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Tuesday, April 11, 2017



From my rag bag, a prose I wrote long ago...


A GARDEN PARABLE
By Celia Jolley


"Flee as a bird to your mountain,
Thou who art weary of sin."
Psalm 11:1 expressed in an old hymn.
The young woman felt estranged, even from herself.  The walls were closing in like a vice.  Weary of fending off the offensive influences that pounded at her door, she fled needing a refuge for her soul.

Just as a home beckons when love opens the door, there is another dwelling that repels.  Homes left with doors ajar allow something else to move in and take residence: jealousy, enmities, strife, disputes, outbursts of anger, envying, all fed by drunkenness, carousing, sensuality, impurity, immorality, sorcery and idolatry.


Evening approaches, night advances, lights dim, and rest finally comes for the soul.  Others seek the darkness for their deeds.  Homes become farther apart while houses multiply.  Communities form with factions.  Pressures are brought to bear to be of the world, not just in it, to be squeezed into its mold.  Worldly wisdom bereft of value makes life cheap, but costly.




 This soul sought refuge away from the broad way in the heat of the day, a day in which spirit longings led her to the narrow path.  Though her flesh set its desire against her with its tentacles of discouragement to keep her from doing what she pleased.  Standing at the crossroad, she chose. 



Exerting her newly found freedom, she broke through to a tangled but beckoning path.  The gate, once found, swung easily open.  A way was before her which she had never seen.  Shade cooled her cheeks where the fierce heat had burned.  It required a careful eye to keep on the path.  She was compelled to follow bent over as in worship, intent upon the way. 
Only time escaped her notice when suddenly the road came to an end.  A high ancient wall barred further access. An immense gate rose up held on each side by imposing statues of angelic beings. 
With their swords crossed, they appeared to have guarded the entrance from the beginning of time. 

The gate stood locked solid against the centuries.  Lush, verdant scenes could barely be glimpsed between close iron bars.  An overgrown garden, once magnificent beyond description, lay enclosed by a fence so solid and high as to discourage any further ventures.  Yet it beckoned.  The stream running through it offered to quench her thirst and wash her clean.  The overarching bountiful boughs of the garden trees bore fruit yielding one falling into her lap.  She was fed.  Rest came naturally;  moss, a soft pillow.

At first when she awoke from a pleasant dream, she did not know where she was.  Yet, she was strangely not afraid.  "Comfort" she called this airy dwelling and gloried in its beauty.  Sunbeams played across her face making its countenance radiant.  A breeze brushed her hair where flowers were delicately tucked in.  Nature seemed to gather round the ancient garden expectantly.    Flowers, girds, butterflies, and gentle creatures ventured forth. 


LOVE poured into her soul where only yearnings had been.  A JOY began tingling from her head to her feet inviting her to dance.    Dancing to the music of the heart, she bowed to PEACE.  It  required no utterance.  She finally sat, and became still. 



With great PATIENCE and GENTLENESS, she held out her hand to the timid but gentle creatures of the wood.   She communed with KINDNESS.  Her soul was filled with the GOODNESS around her so that she nearly burst.  Saturated, her soul was finally satisfied with what she was created to be.  She worshipped.




But a nudging woke her to the time.  Her journey began of an afternoon , and night would soon fall.  It was time to go back.  No matter what, this was a tryst she would keep with FAITHFULNESS.  It was all bound up in her heart and tied with a promise no one could explain or sever.  She so longed to stay, but summoned all her SELF-CONTROL to return.  Once partaking of the Presence of the garden, her heart with all its passionate desires staked its claim.  The young woman turned once to look back vowing to enter that garden some day. 



Just then a snake slithered across her path as she re-entered the world as it was.  Only she was changed.  She felt no fear.  Her heart had found its home.  The path she called Hope and her garden she named Delight.

That night with darkness all around,  somewhere in her dreaming was heard a faint hammering from far away, as far as the garden.  Someone was preparing a place.
"If I GO AND PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU,
I WILL COME AGAIN AND RECEIVE YOU TO MYSELF,
THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YOU MAY BE ALSO.
AND YOU KNOW THE WAY WHERE I AM GOING."
JOHN 14:3-4

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