Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Knock on the Door

Harkening to a Call

"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

You Hold the Key – You Know Which Door

In the beginning of the end, and I was in my fortieth year, unaware of the change that was coming.  Little did I know at the time, but my childhood years of vivid dreams and messages would soon be explained as an early summer death bell rang around the world.

It was a name everyone knew, but not everyone revered.  While I believed no wrongdoing of him, I was not yet acquainted with his suffering or grief.  I had grown up knowing his name, but not him.  Still I somehow knew he was innocent of the accusations that made him even more famous than his works.

He began as a poor child.  He became a rich man, but not a free man and I knew not the depth of his battle nor the strength of the shackles placed on him undeservedly at the time of his passing.

And that day, in the new of the summer in the sixth month of the two thousand and ninth year, they announced his death.  I was in travel, some ways from home and I felt in my core the disengaging of unknown mechanisms and I was perplexed.  My soul it seemed, was suddenly pulled away from its source of strength and the gears inside me were slipping.  It was a feeling very hard to describe; like the foundation on which your soul is moored is pulled away and your soul is left floundering.  Even my vision had a hard time compensating from the sudden rift.

I did not at first associate this feeling with the death of him, but of the death of another who had passed that same day; that of one who had the role of an angel.

As I traveled, I shook my head as if to clear it and the sound like a voice inside me said “this isn’t real.  This isn’t right.”

For some days that feeling stayed with me, and I could not shake it.  Even in the company of relatives who came seven days later, there was lots of talk about he who died.  There were by then rumors of murder and motives were plenty; suspects were numerous.  But the first they suspected was he who had died.

The man’s past was again stirred up in the world, some true, some false.  Much trouble it seemed would follow him also in death and it bothered me.  He was a human being.  Why couldn’t they leave him in peace?

I was not interested in the noise surrounding his death.  I tried to busy myself in the family gathering for that week.  It was after, when I was alone one day I saw a writing from a politician, a minister who said disparaging things about he who had died.  The writing of this person who was supposed to be a man of God spoke very un-God-like calling he who had died unjust names.

As if something else spoke through me, I replied to him “What are you doing?   What do you think you’re doing?  Do you know this man?  Do you know what he’s been through?  You are supposed to be reflecting and teaching the love of Christ.  Is this how Christ would act?”

My reply left even me surprised, because I did not know the man either.  But inside me I felt the urge to defend him.  I knew he was innocent.  I just did not know how I knew, nor could I explain how I knew.

The strength of that first impulse sent me to discover who this person was; he who died.  I did not know why I felt so strongly about him when I knew him not.

He was a man who came from humble beginnings, who’s psalms and songs lit the world.  He was held very high and was very esteemed.  All the nations knew him, including those that had no technology.

How do you get to know someone that is dead?  I didn’t want to hear it from the propagandists, I didn’t want to hear it from the scoffers and gossipmongers.  I wanted to hear this man talk about himself.  So I set out on a search with the technology I had.  And I listened to recordings and images of him speaking during questions.

I listened and I watched.  I read eyes, mouth movements, facial expressions and body language.  In the first few viewings I learned that he spoke of God and he spoke of God often.  He also spoke of Jesus, of praying and of reading the Bible.  As I listened and watched each interview, I then began to HEAR and SEE.

After six weeks or so of deep study of this man, even before I began to read into his works, his songs and his prose, I came to one of his last genuine interviews.  I had heard most of them at this point, from the time he was a child.  This interview was after his arrest but before his trial.  He was forty-five years old and you could see that he was tired.  It was like knowing this previously wild, beautiful and expressive stallion full of life was finally and utterly broken after forty long years of oppression, abuse and restraints.  He was out of breath, out of spirit and out of time and he knew it.  But he still would not move on one thing – “I will never stop helping and loving people the way Jesus said too . . .”

The man was very direct and looked his interviewer right in the eye when he said this.  Those words and his face went straight into my heart like heated arrow, and the tears came.  They just poured from my eyes.

So intense was this truth he had just uttered, my head went down and I prayed.  I don’t know where the words came from, but they poured out like my tears from the same source and I asked God, “Father, please give me his pain – I don’t care if you have to reach back through time to take it from him, just give it to me so he can feel less of the burden.  Give him some relief from it and let him know someone hears him and cares.  Let him know someone will give him relief.  I’ve been through a lot and I can take it.  Just give it to me and lift it from him.” – and I prayed until the words could no longer be translated from the tears and I just cried the rest of it.

At the moment of realization during my time with my head in my hands, I wondered if it were sacrilege to pray for the dead?  I asked God if it was sacrilege,  to forgive me.  But then He filled me with the knowledge of this; This must have been how Jesus felt in wanting to take our pain, our punishment.  I could have answered every question concerning this story at this very point, but I still had a journey to make, a promise to keep and a lot to learn.   At that moment in that day, I learned what genuine love was and that I was capable of giving it to a complete stranger.

I could not stop crying at this realization.  Throughout the day I cried.  Preparing dinner I had to turn away from my husband, unable to explain the tears.  If a soul were to travail in giving birth to sorrow and found itself in breech, this wouldn’t even come close to describing the pain.  A soul was being prepared and I did not know it at the time.

