I’m still running, aren’t I, Lord?
On my 40th birthday, a pastor and dear friend prayed over me, and one of the things he said was “Write the book.”
Four years and three months later, I have still avoided writing the book. I didn’t, and still don’t, want to go through everything again, because I know myself. If i write that book, I will be going through everything again, seeing the images again, hearing the voices again, feeling the same feelings again…reliving it all.
And I don’t want to.
Just the thought of it is making me cry. My heart is throwing a tantrum…or what seems like a tantrum. Yesterday, the bus I was on was showing a telenovela and the scene ended with one of the characters, arms bound, being lifted up from the chair, and she tries to resist by flailing her legs and trying to kick whatever her feet come in contact with. Looks like a tantrum,but it isn’t. She was terrified, because she had just been told that she was going to be murdered.
That’s how I feel about writing. If I go through the memories again, even if they won’t be what I will actually write down, I’m afraid it’ll be like what eventually happened to that girl in the tv soap: she gets thrown into the water.
And I don’t know how to swim.
But of course, my arms aren’t bound, and the only real threatened part of me is my pride.
And my sanity.
It’s cold and dark in this corner of the lowest dungeon. Huddled up in the corner of two rough concrete walls, hugging my knees to keep me warm, waiting for death in one of two ways: by being forgotten and left to die, or by being remembered for execution.
I am not alone here. Sitting with me, with his arms around me, his hands holding my head to his chest, his voice singing softly against my hair, is the Son of the King. He has not forgotten about me, and neither is He allowing me to be led away to die. He is here, just here, with me.
He wants to bring me back up, upstairs to the Fathers chambers, where a beautiful warm cloak has been crafted for me, and a table laden with all my favorite food, and the Chief Servant pouring out my favorite Teh Tarik to perfect frothiness…and there’s a beautiful gown and simple but elegant jewelry laid out on the bed.
But no, I will stay here. It’s cold and dark,yes, but it’s what I am used to. It’s where I know I belong.
Yet the Son won’t leave. His tunic is soiled and muddied from the many times my grubby hands have tried to push Him away, but He stays.He holds tight. He soothes.
I’ve often wondered why He doesn’t just pick me up and bring me upstairs whether I like it or not – but it seems that is not His way.
I tire of crying. The tears have run dry, the sobs have subsided. His arms tighten as I unsuccessfully stifle a yawn. I hear his soft chuckle rumble in his chest as I close my eyes.
The dungeon door opens. Are they finally coming for me? Will He let me go now? It no longer matters.The memory of the Prince’s embrace will sustain me through whatever else I might have to face now, after I have blatantly spurned the invitation of the King to be His favorite princess.
I can die now.
But even the smoke from the torches cannot overpower the scent of…roasted meat? My mouth waters, and my stomach grumbles, making the Prince chuckle again. Slowly, He moves so I can see:
The King has come to the dungeon. And He is laying the food on the table himself, even arranging the cutlery and the flowers. The smell of the meat and the vinaigrette for the salad has overcome even the dankness of the dungeon by this time. The Chief Servant is going around lighting the torches, and a warm wind begins to blow, teasing me with the smell of food, flowers, and wine.
The King steps back and smiles at his table, then turns to me, as if he had always known where I was. He smiles into my eyes as he walks my way, the mud on the dungeon floor soiling the hem of his clothes. Without a word He sits by me and draws me close.
I am now wrapped in the arms of both the King and His Son. And as I surrender to their embrace, I see the table is being brought to where we are. The Chief Servant passes the cup to the Son, and I watch as he pours tea for me, pulling his hand back to make the froth. A drop escapes and splashes onto the tip of my nose, and I laugh.
The dungeon comes alive! But it is no longer a dungeon. It is bright, warm, and even clean and dry, walls turning to french windows that are now wide open, revealing a garden sparkling in the morning sun. There is music, dancing, revelry.
“The Princess is home!” someone cheers.
I look up into my Father’s eyes then finally return his embrace. And the Son whispers in my hair:
“Welcome home, my princess.”
No more running. Home has come for me.