Something under the kitchen oven has stimulated her inherent cat-family mentality and she's on the prowl.
But I don't dare look under this oven.
No, I can't bring myself to see what's lurking under the dark corners of my kitchen range- just waiting to blink it's big rodent eyeballs straight into mine, all the while foaming at the mouth & desiring to eat me, I'm quite sure!
I'm certain it's big, it's ugly, it's vicious, it's lethal. I'm certain.
Immediately I panic and think only in terms of survival. "Ok, Joy," as I take a deep breath of air saturated in absolute fear, "What do I do?" I anxiously ask myself.
I quickly jump into an emergency plan of action that sounds so very right at the time:
I'll walk away.
I'll put the cat outside.
I'll pretend this cat's going senile.
As I proceeded to accomplish each one of these action plans, I found myself to be back in the exact same predicament hours later.
Back and forth. Back and forth she prowls across the kitchen floor never ceasing to take her steadfast gaze off the kitchen range.
I've ignored... but it's still there
I've denied... but it's still there
I've walked away... but it's still there
I've put the cat outside.... but it's still there
I've persuaded myself this cat is senile... but it's still there
All the while...My heart is pounding.
My hands are sweating.
My mind is racing.
But it was here, in this moment, in this chair, in this space, God's voice filled my spirit with clarity.
He plucked me out of my panic-stricken reality, for a moment, to observe a window side view into the reality of this situation. To look underneath the current cat-issue and to see a scared woman, in a dark room, behind a locked door, with a racing heart, paralyzed by fear.
The tears began to flow down my face. And no longer because a vicious rodent was just steps away lurking in the dark corners under my oven. No. It's because we, they, I have lived so many years like this & I find myself overwhelmed by the similiarities this situation is to that of a life built on fear and denial.
And so we protect. We find a room that looks safe and lock the doors of our hearts so that the rodent lurking within the dark corners of our mind, heart, soul, spirit, life, relationships, no longer torment us.
But it's still there. They're still there. The memories are still there. The pain is still there. The rejection is still there. The ugliness is still there. The monster lurking under the kitchen range is still there.
But, if I just could..
bandaid... maybe it'll go away.
Only to find out the safe haven of iron bars built around my heart, is actually a prison.
Only to find out I've rejected a victorious, fulfilling, loving, whole, purposeful, peace-filled life in order to stay safe.
Only to find out my own version of safety is in fact a trap of uncertainty, unprotection and insecurity.
Only to find out the vicious rodent, which controlled & stole my life, may actually be a harmless shadow.
It's a picture of reality for most of us, isn't it? This scene I'm experiencing in this chair, in this room, in this uncertain safe haven of counterfeit security.
But what if we chose to courageously, purposefully, radically, prayerfully, audaciously step out of the locked rooms of our heart and walk towards the kitchen range to where the dark corners hide the thing we most fear.
What if we chose love, over iron boundaries?
What if we chose forgiveness, over resentment?
What if we chose understanding, over critical judgement?
What if we chose courage, over cowardliness?
What if we chose vulnerability, over self-protection?
What if we chose humility, over pride?
What if we chose wisdom, over foolishness?
What if we chose His word, over psychology trends?
What if we chose honesty, over self-deceit?
What if we chose peace, over confusion?
What if we chose freedom, over bondage?
What if we chose prayer, over control?
What if we chose God's power, over manipulation?
What if we chose grace, over condemnation?
What if we chose hope, over despair?
What if we chose bravery, over deep rooted fear?
What if we chose surrender, over addiction?
What if we chose release, over denial?
What if we chose restoration, over broken relationships?
What if we chose security, over jealousy?
What if we chose tenderness, over rigidity?
What if we chose restraint, over anger?
What if we chose TRUST & FAITH in the Only one who can prove Himself faithful?
As I meditate on the overwhelmingly & unending "what-if's" of my life, He draws my attention to a sentence in red at the very top page in His word:
"If I am filled with light, with no dark corners, then my whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling me with light." -Jesus (Luke 11:36)He wants all of me, doesn't He, I whisper to myself while sitting in this locked room far from the kitchen. If I'm willing to face the dark corners of the kitchen range of my heart, my WHOLE life- not just some or a portion- but, my whole life will be radiant.
Radiant because of His massive light which can only be revealed in human words as a floodlight- simply because there is no other light that's...
more brilliant, than a floodlight.
It's simply impossible to have a dark corner in the presence of a plugged-in flood light.
My internal dialogue with Jesus continues as I realize He doesn't want just the pieces that look presentable enough, or lovable enough, or acceptable enough.
No, He's after the wounds, the habits, the destructive inner vows, the defects of character, the tormenting memories, the pain, the violations, the unhealthy dependencies, the hurts, that lurk and reside in the dark corners of the heart- unexposed and held captive to the power of secrecy.
His greatest desire is to plug in His Healing floodlight and light me up!
Where He has ability to eradicate the anger that's held the heart captive.
Where He has permission to smother His healing ointment of love under the bandaids of denial.
And until I'm willing to give Him permission to light-me-up, fear will continue to be the control tower of my life, I think to myself.
Yes, it's in this very act itself, where the depth, width, height, length and enormity of His kindness and love becomes an anchored reality of certainty, security and hope in the areas that once housed dark corners of shame.
The dark corners are not met with condemnation, shame or harshness. Never.
Instead, met face to face with a God who's character of tenderness, kindness, loyalty, compassion and love is now fully revealed and understood as a result of my choice to let Him plug in and light me up.... by the Only floodlight that will and can give me life, freedom and of course, Radiance.