The Glory and the Madman: God has descended into Hell. Part 3

part 3 of a story birthed by a journey of faith with my atheist (now agnostic) father. Subtitle: The Nicene Creed negates Nietzsche.
Previous chapters :

https://vunglaub.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/the-glory-and-the-madman-part-1the-latern/

https://vunglaub.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/the-glory-and-the-madman-part-2-god-is-dead/


friedrich_nietzsche_quote_3

My father has walked and talked in what believers call ” a healing” for three years.It was not a complete healing. The cancer in my father’s bowel has not grown further but has instead , at times ,decreased in size and not gone to new territories in his body. Standing at attention to every report,   brothers and sisters in my church , like the Centurion soldiers  (matt 8:5-10), have prayed and believed with me for my father. And now, weekly on Sunday, we rejoice in my telling of the containment of the cancer  .

As for my father, forgive him Heavenly Father, for he does not know. He is an agnostic. And  he has easily ignored the  divine hand that has held and healed him these three years. Instead, ignorant , he has chosen to work and wine and dine and write plays and poems without interruption . . . without any interrupting  thought of  The Eternal Creator God.

Like many of us who need the same forgiveness , the act of ” living  well” has had a way of interfering with” thinking rightly” about Our God.  Yet ,in a moment, a word from a doctor  jolts believing and unbelieving minds  to desperately long for something miraculous.  We long for the  “Eternal” to extend what is called “terminal” , the “Creator” to fix His created thing. Our thoughts line up like soldiers on mission to find hope. . . . . we look for merciful deliverance from  a terminal end.

it may be 6 months , one more Christmas, the BOWEL cancer has grown ..” we hear.

“It is inoperable.” Dr S said as she crossed her legs, turning  to my father ,with ipad  displaying my fathers latest medical results on her lap.

Bowels and Bathrooms

“The bowels of existence do not speak unto man except as man ” Friedrich Nietzsche

Suddenly,  both  our minds were jolted to thoughts of mortality, the end of life as my father knows it. We left the office to walk down a hall that had grown longer than ever before.
“Am I going to die?” my father asks

” I don’t know when?” I answer (1)

“This may be my terminal point , this Christmas.” my father speculates

“But you know there is an eternal point for you as well”. I offer

“I don’t want to hear that religious fairy tale ! I’d rather my soul live in the bowels of hell than to have to pay homage to another, . . . that God of yours” my father says angrily .

“He is your God too , you just don’t know it yet” I reply as we walk. 

” The bowels of hell my dear. .” my father chants in a kinder tone.

” speaking of bowels “, he smiles as if to apologize for his outburst ” I must use the restroom before we leave”.

My father turns away from me and shuffles  down the long corridor back towards the restrooms at Mayo clinic.

“I’ll wait here ” I say as I sit on a bench .

Waiting here, I think of prayers prayed for . I consider God’s specific answer to specific prayers. We have prayed  for my father to experience the mercy and love of God through Jesus. And yet, I have only thus far watched  my father  turn and spin  with every reaching of the Lord’s hand.

This resistance  has had me so desperate that ,on one Tuesday night, I begged some brothers for prayer again . The dear brothers initiated a prayer for my father that I expect answered.  I expect an answer,  by the power of God, before my father’s earthly departure. One brother in particular, Mr Larry Fussell  ,prayed “may your  Daddy have a glimpse of what hell looks like so he’ll change his stubborn mind about going there” .

After an “Amen”, Mr . Fussell grabbed my arm and said “I just don’t  want to even think about him  going there when Our Father’s got such a better place for us. . . .may Jesus turn him around”.

“i amen that  ” I said to Mr. Fussell.

That night many of us prayed and  tarried for my father to agree with Our Father and so run into the eternally merciful arms of  “Our Father who Art in Heaven” . That was a year ago.

These  prayers prayed for my father remain as a sweet aroma , an incense for my hope filled  soul. When I am with my father, I imagine that this aroma  fills the air around my dad  like a cloud . And like a cloud driven by wind I pray it follows him everywhere.

