Beating His Heart of Stone
This was the story of her dream:
I was pounding his chest with a bat, trying to break open his heart. He had hurt me so much, I had to show him my pain and everything he had taken from me. But his heart was stone. Cold and solid stone. And although I hit his chest with all the strength I had, until my arms burned and my breath was hoarse, I could not even get through his chest to touch his heart. He could not feel me. It was hopeless.
I hated him. I could not make him feel all the pain he had left me with.
And I could not stop.
But then I heard a voice. “Stop, Sarah.”
“No!” My voice was ragged with tears and anger, “He doesn’t know how much he hurt me! It’s not fair!”
“Stop, precious Sarah.” The voice was calm and sad. “Stop, young one.”
“No! No! No! How could he do this to me?!” My voice was cracking with tears and fatigue, it was embarrassing. “He brought this out of me. It’s his fault! And then he left!”
“Sarah, my Darling. Stop.”
I finally looked up at Brant’s face as I continued hitting his chest. But there were two faces. Brant’s eyes were closed in sleep, a worried look on his face. And the face of Jesus was next to his. He was standing behind Brant whispering into his ear.
And every time I slammed Brant’s chest, Jesus winced.
“No! No! No!” I whined. “Let me hit him!! He needs to know.”
Jesus spoke to me, “Sarah, I am working in him. I am doing my part to reach his heart of stone.” And he went back to whispering into Brant’s ear.
And even though I kept hitting Brant I started to see Jesus’ words in his sleeping ear were slowly, slowly warming him, like color and warmth moving into Brant’s blood stream, soaking downward towards his heart. “This takes time, Sarah,” Jesus spoke to me again, “But I am working on him.” He looked at me, though still with a deep compassion, and very sternly said, “Let me do my work, my daughter.”
I noticed again that every time I hit Brant’s chest, Jesus flinched. And as I looked down, as the color and warmth soaked downward towards Brant’s heart I now could also see Jesus’ arms wrapped around Brant’s chest, protecting him from me. And every time I hit at Brant, I bruised new places on Jesus’ arms.
I threw the bat to the ground and it bounced away like off of stone. I fell to my knees and cried, “No! No! No! Why do you have to do that?! He needs to know how much this hurts. He needs to know what he did to me!” I sobbed into my hands.
“Sarah,” His compassionate voice was now filled with a thread of urgency, “Look at your own heart, my Love.” Then something strange happened. Jesus stepped towards me, right through Brant, although an image of him also continued to keep his arms wrapped around Brant, tirelessly whispering to him. But the two of them seemed to fade into a different time, where they could not hear us any more. And I was left alone with the other Jesus as he knelt down in front of me.
He said again, “Sarah, my Love. Look at your own heart, my dear. It’s in danger.”
And I looked down. Fire was wrapped around my heart and consuming me from the inside, like a burning house. I screamed and scratched at my chest.
“I can help,” He said. “Please let me help you.”
I just frantically scratched at my chest. “No! No! No! This is all his fault and now there will be nothing left of me! I can’t reach it! I can’t stop it. It burns so bad! I’m gonna die!”
Terror and tears raged in me as the fire ripped through my insides like I were a house with a fire spreading from room to room, burning up everything that I had gathered over so many years. All the good and all the bad.
I looked up with desperate eyes, into his face and cried, “Jesus I’m not going to have anything left! Please help me. Please.” And I broke down into sobs. All was lost.
“Okay. I’ll help you.” I felt his arms wrap around me like they had wrapped around Brant. He pulled my burning chest against his. And his face moved next to mine. His cheek and beard against my face, in my hair. And he started whispering words to me. “You are my daughter, I will not let you die. My love for you is eternal. I will let you die. I know it hurts, darling. I feel it. I can feel it too.”
I opened my eyes, blurred with tears, and saw flames licking up around him. the fire in me was catching onto him. And it burned inward. His heart was catching flame like mine.
“No! No! No! You don’t deserve that! You can’t take it from me! I don’t want to hurt you! Stop it.” I tried to push him back.
“I want it because I want you, Sarah. You have to let me take it. I am big enough. I am big enough. I can take it. I want to take this from you. Let me.”
I sobbed in desperation again. “I don’t know how. I just don’t know how.”
“Just listen to my words and trust me to take care of you.”
I closed my eyes and cried.
And I cried.
And I cried.
But he spoke his words to me. “I love you, Sarah. I will not lose you to the dark. I will not lose you to the stone. I will not lose you to the fire. I will pursue you always. Let me have your heart. Just let me come into your heart and take all your pain onto myself.” His voice shuddered ever so slightly. I suddenly realized how much pain he was feeling. The pain of the fire and something else, many other things like darts into him, he felt the pain of the entire world always pummeling him. And tears were flowing from him. I realized that although our cheeks were wet from my tears, most of the wetness were from his. “I will set you free, Sarah. Let me set you free, precious one. You are my daughter. You can trust me with your heart. Just listen to my voice, nothing else in the world can touch you, because I made it all. And I am sovereign over it. I know the plans I have for you. They are to prosper you, and bring you life. You will have no scars after I have made you fully new. Listen and trust me now, my love.”
I could not stop crying. I wanted to let him do his work. I wanted to. I tried to.
And I think, it was working. I focused on his words as if they were my only hope, and I trusted him to know how to save my dying heart.
And his tears now flowed so vastly that my shoulders were wet, and it was soaking downward into my torso. And his tears were defeating the fire. It was like the fire feared them. And the tears brought with them unspoken words that the fire feared. It was like a cool and calm, silent army marching into a city, like rising water, pushing out all the fire, because the fire knew it could not stand against it.
And I realized this whole time Jesus had been picking me up, and moving me so that I was cradled in his arms. He became large enough to hold me like a baby in his arms. And now his face spoke over me, his lips brushing my tender little nose as they moved. I saw myself becoming so precious and perfect finally, like a newborn again. But I was still completely me. All my pain had become powerless, neutered memories, and places of evidence that the great and famous Jesus had done a work of devotion in me. And he rocked me with such tenderness and his voice held such a fierce compassion for me that I knew nothing could take me away from this man’s protection. He loved me and would die before he would let me be taken away by anything. And I knew he had all power to save me from any rock or darts or fire that the world could throw at me. I was safe here. Safer than I had ever felt in my life.
And after an hour, I was almost asleep in his arms, the fire in me entirely extinct, and the tender parts in me were now healing. And eventually all that was left of his words were a few phrases, spoken over and over, like a mantra, like a lullaby, as he guided me to sleep. I could sense dreams of beauty and hope encroach upon the horizon of my mind as he spoke,
“I have come for you. I have died for you, my love. And now I live for you. I will protect you and redeem you from everything this world has done to you. I will make you wholly mine. I will make you new.”
Raw Spoon, 5-30-16