Out of the Wilderness: Chapter 4
Hello, my friends! I hope you've had a wonderful Labor Day! I believe that many of you have not only rested and celebrated, but also done a bit of laboring as well:)
The more time we spend at home, the more we notice that a bit of work can be done, or creative decorating, that would allow us to come together in more appealing ways or to escape if need be.
How well do we know ourselves and our families? It seems to me that since we've begun this isolation journey that my family members are transforming right before my eyes into the-no-longer-dusty-precious-gems but very intense, shining bright, stars - could be because these challenging times brought out the very best of us or just the very best of me. Perhaps I'm seeing what I couldn't see before because my focus was so outward rather than inward.
I hope that as you come along on the journey with Hopeless, that you become more and more Hopeful as you discover parts unknown.
You have a decision to make today about your environment and your life. You are not Helpless. Every choice you make will affect the world around you.
"I felt the fear leaving me as I ran towards the next captive, my rock at the ready. The enemy looked at me and shouted, “You are weak. You are nothing. You were lucky that time but this time you will fail again.”
“I am not who you say I am!” I screamed back with fervor. “I am strong and brave. I am here to set the captives free and you will not stop me!”"
Read as Hopeless makes a decision below that will steer her onward as she meets her destiny in the midst of chaos!
I woke up to the beat of the drums. Menacing drums. It took my eyes a few moments to adjust to the darkness around me. I’ve become quite proficient in seeing in the dark. The darkness was nothing new to me; it almost felt familiar.
The shadows we familiar, too, as well as the outlines of the monsters. I’ve seen them in the Woods before.
What was new to me was the horrific stench that seemed to be hovering over the area, stuck in position, no breeze seemed to permeate this nauseating bubble.
Fires began to crop up in various positions around me. It was then, that I realized, that I was a captured being, stuffed into a cage, which was hanging off a thick log. I wasn’t the only one captive in a cage on this log. There were many people like me.
And then the tormentors came.
They came up to their victims, carrying sticks set on fire, and began to poke them through the openings. Each cage was assigned at least one tormentor. Some had multiples.
The people began to dance around, jump around, trying to avoid the painful burns. I was one of those people.
The tormentors laughed and continued to prod us with sticks until some people passed out or just gave up, curled up on the floors of their cages.
I almost lost my desire to live and was about to follow suit, were it not for the injection of righteous anger that came over me. I couldn’t stand the pain around me. Only when I shifted my focus off myself and began to care about the others around me, that I grabbed the stick off my tormentor, my hands singed, blistered…
I spat into the face of my captor, released the stick, and grabbed the creature by the throat.
“I will not be your captive anymore! I choose to be free!”
I heard the lock fall off my cage and the door swung open.
The tormentor fled, fear in its eyes.
That was a surprise to me. I didn’t expect it to be that easy. Tentatively putting one foot in front of the other, I stepped out of my habitation, half expecting the creature to return.
I looked at the line of creatures facing their prey, who were now staring at me, as if questioning, wondering what I would do next.
I didn’t know myself. I didn’t think ahead at all. I just acted and reacted, but now was my chance to decide, should I run, or should I stay and do something about the people that remained locked up?
I picked up a rock and moved slowly towards my closest enemy, surprised to see it hesitate, stop the torment, and take a step back. Emboldened by what I saw, I began to pick up my pace and as I was about to swing my rock at the enemy, the creature began its retreat.
I released the captive female and helped her step out of her containment. She was very pale and very weak. I told her to sit down, that I would be back for her, but she began to tremble and begged me to take her with me that instant.
I instructed her to stand back and to hide behind me.
I felt the fear leaving me as I ran towards the next captive, my rock at the ready. The enemy looked at me and shouted, “You are weak. You are nothing. You were lucky that time but this time you will fail again.”
“I am not who you say I am!” I screamed back with fervor. “I am strong and brave. I am here to set the captives free and you will not stop me!”
As my words reverberated in the atmosphere, the air thickened with a presence. Light began to appear slowly, but it was enough for me to see that the captors began to shrink in size, and eventually they transformed into small, scampering crabs and burrowed away into the ground.
I didn’t have much time to process all that I had just experienced as I had a task ahead of me; releasing the worn-out people.
They all surrounded me, weak, fatigued, fragile, hurting…
I excused myself for a minute, so I could stand to one side and think of what to do next.
I thought of the Prophet and wondered how long I would be remaining here in this crazy and wild alternate reality. I got far more than I bargained for and wasn’t sure I was cut out for this. Although I appeared to have been semi-successful in this latest adventure, I knew far too well that I, myself, had sustained wounds that needed healing and attention. The light was still around us, but I was afraid it would leave us soon and then we would, once more, be surrounded by the frightening darkness.
I began to speak out loud to the one that had the power, the one that was mentioned to me by the Prophet, to whom he referred to as the Father.
I struggled to relate to that title as my own father was often far too powerless or if he did have any power, he often used it in all the wrong ways. My father wasn’t a soft man. Life hurt him, so he hurt others.