Then , I pray that the aroma is so strong that   it produces a hunger in  the “hounds of heaven” (2) https://youtu.be/V6hNu8U7NScth that may be released to retrieve my father  back to his Creator, his Father, his Master and his Lord .

Sometimes, I even see these hungry hounds  guarding my father’s feet from the very bowels of hell  . . .AND even chasing them into the “Bowels of Christ”  Then, from  these imaginings  I  rise and say: .

he-descended

“I beseech you from the bowels of Christ , Dad, to think it possible that you may be mistaken (about the bowels of hell”( Oliver Cromwell)

My heart shouts these words as I watch my father come back towards me down the hall.

“Bloody hell! They are cleaning the water closet. I’ve got to use another one”  My spirit of  shout is subdued to a sluggish slur “Ill wait here while you go “I say.

” Here I go” my father turns to another direction ” Here I go , sent not to know for whom the bell tolls, ,, it tolls for me” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44107 my father quotes John Donne as he walks by, his finger pointing in the air..

I remain on the bench in the hallway of Mayo Clinic to write this story on my phone. It is triggered by a thought of Christmas.

Many pass by me, each to a destination . Do we really know of the final destinations that Our father has prepared for souls ? That thought is too weighty , so, I think of Christmas . . . . a last Christmas this year .. really will the “bell toll?”  . . naw, I chose to think of memories of last Christmas NOT the fears of this being ” the last Christmas. . . .”

Bowels and Church Bells

Last Christmas eve , my father went to church.  Every Christmas Eve that I can remember my father has consistently set suit , tie and a certain time to go to church. He always chose midnight. There is something strange and compelling about the midnight hour.And, midnight would  always come quickly on December 24th.

When I  recall many December 24th’s , I see my father dressed  in tuxedo at 8pm for cocktail , conversation and caviar. I see him standing as a great orator in the living room ready for discourse with friends . I hear his  intense philisophical bantering about the futility of life and stupidity of having faith . I see how he would use controversy mixed with literary dialogue  to introduce his greatest ideology , the future of His “New World Order”.


His ‘new world order’ was an Order where scientists reign as the governing body. An order where  “true culture and art are the only legal pastimes’. Additionally, he would edict a decree against  the breeding ground of “faith” by mandating a ban on ” the primitive culture, churches and ritual” .

Finally, with eloquent words from Voltaire and other “enlightened men” he would pronounce an Order where “the abomination of the lower class would be culminated by prohibiting all fantasies produced by Faith .”  The only reigning expression of life that he would allow to remain would be  ART and SCIENCE .

Once the company was convinced of the corruptness of religion and the grossness of Faith , he would invite them to toast  with a shot of brandy or schnapps . “to Lord M ” they would say “and the New World Order”.

With toasting glasses ringing like bells , I would know it’s time to slip on my black patent leather shoes for my yearly ride to church.

How upside down it all was. The worship seemed to be for the man, my father.  and the entertainment seemed to be the ritual of the church.

“let us go celebrate the’ philosopy of hypocricy'” his faithful followers would quote my Father as they drove to church on Christmas Eve.


The tradition of midnight candlelight service  captured my fathers senses since he was baptized in 1933.  On that date, the date of his baptism,  my father was first seen by heaven, in a large ornate Anglican church in downtown Jacksonville.

Now,  ever since his  first sniff of incense and his first hearing of church bells and his first sight of a cross pointing downward to his frailty, my father senses have longed for the celebration and majesty displayed in the season.

But last Christmas, last Christmas when invited to church ,my father announced.  . .”I am not going for all that raving about saving, I’m only going for the pageantry of Christmas”  he reminded me 80 years later as he sat weakly on the side of his bed .

Dutifully , I looked at him, setting aside shirt and pants and coat for our traditional trip to church on Christmas Eve.

No religion okay. Religion is the opiate of the masses” he quoted Stalin as he looked back at me with a childlike grin.

