His goodness and mercy and challenges come to me all in a mix. Words of encouragement are flooding in. Laying hands of prayers are felt on my shoulders. Grippingly shaking one’s fists are resting on mine, which I could feel the heart of wrestling with our Lord so audibly and also physically.
Yet none of that could compare with the direct revelation that I received from the Lord. Often late at night. Softly spoken is His voice. Softly awoken is my half-asleep-half-consciousness. Trying to figure out whether it’s just my spinning, restless mind speaking or indeed my Lord, my God, who speaks, who always awaken me in the middle of the night. Through a touch of His hand. Through a tread of His feet. Through the mud. Through the dirt. Through the alleyway. Through the tears. Through the invisible darkness. One thing I know for certain is that He will lead me out of that alleyway and place me under His light.
… I find myself following a crowd of street kids in Cambodia, they lead me to high and lows of alleys and streets. This one child leads me by the hand walking into this deep dark alley. No light, no nothing, all I could feel is my feet hanging in flip flops, sliding through the slimy path. Slimy as in I could hear those watery sound underneath my feet and squeezed in between my toes. Slimy as in I could feel every tread I take will send me to a big “slip-and-fall” motion. I hold onto this child’s hand tightly and continue our walk. I vividly remember I am praying under my breath. There is nothing I could do but praying especially in such complete darkness. All I could manage to do is to pray and to follow. I distinctively remember there isn’t a sense of disgustion, knowingly walking on those slimy road. I remember I need to stay focus and remember to hold on to this little chlid’s rough small hand. One thing I keep reminding myself “DO NOT LET GO OF HIS HANDS!!!”
Next thing I remember, I could feel something gripping my ankle. It feels like thorns and buckles. On my right feet, my right ankle. It hurts as it grips tighter but I find myself not willing to shake it off either. Somehow with a will to drag that buckle and walk on the slime despite the weight, despite it would slow down the speed. Something inside swells up in me that I don’t mind the physical strain but to focus on holding onto that child’s hands. In complete darkness, I couldn’t see a thing, but I only feel the slime underneath very vividly but also welcoming its presence.
I came out of that alleyway with light slanting diagonally before my eyes. Not the brightest noon day light, but light shedding in between canopies. There are stores on each side of the alleyway, selling dried goods which send your nose into a dense aroma of salt. The smell could fly your sensory into a brownish vintage photos that you would find in a heirloomed box. Peace spreads out like lagoon as I stand there and look down to my feet. My feet is clean. No shackles buckled on my ankles. My toes are clean, toe-nails are neatly filed. No dirts smear my skin.
I wake up from this, feeling an immense canopy of peace spreading out the farthest horizon my eyes could reach. This is a vision from the Lord I would want to remember :::
I would want to remember how that slime get passed between my toes and feet.
I would want to remember how I remember to focus on holding onto that little hand and not letting go of that.
I would want to remember even in complete darkness, I still choose to walk forward into that darkness. I choose not to make a turn, or sit there lying in rotten sewage.
I would want to remember when buckles and thorns are holding gripped of my feet, I will still walk despite their presence.
I would want to remember that vivid promise, that my feet will still be clean. The promises of cleanliness after treading on dirt roads tells me this is where He called me to be.
I feel blessed to be talked to like this from time to time. Softly spoken to in unpromising circumstances, in least likely places. Unaccountably. Inexplicably. Unexpectedly. A Creator God who not only speaks, but paints such a vivid vision in my memory that speaks to the depth of my heart, where no one, not even myself could enter or leave with or without will. When He speaks, even before my head could agrees, He speaks straight to my heart which find itself on its knees, listening in its rightful posture, leaning towards to capture every single drops of His words of promises. He reaches out my hands and my feet, anchoring my fear onto His faithfulness and His unwavering trustworthiness in my walk, often bearing other people’s pain and hurt, proclaiming His name, loudly and boldly, awaitingly with a hope of His glory. Hope reveals even in unpromising circumstances. Hope heightens in least likely places. Unaccountably, inexplicably, unexpectedly, where His glory dwells.
Lead us up the mountain. Lead us to the place where Your glory dwells, God!! – Psalm 43:3