So, I began, with my eyes closed, “Father, God, or the Almighty, whatever it is that you prefer, please help me now. I need guidance. I have started this journey because of my deep longing to know you, even though I didn’t know you at the time. I still barely know you, but my longing is there nevertheless. For whatever purposes and reasons, I feel that I must go on. Something within me speaks of greatness. I don’t feel ordinary and never did. I never fit in, but now I am starting to understand that I was never supposed to. I see something emerging in me and I am very excited, but now, I don’t know what to do. Please guide me in helping myself and these people around me.” I concluded my one-sided conversation with an Amen, as I heard others do that before. I thought it must be a way to officially sign off on a conversation with God.
When I opened my eyes, I saw a large pitcher filled with water and a large basket filled with bread. Cups were lined up in neat rows on a golden tray.
Where did these items come from? I was very hungry and thirsty, but even more so, worried. What if this was a trap?
I prayed again. “Father, if this is from you, please let me know in a very personal way. Thank you. Amen.”
As soon as I opened my eyes, a large family of butterflies surrounded me and then swirled around me in a very orderly fashion, and then, creating a shape of an arrow, they pointed to the heavens and flew off into the sky.
That was enough for me. I grabbed the bread and the water, took a few bites and gulps, and decided it wasn’t fair for the others to wait much longer. Most of them were in far worse shape than I was.
I called the group over to the basket and the pitcher, made them all sit down in rows, and proceeded to feed them and give them water.
After we ate and drank our fill, I could see their faces regaining color and their spirits rising. I asked them, “Where will you go from here and what will you do?”
They replied, “We will go with you, whenever and wherever you take us. At this moment, you are all that we’ve got. We see something in you that is extraordinary. You saved our lives. Besides all that, you have a glow around you. We need light in this darkness. Do not leave us behind.”
Precisely then, I was forced to leave them, as something strange but almost familiar came over me. I felt a gust of wind rising around me, and then I was back… standing right in front of the finish line, which I had yet to cross.
The Prophet was on the other side of the line, smiling, waiting for me. Helper was waving to me from the sidelines. Alongside him stood a few more children, some looking on with curiosity, some with fear. A few parents were milling about, pretending not to be interested or invested in the outcome of my training, but a couple of them couldn’t hide the longing in their eyes.
As I raised my right foot to cross over the golden line, I felt a sensation of being pushed out from that experience, at which point my reality sucked me back into the fabric of the present moment. I felt it very physically. Push and suction. Out and in.
And there I was, very disoriented from my experience, a million questions running through my head.
Helper ran over to me with his younger sister. He had a beautiful fuchsia cup, rimmed with gold trim in his hands, filled to the brim with crystal clear liquid. She had pink and purple tulips, bulbs still attached, which she quickly handed over to me with a shy grin and cheerful eyes. Her brown curls were flying in the breeze, barely held back by the teal satin ribbons.
She was lovely and innocent.
“Mirth almost gave up on waiting for you, Hopeless! She couldn’t eat or drink or concentrate all day. We cannot wait to hear all about your adventures!” Helper was almost shouting, he was so filled with excitement.
I drank from his cup with eagerness. He was so happy to be of service.
“Enough, children, let’s give Hopeless some rest and space. She needs a bit of looking after as well.”
The Prophet put his arm around my shoulders, trying to guide me back to his tent. I almost forgot to ask Mirth what she wanted me to do with the tulips, the Prophet was so intent on hurrying me along.
“Mirth,” I shouted, looking back over my shoulder, “what am I meant to do with these flowers?”
“Start planting your garden. Find a special spot for contemplation and revelation and plant these tulips.”
The Prophet took me back to his tent. He immediately found a tall crystal vase, filled it with water and handed it over to me.
“Place these tulips in the vase for now. Later, you will plant them.”
“How will I know where I should plant them?” I inquired.
“Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.”
“Pray, my child. When you do, He always answers. As for now, let’s tend to your wounds.”
He began to clean my wounds, which I’ve ignored up to this point. They commenced to smart and throb as he began to clean out the debris from some of them. After he rubbed in an aromatic oil made of frankincense, myrrh and rose, the pain vanished, and the wounds began to close in.
“Give it some time, child. You didn’t fight hard enough yet for the scars to develop.”
He gave me some bread, cheese and fruit. Simple fare, but delightfully delicious. I felt as if I was starving, devoid of food for days or weeks. So hungry I was!
After I was satisfied, I was very eager to begin processing everything that had happened to me, but the old man told me that I must rest and sleep and that we would have plenty of time tomorrow to go over my adventure, discuss it and dissect it. He told me that I had yet so much to learn, that I only grazed the surface. That was very hard for me to believe as I felt completely changed, like my life before my wild adventure wasn’t my own anymore. I was a different person. I was a new creature.
I laid down on the colorful mats, amidst a kaleidoscope of pillows that dominated one side of the tent. I was sure that I would be too wound up to sleep, but the old man was right, I thought, as the instant my head hit the pillow, I began to drift off into a deep sleep. Before I drifted off, I said a quick prayer and asked the Holy Spirit to guide me as per the Prophet’s instructions.