“Im going for the sake of art and ART ALONE” he announced with the defiance of an adolesent child

.” I will only go to a church that appreciates art. I will only go to the Anglican or Catholic church where there is some art and culture”

“fine”  I threw his pants across the bed ” Halleluiah !” I shouted displaying a charisma from my Pentacostal church

“Well,You know all art declares there is an Artist” I shouted from the closet looking for a shirt.” I just want you to know I don’t believe in religion either, religion does nothing for my soul,” I say as I sail a red dress shirt across the bed ” I believe in God! and we worship because He is beautiful”. I think beyond my words, . . .  most certainly our worship is God’s artwork for Himself.

My father interrupted my thoughts. “Hells Bells.   . . stop that nonsense, stop being a attorney for that felon God. . . and bring me some champagne that I may lubricate my soul to prepare for this ritual of yours and of all the masses” my father shouted back.

The Bowels of Hell : No Beauty

The Catholic Church where my husband attends is built in the 70’s. It is not ornate or particularly profound in its display of the doctrines of Christ as other sanctuaries in the Catholic faith.  Sometimes, it feels as if the Lutherans were on the building committee. A large wooden carving of The Good Shepherd greets you like a massive metamorphosis of a trunk of a tree outside the church entrance.  The interior is large sanctuary style seating over 1000 facing an altar where a large simple  concrete crucifix hangs before long window panes etched with a vine and grapes.  Stations of the cross sit simply as a back drop around the sanctuary.

Yet, something about Christmas Eve makes the most simple become most sacred. The sancutuary in the Christmas season smells of pine from trees lined across the altar. Candles cast warm glow over faces , even the faces of Jesus in each  stations of the cross glows. Red tapestry drape the altar. Art unflolds in celebration.  Every thing seems to bend or lift to the coming King. And my soul continues to say “He is beautiful”

“we are going to be late if we stop at the liquor store” I explained to my husband.

“He wants a miniature to make it through mass” my husband replied.

We arrived five minutes before mass.  My fathers miniatures of Bushnells Irish wiskey was tucked upright in his pocket. My husband and my daughter proceeded me in entering the sanctuary.

“come on .hurry on pop” I said to my father. He followed behind deliberate and delicate . He walked deliberate because of his age but delicately because he thought himself an artist..

The prelude of the entrance hymn was playing.  A soloist was singing Handel’s Messiah. She served a soprano “who may abide the Day of His coming?who shall stand when He appeareth?. . .” I waited for a response. It is strange how year after year , no one ever answers Handels questions (3) . . . they just sing as if they have the answer.

I genuflect as I enter the pew . I like to bend my knee imagining  that I am right in front of Jesus.  It is my present for him at Christmas. Since a little girl my knee would bend. My knee knew more than my soul knew for many years. But now my soul knows . So the   song surrounded my soul as a Thankyou note for letting it know what the knee already knew . Everything, sound and smell and note ,caused my knee and soul to linger longer than ever before last Christmas eve.

So long did I linger that I felt my father fall against me .  “Bloody Hell” he shouted. His words echoed along the walls and up the ceiling to the etched glass . Most every face  turned.

The soloist stuttered.

Lifting one finger up , my father declared

” well ,bloody hell lets get on with the show”

The soloist continued to sing ” And He shall purify. .” from Handel.

” Why did you have to shout  in church ?” I scowled at my father as we sat . Our flesh sat instead of submitting to the ritual of kneeling to pray. 

“what? ” my father looked impish yet child like.

“Hell” I said.”you shouted bloody hell.” I explained .”  Nevermind” I shook my head and began to sing the assigned hymn. Singing words without my soul, I began to think. . .

Why in the hell would my father shout “hell” and make his life choice “hell” ? Hell. Hell has no art on its walls. “Hell has no song in its sanctuary. Hell is chaos with no center point.  

Hell  is a place void of the Glory of God.

This church, with its order and beauty and song, as  every church, show glimpses of Glory.