Throughout the evening, the tears begin anew.  I told my husband that I was fighting illness to explain the red eyes and nose.  Trying to grasp what it was about this man would take me almost four years from that day and I was yet to know it.

Crawling into bed next to an already sleeping husband, the tears would not stop.  Fresh one poured over my cheeks, across my nose and onto my pillow until finally, I prayed for understanding:

Father in heaven, I cannot stop crying.  Why am I crying?  Why can’t I let this man go?  I didn’t know him, I never met him.  Why does this hurt so much?”

I had forgotten about the request earlier in the day.  In my immature understanding, I was still fighting for the reason for this.  I continued my prayer:

“I don’t understand you, why do you always let the bad people win?  How can someone testify of you and your glory and your power when you let this happen to one of your servants, and he was your servant?”

I could barely contain the force of my sobs as to not wake my husband.  I was shaking the bed trying to hold it back.

“I heard in every interview he talked about you!  He talked about Jesus!  He talked about the importance of prayer and reading the bible – “ I began to get angry as I continued, “He sang songs to you, he witnessed for you!  He LOVED YOU!  Why didn’t you PROTECT HIM!”

Emotion choked off the formation of any other words in my prayer.  My throat tightened, my breathing labored and nothing else coherent would come out of my heart.  But in that few seconds when my heart uttered that last question to God, I got an answer.

In the dark as I lay on my left side on a soaked pillow, back to my husband, a pressure of cool air, in the distinct shape of two lips pressed ever so gently into my cheek, under my right eye.

My eyes flew open but I could see nothing.  I began to reach up to touch my face but I stopped.  I didn’t want to disrupt the feeling.  The kiss of air didn’t fan out anywhere else on my face, it was air, but it was lips.  And the pressure lasted all of two to three seconds before it relented. But the sensation lasted several minutes, slowly fading.

Right before I fell asleep I realized that my sinuses, swollen from crying all day were suddenly clear and free breathing.  I thanked God for that answer and I knew there was something about this man who had died and something had changed in me.  However I would still have a lot of learning to do.

I told this story albeit in bits and pieces in January of 2010, when I began writing of this experience in this early post, this one about asking for his pain,  the kiss, where I also describe the first dream and the poem that resulted.

In that dream I was told by God that “now that your gifts are out of the box, its time you took the chains off of them so I can put them to work”.

When I woke up, the picture this man had drawn of himself, cowering in a corner holding a microphone was in my head along with the words “child in the wings”.  The words came fast, “Maverick in the spotlight, child in the wings, doors of souls are opened every time he sings . . .”

Child in the Wings

As your book of life was opened
Destined was your name
Songs laid bare before you
Childhood yields to fame
Early start at reaching back
For time lost to the lights
Sacrificing playtime smiles
To dancing in the night

Maverick in the Spotlight
A child in the wings
Doors of souls are opened
Every time he sings
Tears are for the lonely
Staging every dream
Maverick in the spotlight
A child in the wings

The message God had given
Spoken through your songs
From the heart of innocence
Tell me what went wrong
A second childhood splintered
Press denial of truth
Our maverick forced in exile
Another wounded youth

Maverick in the spotlight
A child’s folded wings
No longer his soul mourning
No longer hear him sing
Those who judged the lonely
Silencing the dream
Maverick in the lovelight
A child earned his wings

Poem © Bonnie L. Cox, 2009

Even though I wrote this in August of 2009, it would take me into January before I began putting up a blog to share this witness of an oppressed witness of God. 

From the beginning, I knew who he was.  My heart did before my head did.  Between then and now, I would struggle with the depth of the role God had given him.  But I will never forget the ending words added to one of his songs on his last album.  The song was “Cry” and the spoken additions to the ending included “take over for me”.

Many more dreams and poems would follow.  I would not know the depth of what I wrote until three years later, when God showed me through his scripture of truth –

" . . . there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince."

This man told the truth in his songs.  He got the truth from God’s word.  His songs were about love, yes, but they were also warnings, prayers and lamentations.

I didn’t pray that prayer because he was a “gazingstock” or a “rock idol”.  I wasn’t a fan of personalities.  But I was an appreciator of music and lyrics.

God chose each of us for something.  And as I have gone along these last four years now, I wasn’t quite sure what it was he really wanted me to do other than write what he was showing me.  In the blessing of revealed truth for me it was earn as you learn.  And God showed me how truth makes a rock out of a pillow.  While they have tried to distract, misinterpret, maneuver, manipulate and clog my research, scripture has kept me solid and brought me back to the path every single time.

I started out fighting for a man who was abused and taken out of the way so that evil could do what it would.  What I would learn about this man, the soul, the spirit, God, His Word and the attempted conspiracy against God was not what I foresaw.

I am honored yet sorely unworthy of what I have been given.  But if God were to take it from me tomorrow I would still love Him and fight for Him so that others could experience that kind of love.

We are getting close now.  Evidence in the nations can no longer be cloaked or hidden.  People are realizing that things are not right.  And when they bring him out, to obtain the kingdom by flatteries, we are told to wait because it will be him, but NOT him.  We are not to condemn, but to wait.  Because as Isaiah prophecied, we will see in him the salvation of our God.

"The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God."

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