturbing wind.
Danette had been looking down into the sink of dirty dishes. She stopped washing and looked up. You know how you can take a screen shot of your computer screen, well, when Danette looked up, she saw the screen shot of her day. It was as though her three dimensional world had just become a flat screen, a thin drape.
She heard her kids in the other room, but she didn’t feel there. She felt, well, like she had told a friend once, as though the “carousel” music was playing. You know, like a scene from some erie movie when you know something’s just not right but the character in the movie has no idea and there’s always some strange version of carousel music playing in the background?
Danette experiences these “carousel” moments very infrequently, and when she does, she usually turns up the radio, turns on the t.v. or brushes them aside in some other distracting way. But this time she was refreshed not spooked by the thoughts blowing afresh in her mind. So she reached up with both arms to the top of her “screen shot”, which was what she could see at the very top of her vision, above which was the shadow of her own eyebrows, as though she were grabbing the top inside corners of a high-hung set of drapes. She slowly pulled “the drapes” back.
Russhhh! Winds, a microburst of cool winds blew against her face so that she had to close her eyes. While her eyes were closed she thought, “The kids must have run in and opened the back door.” She was still disbelieving though she was obeying this strange thought. But then the burst of wind slowed down to barely a breeze and she opened her eyes. The view was the same except she noticed a mark on everything she saw- her walls, windows, furniture, carpet, the dishes…even the soap bubbles- everything!
Danette curiously lowered her head to more closely examine the soap bubbles covering her hands. The mark she was observing was not really a mark, it was moving. She looked closer. Her world view was now reduced to the one square inch vision of a mass of soap bubbles on her hands. Sparkling on the bubbles and flashing on her hand underneath was what looked like flames of fire. As she looked intently, her world faded away. She was consumed with these small flames which seem to spell out words she could not read. Suddenly the fire jumped out and licked her ears in a flash of hot light. She didn’t even have time to jump, but in the instant that the fire receded she heard a Voice of rushing waters.
“The earth is the LORD’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” The Voice sounding like a waterfall spoke through the flames which danced a written language she’d never seen.
Danette’s mouth was wide open. Her eyes were wide open. Her ears were wide open. Something miraculous was obviously happening. She was standing in awe, taking in the sights and sounds of flames and streams of water which were on, and coming out of, every object in her house. Her sons came chasing each other into her “screen shot” and didn’t notice her. But she noticed them. Unlike all the non-living objects, her sons were not merely marked by the flames that spoke in rushes of waters…they were engulfed in them! The flames were transparent and blue, unlike the red and orange flames she saw on her hands and soap bubbles. But they were like the other flames in that they danced out the same unknown language and sang with the Voice of rushing streams.
“Behold children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” the Voice poured.
Danette was overwhelmed and overcome with the sight and sound of life- vivid, alive, unordinary, life surrounding her. Tears began to flow and she closed her eyes. She knew that the God she worshipped was interacting with her in an amazing and intimate way and she didn’t know what to say or do. She whispered in a cracking, tearful voice, “You’re amazing God. What does all this mean?”
With her eyes still closed and the Voice of waters still streaming around her she heard, “I am with you always daughter. Anytime you want to be alone with Me you need only to seek Me and you will find Me. I am here in the morning while you sleep but I am also here in the day while you do what’s seems to be just ordinary. Listen for Me. Look for Me. You will find Me. And when You do, be sure to point My mark, My flame, My voice out to others who, like you, have grown customarily content with the veil of things seen. Encourage them to pull back the curtain and see Me.”
Tears were now pouring down her face. The Voice of waters was gone. She slowly opened her eyes to a world blurred by her crying. The screen shot was back and she was suddenly aware of the voice of her sons who were both tugging on her sweatpants at her knees saying, “Mom! Mommy! Mommy! What’s wrong! Mommy!!!!!!?”
Danette wiped her face, looked up, smiled, whispered, “Thank you Lord,” and stooped down to look her kids in the eyes.
“What’s wong mommy?” asked her three year old.
“Nothing’s wrong honey. Mommy was just thinking.”
“Thinking about what mom?” her 5 year old inquired.
“About Jesus. About how He made everything and how He made YOU! And YOU too you cutie patootie!” Danette poked her boys each in their favorite tickle spot and they crumbled to the floor giggling. Amidst the giggling in that moment Danette caught a glimpse of blue flames and heard a rush of refreshment, “I am with you always.”
“I love you,” is all she could say, but from her heart it was much, much more. It was the deep waters of her heart calling back to the deep waters of the Voice she heard. It was deep calling to deep. Danette’s kids thought she was talking to them and said, “I love you too mom!” giggling and climbing all over her. From the deep in her she thought, “I love You LORD through them!”
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers
have swept over me. -Psalm 42:7