Truly all that inhabits the  earth shows hints of the Glory of God.  People with  all their expressions of beauty, in sanctuaries, out of sanctuaries,  only reflect hues of the true beauty of the glory of God.

There is no place where there is a complete void of a glimpse of the glory of God. But Hell…Hell is void of all glory, all beauty.  Hell holds no reflection of the beauty of the Glory of God.  Truly,Hell is “bloody hell” it is “true very true hell”.

In its bowels there is not one song to make the soul bend. not one painting to cause the eye to wonder. There is  not one story to transcend the soul to new thought and new lands. There is probably not one color. All that is hell bound will be separated from light and life and love. It will not be “a hell of a place” but a “place of pure Hell. “

For there is no beauty in the bowels of hell.

THE BOWELS OF HELL: NO END

My thoughts fired like bullet upon bullet through three hymns. And my father and I continued to worship together in the church. Soon together the Christian and the Atheist  said the Nicene Creed  .

“and He descended into hell”.

I looked over at him when we said “hell” yet again. Together.

We smiled and then kept reading. I  soon tucked the creed in the hymnal and said it by rote memory so that I could pray with my spirit . Praying in the Holy Ghost that my father chose another destination..

My prayer was interrupted as I thought how the church looked at him when he screamed “bloody hell” . I thought how most of  the  church folks had their bodies turned toward him as he shouted.

How quickly they turned from the altar to a man in mortal distress. But they did not know he was in distress. Can they really recognize the hell bound. Might the screams” hell ” send them tarrying and falling and pleading like we did the night my church prayed. What would happen if there is no one to plead for my father?  If my church or this church no longer prays?

I returned to pray ” Don’t let him go there Abba Father. Don’t let him go to hell .How awful it is and he does not know” I pray.” And Father ,why did you send your son there?” I pondered

” I wouldn’t even send my father in all his ways there for a day. . . and you. . .   . and you oh Father  sent your son”

On the third day He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father(interceding for my father)

Some Church folks don’t use the word ” Hell.” They soften old King James junkies with words like Sheol, and Gehenna. And they  speak of a place where there are two levels one for the righteous and one for the damned.

In the Bible, the one person most talked about, by Jesus, for going to  heaven ,as a destination, is the man named Lazarus. And the  One most examined for going to  hell, as a destination , is the anonymous “rich man”. These  two men oppose one another in a sad story of Love consummated by Lazarus ,  and Love pleaded for by the rich man.

The place of hell and the  design of hell is often debated. But one thing is certain, Jesus last sermon was preached there.  The Word declares that Jesus, God’s son, descended  to preach in this place  and to capture for  himself those righteous souls separated from their body . And from there he  sent the unrighteous to an eternal fire and those trusting in His righteousness to an eternal life. To the righteous he declared the sting of death forever gone to the unrighteous the sting of Death to forever to be felt.

“And sits at the right hand of the Father from whence he will come again to judge the quick and the dead .  And His kingdom will have no end”

Even before  our birth we  were created for eternity : but a choice remains for either an eternity of LIFE or an eternity of DEATH. This eternity is buried  in our hearts .From the position of life God has a place without end called ” heaven”. Yet from the position of death there is a place without  end called ” hell.” .

“Holy” is what divides the road. It is the stop sign in the forked road of heaven and hell. The roads lead either to a final verdict of “holy”   “Without sin” in heaven OR a final verdict  of the”unholy” “dammned”  in hell .

To think it simply ,  life along the roads in heaven are  a consummation of every longing  while life along roads in Hell are an intensifiying of every regret . And all of this in an Always, Forever, Everpresent State

The mortal body  is but dust in the road as the soul begins its course to the doors of either heaven or hell . At the door,  all will either encounter the Loving  embrace of their Father who has made them “holy” by His Son  going before them  Or they will encounter  the complete and final loneness of self ,separated,  weeping  longingly with no one going before them to make them “right” for His embrace. There is no escape, both places are the endpoint of an endless existence that encounters its Creators judgement . .a judgement previously encountered on the cross by Christ or a judgement encountered on the individual at the end of his mortal life.

