“What is this die? A physical thing? Hmmpphhhffft! Big deal! Everyone dies. Tis peace it is. No more of this plattering back and forth between evil and good and all that eludes a created mind to perplexity!”
The form of the created sat on a rock jutted out upon a shelf of mountain that over looked a sea of land scape. Moonlight shed it’s favor upon every surface with illuminous ardor. Shadows warred with the glow casting shapes and textures by the billions. A soft breeze drifted and recollected forming a funnel, it seemed, around them. The crossroads of every human soul lay before this one – beckoning.
“So die to what? At my age there seems to be no consequence in it. Who are You? I know who some say You are. I even know You exist. Though not due to their testimony! No offense, I know You value them… us… greatly – hmfpht – but they, as I, have failed I suppose to make You known. At least accurately.
But this isn’t what burns in my mind. It those words You, errrr, this Jesus, spoke about dying. That never does seem to get taught with any clarity. I suppose if You, Yourself can’t teach me then upon those words I must say it’s all insane.”
Again a breeze floated back and forth and flew out over the expanse before them. Then the very air became – still. Not just at rest, calm, undisturbed… it became still. Goose bumps rose upon the created’s skin.
“I can. I’ve waited for this moment. Speak, human, and ask what you will. ” A Voice, made of everything around them and everything in them – yet of more than anything ever known spoke. There was no denying its authority. There was no describing its authenticity. And no debating its origin.
The created stammered and found balance a challenge though they had not moved from the stable surface upon which they sat. The world itself seemed to have been jarred by the spoken Words. At once, two things took place inside their mind. Anger, the origin of which felt a finality of injustice for being at all, with no power to have chose such. And fear, for every choice and action of their existence now seemed to be flashing before their minds eyes, with no excuses to clothe their nakedness in. Now, there was no question of accountability. Anger, shook its voice first and stood up to be accounted.
“So. You have come. You have spoken. You are real. I concede. Yet I did not ask You to make me! I didn’t form myself into a war You founded. I didn’t enlist. Yet choice, choice, choice… this is the supposed gift You have given? What do You say to this – that can make sense to me?” The air cracked at the pain and passion embalming the words as they came forth.
“No. I can not give you an answer that makes sense to you. Your sense of right and wrong, justice and fairness have been trained to not understand the answer I would give you. But if you are willing to die to these, the answer can be made known to you.” The gentleness with which the Voice spoke coated wounds the created was hardly aware they had anymore. Yet the firmness of its nature spoke as solid as nothing known to man in solidarity. More unbendable than iron. The offer within the words were of invitation…possibilities…wooing – not ultimatum. It perplexed the one sitting on the Voices’ stone, made them aware of Who owned all things. The created shrank in size even as they decided to bend. The breaking was on the horizon.
“This dying again? To die to such as You speak is to die in ways unknown. Die to my knowledge?! Die to my thoughts that come whether I bid them or not?! Die to my dreams, wants, desires, aches, screams, to the very words that make up my speaking?! I’ve searched Your Word for the prescription of this dying and have found it nowhere within its pages. Just…’die to yourself’, ‘be born again’… it is beyond my knowing! How?!” The created squeaked and within the words accusation became a living thing. It shook them, leaving their limbs in tremors and their heart began to beat irregularly.
“It is there, I have made it plain. Again it is the training of your own discipleship that has thwarted your understanding. If you are willing, I can make you see.” A calm that juxtaposed the strength of this invitation slayed the accusational fiend. It was as black and white a choice as they had ever been sure of. All that was required was a loosening of the grip upon which their fingers had grown so accustom to squeezing they were unsure of where “it” began and they ended. Again a breeze wrapped itself around them, calling their gaze to the expanse below, full of light and shadow, innumerable textures and shapes… all crying out for them to submit to the invitation by which they had been made and even now they settled into the peace that had formed them well beyond any measure of time.
“So, then I must die to my own heart?” The question was breathed. Within it held a yielding even as the tendrils of self tried to grip again. It was enough.
At once they were swept into Hands that were beyond mere hands. These extentions of Creating caught them up and they flew through the sky, up into the thin layer of atmosphere above the earth. Spinning and flying through stars and galaxies. Moons, planets, Suns, and cosmic beauty beyond description. Each detail succinct. Each form whole and complete. Ineffable beauty beyond the ken of words to communicate. Lifetimes of distance and breaths swooped by and exhaled infinity. Then. .. as if they had never left… Again upon the stone shelf they became aware. Though the Hand had not released them. Instead they seemed to enter the Hands themselves and each human soul ever made floated up before their eyes. But instead of their eyes, the sight was of Another… seeing them as He made them. Each one rising up, full and complete, then falling in disrepair, soaked in foul debris that smelt and tasted in their own mouth as if consumed. Then again the Hands took hold of them and bathed them in His beholding. Tenderly held, delightfully swirled and tossed as a parent tosses a babe to hear it’s joy take voice. Caught preciously, gently… so understood, so mercifully handled, so faithfully tended. So artfully Loved. The world exploded in their vision. The stillness became them and the vision ended.
“Yes, child, you must die to your heart, so that you can live to Mine!“
Crackling thunder surged through the Voice of Mighty waters, grace and love flowed into the mind of the created and unblinded their eyes. The breeze became a wave of wind by which they placed their hands upon the stone to brace themselves. Then down to a trickle the wind became breeze again and stillness resumed. The clear choice before the created loomed. No altered view of what lay before them. Truth was naked and vulnerable. As open to rejection as acceptance. It was beyond knowing… yet here it was having been made known. As the Sun began to emerge upon the horizon; the created prostrated themself as low as they could upon the stone shelf… and chose to die.
Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah