I return from my latest “promise-making” and pause by the crystal river that flows by the tree of life. I listen to the chorus of Holy, holy, holy coming from the throne room, and watch as the light of my essence waltzes with the rippling water. The Ancient One and Michael approach me.
“It is time to fulfill a promise we made,” the Ancient One says. My heart startles at the weight in his tone. I look at him and furrow my brow in question.
He continues. “Years ago, you visited an infant in a small town, during a Vacation Bible School. You spoke over her our promise. Though she would be silenced for a time; it would come to an end. It is time to completely undo her silencing.”
My mind travels back. I remember a townhall on a summer morning and an infant in a crib tucked in the corner of the room. I remember a grandmother and her small grandson pulling weeds in a flower garden. I remember the deceiver, his face distorted with sinister glee as a young mother pronounced silence over the infant. Pain stabs my heart. I recall how I went to the infant, how she watched the light of my essence dance with the sunlight. I remember the affection I poured into her with my touch. And the promise. A slight smile curves my lips upwards and I nod.
The Ancient One continues, “The deceiver’s lie, deeply rooted in her heart, imprisoned her in the silence of fear. Fear of being misunderstood, rejected, and discarded have been her companions.” His heavy words pull at our hearts like gravity pulls at the ocean.
Michael turns his gaze from the Ancient One to me. “She has grown through the years. With healing and encouragement, she has spoken.” His mellow voice soothes the ache we feel. “The man we gave her helped us with that.”
I chuckle. “I’m not sure he’s always liked what she’s had to say.” I wink at Michael.
He laughs. “True, and,” he continues, “she has spoken of us as well.”
“It’s not enough,” the Ancient One bellows. “I want more from her. More for her.” His voice echoes like thunder, and we wait.
He looks at me; his eyes pooled. “She’s buried so much.” He breaths in and exhales slowly. A single tear falls. “All her words of grief, longing, and fear, coupled with her words of healing, hold treasure. I want those words unsilenced.”
I nod, knowing the path she walked and how I journeyed alongside her. “The deceiver battered and shattered her heart, left it bleeding and bruised. She practiced courage in her willingness to walk into her pain. She faced it, continues to face it, and allows me to transform the ‘yuck,’ as she calls it, into something beautiful.”
“Beauty for ashes,” Michael says.
“Exactly,” I look from Michael to the Ancient One. “Beauty for ashes. There are two problems for her, though. On the one hand, she does not believe her words are worth telling. On the other, her healing journey is sacred to her. She feels the words are too holy to share, that the telling will somehow diminish the value.”
“And that is why she MUST share them.” Once again, the Ancient One’s deep voice reverberates across heaven. “The holy work of healing, those stones thrown at her by the deceiver, transformed into precious gems through the heat and pressure of healing…” His voice trails off, his thought unfinished.
Michael and I remain quiet. We are eager to hear what the Ancient One desires.
“The ashes transformed to beauty. The praise she wears rather than despair is lovely to behold. All this must not remain buried. The treasure must be dug up and displayed.” He looks directly at me.
I shake my head. “She will not speak them,” I say softly. “They are too precious to her.”
“I agree with her,” Michael says. “They ARE too precious to be spoken aloud. But there is another way.” He pauses. The Ancient One stares at him, then his face lights up as he realizes what Michael is suggesting.
“Of course!” the Ancient One booms like cymbals crashing in crescendo at the end of a symphony.
What they are saying dawns on me. I feel a thrill of energy.
Much like he did long ago when I was sent to that infant in a crib, Michael says, “Do what you need to do.”
As I leave for my task, I hear the Ancient One say, “…and there will be more healing for her, too.” A smile of understanding spreads across my face.
The navy sky twinkles its nighttime jewels. The woman lay fast asleep. Wrinkles frame her closed gray-green eyes. Her hands rest across her chest; small knobs of arthritis decorate her fingers. And she doesn’t suck her thumb anymore. And I visit her in a dream….