The BOWELS OF HELL: NO RESSURECTION

“and we believe in one holy (Catholic) church , the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the dead.” the Nicene Creed

My father and I said ,together , the greatest promises of our Maker. We recited “we believe in , the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the dead”. The creed ends with a declaration of the proposal of God. The Proposal cries as it did in the garden for His first children.” I love you and I have prepared a place for you” It shouts. It is a display of love more glorious than any love song or story or art or church or person. It is the place where every longing for beauty and love is fulfilled. It is where you will come face to face with the one who Loved you first. The One who has rescued you from hell and resurrects you into His presence in Heaven.

“Amen” we said. “So be it” many pastors translate. I thought of this as my father put his book in pew. So be it. So be everything my father  said last Christmas in his unbelief. Have Mercy Lord Jesus on my fathers unbelief. Have Mercy in this Year of Mercy.( 5)

The memory closes as I see my father come down a different corridor from the one he had gone.

I go to meet him “Where did you go? The bathroom was the other way. . .isn’t that where you said you were going” I ask

“yes, I don’t know what happened.  Some how I got turned around but where I went was much better” my father continues “there is always a better place “

“yes there is always a better place” I reply “Amen”

 

  1. bloody” was a common used word, type of cursing in british english since  1670 . implying” completely entirely, truly” not emphasizing blood however german/ Dutch may indicate intensifier related to God’s blood making the noun it modifies most true. Similarly, Austrailian usuage and indication for use when saying “Bloody struth” meaning “without a doubt , the truth”.
  2. And it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment Hebrew 9:27
  3. The Hound of Heaven https://g.co/kgs/qQMVdS.  https://youtu.be/V6hNu8U7NSc
  4. Nicene Creed http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/nicene.htm I believe in one God the Father Almighty,Maker of heaven and earth,And of all things visible and invisible:
    And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,
    Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light,
    Very God of very God,Begotten, not made,Being of one substance with the Father,
    By whom all things were made;Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven,And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary,
    And was made man,And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
    He suffered and was buried,And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures,And ascended into heaven,And sitteth on the right hand of the Father.
    And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead:
    Whose kingdom shall have no end.And I believe in the Holy Ghost,
    The Lord and giver of life,Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son,
    Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified,
    Who spake by the Prophets.And I believe one Catholick and Apostolick Church.
    I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.And I look for the Resurrection of the dead,And the life of the world to come.Amen.
  5. 2016 was designated the Year of Mercy by The Church. All year , everywhere you can hear the Lord cry ” listen to me you stubborn of heart, you who are far from righteousness; I bring near my righteousness it is not far off and my salvation will not delay. I will put my slvation in you For My Glory  Isaiah 46:12-13 

70 times 7

child with heart

Then Daddy , hear from heaven your dwelling place, and FORGIVE US and render to each of us whose HEART YOU KNOW, according to all our ways for , you , you only know the HEARTS of your CHILDREN                                      2 Chronicles 6:30

“It changed my heart” said my Roman Catholic sister .

“Really, it changed my heart ” Kate said as she held her fist over her the sweater.

Her sweater was clinging to her shirt; her shirt clinging to her skin; and her skin  was sealing  all the tissue and bones  that covered her heart.

” How deep the heart is hidden within us” I thought as her fist bounced against her chest.

” It’s a lot of layers to go through to get to this matter of a heart “, I thought.

“you know what I am saying don’t you?” Kate spoke like a teacher making sure  I understood her.

Yet, today outside Kate’s church, it was strange to hear Kate speak. She was not at all speaking in the position or role of a teacher, she was speaking as a sister.

Years ago, I had  been the one learning from her about the ways of the heart. Today, after mass, we were students together with the same teacher. Jesus.

“I remember what you said about the heart ” she said to me.   I felt uncomfortably forgetful of what I had said. She spoke softly  outside  the entrance of her church.

