Why? I ask myself.
I know this will be difficult and possibly the death of me but for some reason I can’t make myself leave.
Why are the book and I are alone in this musty attic again?
It’s just us, again. Or is it? I feel the presence of something else… something ominous looming right beneath the rafters. Perhaps it is the shame of not only my sins and but also the wrongs done by my family.
“The book and I are alone…”
I shiver as my fingers creep through and lift each one of its musty pages.
The papers crackle then relax at my touch of my shaking hands. This book is an antique relic covered in stains. I run my finger over a particularly marred spot on the page, it is tearstain of one of my relatives, a child. Vacantly my eyes scan the title, “Physically abused, at the hands of his father.”
I flip to the next page and see a picture. There stands a man. He is wearing black slacks, a tie and a taunt expression of indifference.
His header reads, “A cheat, liar and fraud; abuser of his wife.”
On the next page is a woman. She is standing on a street corner wearing hardly any clothes.
Flip, flip, flip went the pages. Does is get better? Pungent sin after sin permeated the air around me; they rose from within the binding and clouded the air around me.
“Flip, flip, flip went the pages.”
From this aura of distaste I could hear them whisper harshly, “You are one of us, one of us, one of us.”
“No!” I cried. But who was I to say no? This is the lineage from which I have come. I almost can’t bear to keep looking. Why do I continue to torment myself?
I have ruminated on the contents of this book countless times.
Why? You ask.
“I have ruminated on the contents of this book countless times.”
I believe that through them I may solace. Perhaps they will teach me how I should not live my life.
And how convenient is this? I owe rights to chapters upon chapters of my ancestor’s evil works and faults. Each one is contained in this huge book whose spine I now cradle. If there are answers anywhere, I assume they are in here.
Studying, analyzing and reminiscing on these awful memories will spur me to do things differently. I’m assured of this.
Or am I?
Have I done anything differently as of so far?
I am a failure.
Well, of course I am. Despite my efforts, I am no different than the generations who have come before me.
The pages. The yellow pages; they smell like death.
My stomach muscles are tense. I feel nauseated and desperately want to heave up the contents of my stomach… but I can’t. I won’t allow myself. My attention must be completely consumed by these awful pages. I must learn. These pages are the keepers of the blueprint that I call my life but ultimately do they determine who I will be? Am I destined to fail? It seems as though my family tried to escape their awful deeds and yet… these pages, they are riddled with crimes. These ancient pages continue to whisper a decrepit identity into my vulnerable ears.
The faded scarlet scrawls taunts from their pages, “You’re just like them…” My tormentor’s hiss is interrupted by a deep voice, “Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear. Forget your people and your father’s house…”
That voice; it will bring tinges of warmth and healing to my soul. Something inside of me just knows it!
The tone is so gentle, deep and welcoming. My Father. Oh, He’s here. Why is He here? I tear my eyes from the manuscript and cry, “Abba?”
It’s too much. He is here. I quickly glance at His glory then drop my stunned gaze to the floorboards.
“My daughter… you have been grafted in to be a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for My own possession. I did this so that you may proclaim my excellence. The excellence of the One who called you out of darkness and into My marvelous light.”
His warmth started as a trickle. Soon the trickle became a flow. It became a heavy flow that washed over my nausea and gushed over my dry heart. He was so close to me. I knew it! His Joy was pervading my being.
Reaching out His large hand He gently lifted my chin towards His eyes. Oh, those eyes; my breath was taken away at first glance. It was too much.
I found myself was looking into orbs of such tender compassion, love and strength. Everything was going to be healed.
“Look at me my daughter.”
All would be all right. But, a thought occurred: how dare I look into eyes of such holiness?
“I am not worthy.” I whispered.
“I have who created you. Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine my daughter. You are mine. My daughter, abide in me.”
I slide my eyes across the book’s dusty cover then gaze into His eyes. They are so passionate and full of truth. They tell me how He has taken away the shame of the past. I am not my lineage. I am His daughter.
I am a daughter of the King of Kings.
“Please forgive me for trying to find answers where I should not my Lord.”
I know every answer is to be found in communion with Him and in His Word.
His truth tells me I am not defined by the generation that came before me. Their shame and poor decisions are not my heritage. I am not only allowed into His house, I am His daughter, princess of the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
He asks me to take His hand, gaze into His perfect love and recognize the new identity He has given me… I choose to let go of things from the past. I am new creation because my heavenly Father says so.
Thank you for this gift Father.
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.
(Song of Solomon 2:11-13)