Kate whispered her story . She paused at the conflict in the story to say, ” Vanessa, I had to forgive this person who hurt me deeply by things they said” Kate looked as if  this work called “forgive”  had been the greatest effort of her heart . Face at rest now, she spoke words of an attack on her heart. She spoke  as if she had been assaulted and immobilized by an enemy and  and somehow set alive and free by an angel.

She looked as  if this enemy of the heart ,unforgiveness,  had tried to deface the beauty and strength of her heart .(1) Speaking moment by moment of the crippling thoughts of self justification and rehearsed hurt, Kate spoke like a burglar had entered  the peaceful home of her heart. It was as if this thief, unforgiveness, did not knock loudly or ask for an invite, but instead, pushed and  bolted through every layer of defense into Kate’s heart.  Once in,  it sounded as if it tied her whole being to a post leaving it immobile with strings of anger and bitterness and distrust trailing her every move. (2)  But now, now, while words spoke of war, her face spoke peace. 

 She looked as if something had freed her.   Unforgiveness must have been  violently evicted from her heart.  Perhaps now,   every  bitter string was running homeless in the dust , unattached and powerless .

There was no damage to Kate from this Unforgiveness. In fact she looked like the day I first met her 15 years ago. Fifteen years ago, I was a student and she, a teacher. On that day,  Kate was  pointing to a picture of and anatomical heart on a large news print paper flip chart. The chart was set on a easel in a small classroom. All this was arranged down a long hall  in a large hospital. Tall was the easel next to Kate. Petite and precise was Kate  presenting the working of God’s magnificient creation: the heart of a human.  Snuggly, chair against chair fit while many new eager nurses fixed their eyes on Kate.  Late to the class, I anxiously looked for a seat.

“Right here Vanessa”  Kate’s voice was kind as she read my name tag and gracefully waved her hand to an open seat.

She continued teaching as I took a seat,”The heart has both mechanical functions and electrical functions” “injuries and assaults to either function can change the heart”  She then began to draw a dark spot on the upper portion of a sketched  heart as she explained different factors that could hurt the heart.   Elegant her voice and hands as they together emphasized each word. Urgent her every expression. She spoke as if it really were a matter of life and death this thing called “the heart” of man.  Every sense of each student  was pulled to engage its attention towards this magnificent master organ: . Eyes following hands, ears capturing words  . . you could almost see and hear the life of a HEARTBEAT in the room.

heart

“you see an injury here can affect the whole electrical and mechanical system of the heart and that is where you develop arrhythmias”. “an arrythmia is anything that is not the ‘normal”syned fuction of the heart.’ Kate explained.

“yes ” I awoke from my memory of our first meeting  to answer Kate

” are you hearing me Vanessa ?”Kate prodded.

” Oh yes Kate it so has that affect  . .It messes up our rhythem. ”

“That’s it ” she said with excitement. Her tone was like the  “aha” of a student .  Like the “ahas” she had  produced in  me so many times.

I looked at her hand remain over her heart.  She was no longer speaking of hearts of the flesh of man. Fifteen years later, She was now standing before me speaking of another heart.  She was speaking of how Unforgiveness affects the conduction and function of the heart in the soul of man.

” When I let what they said about me hurt me really deeply, I noticed I was thinking about it all the time. The, I found I spoke about it often. So often I brought up the hurt that you would think they were hurting me everyday.  But the worst part for me was when I saw my husband felt the  hurt for me as well! Suddenly , he was unforgiving too! I was spreading the injury!”(3)

Her hand remained over her heart. ” Hurt.” My mind meandered again to my first day with Kate.

The classic symptom is “chest pain” Kate explained to the novice nurses. “Every patient describes their hurt differently” Kate would say.  With a  MI, a myocardial infarction, an assalt and injury due to lack of blood supply to a particular section of the heart. The injury could have tissue proximal to it die as well . The infarction could spread affecting one, at worst, unto death, or, at least, in rate and rhythm of life.

How much the same is the heart of the soul of man, I have thought. Perhaps the heart of the soul gets a particular injury from the words of another. Perhaps it shuts off the blood supply of Jesus to a particular part of the heart of the soul.  Perhaps then we experience an excruciating pain.. it is accepting the judgement of another and letting it lodge like a clot into our heart. It causes an infarction  of a tender beating heart. It changes its rhythym, it interrupts its flow, it hinders its function. Then, quickly, a section of our heart  dies . And like a necrosis, bitterness comes  spreads to kill another section till we lay almost dead .Dead hearted. And  then, deadhearted and diseased, we spread our unforgiveness to anyone nearby.

” so I took what was read in mass and I truly believed what Jesus said” Kate dropped her hand from her chest reaching towards me.

‘I hope you learned something ” she had said in class as I left that day. The day along time ago when I was  an infant in faith and so innocent of injury.

Remembering my own  assaults to the heart of my soul, every sense from that moment  was captured as I looked at Kate. I could almost taste and smell death of the heart of our souls.Chest pain. Chest pain. . .  I could hear men yell and defend their heart and women whine and deny their heart. So the heart of the soul worked  like the heart of the flesh when injured and it strained in agonal beats . . . .

When an infarction occurs, if the blood supply is cut off ,more and more of the heart will die” I remember Kate say

” I remember you said that ‘without his word you would die'” she said to me. I jostled away from my dreaming analogy. Suddenly,  it felt as if she was eavesdropping into my thoughts.

“What was that Kate?” I asked ”

you said ” The Word gave you Life”. she replied to me.

Kate continued ” So I took the reading of Matthew 18:22. . . . where Jesus tells Peter to forgive 70 times 70 and everytime my thoughts beat a unforgiving note, I forgave. . it was at least 70 times 7 “. She smiled and thumped her fist in her hand beating it rhythmically, and now here I am”

“In CPR we mimic the rhythm  of the heart at least 100 beats a minute. . .60 – 90 is a normal beat But if we want to perfuse the heart in our compressions we must pump more,. we must keep it alive’ Kate had taught me.

“forgive us as we forgive” I would say to myself over and over, Kate explained.

Lub Dub, Lub Dub . .Kate spoke the sound of the heart.

“I said it over and over again.” Kate repeated

Lub Dub Lub Dub. . . a heart beating. . .you must do compression to the rhythm of the song “Staying Alive”. . press, press,press, staying alive , staying alive.

” soon , I was free of all that hurt Vanessa. Even more, I was not speaking against them but loving them. It is life.!!! Truly life what is said here” Kate pointed through the door to the pulpit of her church. Then  she pointed to the Bible I held against my chest.

Behind Kate hung  A large banner . On the banner was  a picture of the large hand of Jesus, reaching down to a bended woman. Written around the picture were words proclaiming “the year of Mercy” in her church.  It spoke of an open door of Mercy for all. It spoke of the Year of Jubilee.

More vibrant than the banner, louder than any words was Kate. The banner looked ever so lifeless and dim behind her radiance. The picture of Jesus’s hand seemed invisible against a visible hand on Kates heart. Oh but  how vast this hand that guards and holds our hearts!!  It has rescued us from death and hell, it has synced us  into a perfect rhythm of Life. And life to the fullest !. It had resuscitated Kate  with a  word.  The banner seemed merely an advertisement for a year of hearts such as hers.

Return oh heart to your healer. Hear His Word and you will be healed of hurt and you will Forgive as He has for given you!

  1. As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man” Proverbs 27:19  ESV http://bible.com/59/pro.27.19.esv a womans beauty is found in the hidden person of the heart . But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4 ESV http://bible.com/59/1pe.3.4.esv
  2. And in anger his master delivered him TO THE JAILERS, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to everyone of you  if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. Matthew 18:34-35 http://bible.com/59/mat.18.34-35.esv Jesus tell us that unforgiveness is like a “jailer” binding us into greater debt, the one we owe our Father for all of our unrighteousness.
  3. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness, All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person “ Mark 7:21-22 ESV http://bible.com/59/mrk.7.21-22.esv