Monday, August 13, 2007

There Were No Strings in The Part I Played

My heart is heavy laden...because I asked for it? It sounds strange I know, but do you ever look back over your life and see that there are sins that you have repented of and asked forgiveness for, but never were *broken* over? When I would revisit, or rather the memory of sin would revisit me, it would seem as if I were visiting an empty stage..the actor's were gone, there was dust everywhere and only the frame of the set remained-rickety and gray-as it had been almost a decade since its last use. The musty smell of rot made me ill. I would feel empty as I looked around, I felt as if I were a stranger in a dream where everything seemed vaguely familiar but I had no feeling about it at all. It would even cross my mind that perhaps I had not been here? Had I even played a part? I would leave knowing I would have to come back again and again until I could associate myself with the role I played-own it as my own choice and the protective walls I had built around myself were torn down. I took my dilemma to the Lord. Should I never visit the old theatre again? Should I just rest in knowing that bill was paid? If so, why can't I fully acknowledge and grieve over such a failed act?

The Lord has since then taken me to visit- Himself- He has held my hand and helped me remember the part I played and reminded me that He had been sitting in the audience the whole time. He was in attendance because He is my Father and I can do nothing apart from His watchful eye. I did not see Him or His grief because I was blinded by the footlights...dazzled by applause...or lost in the tears of the sorrowful role I chose to play. At the time, it seemed that the applause and reward would outweigh the sorrow. I never planned to return to the memory of it. Then, as He held my hand, I sat with Him in the empty auditorium and watched the stage...the actors appeared, only they, including myself, were in rags and dirty. There were no lights, no applause, just actors going through the motions. There were no strings attached to their mouths or arms or legs...everything they did was of their own will. I saw the actor that I hate to call myself... If I didn't look at her I could continue to disregard my part. But, to my dismay, I found an old program on the floor and sure enough, my name was listed there...I was one of the many prodigals who shared the stage. Oh, but the other actors had worse parts to play than I did surely the Lord could see this. I looked to see if the Lord was looking at the others and thinking the same thing. No, He was looking at me...the me on stage...tears were streaming down His cheeks. I wanted to close my eyes and turn away, but I knew I had to watch, had to acknowledge my role- the part I chose to play. I could have invited Him onto the stage at any time and asked Him to take over...but I didn't. He was given a seat in the back. I was broken as I watched, broken as I remembered those I hurt in the audience, those I deceived on stage...most of all, I was finally broken as I thought of my Saviour in the audience...who had to pay- for it all. He didn't pay with money, but with His very own life. I thought of the tears He shed, the blood He had to pay- for me. I thought of Him in all His glory sitting in the filth of the theatre of my life.

In the end, He wiped my tears...though I know they will not be the last I shed over this memory. Now, when the memory of this painful part I played of a prodigal revisits my mind, I will look at the empty dusty stage with sorrow and regret as always, but now, I will mostly remember this most recent time I went with my Father, hand in hand- sorrowing together. I will remember the sweet fellowship of His forgiveness and unconditional Love. I deeply love the life I lead now...with Him as the Director. Sure, I make mistakes, but He is right there correcting me with free reign over my part. He is the producer, the script writer, the Director of my life. Visiting old sets where He was not Director makes me appreciate Him all the more and to fear ever leaving His beautiful production that brings glory to Himself.

The following was part of my Bible reading fear, I ask the Lord to search me and try me. My sins have been great. I don't always know when they will come to revisit me that I might receive healing through my sorrow over them. I know the Lord has forgiven me and cleansed me, but in order to heal, I have pleaded with the Lord to hold my hand as He allows me to share in the sorrow of them. I don't mean to make anyone uncomfortable with this type of sharing what is on my heart, but perhaps it may help someone. I am just a simple person and you must always be discerning when reading my posts (most of you know this ;) ) always take questions to the Lord. edited to add: If you are a prodigal, please ask the Lord to forgive you and let Him take control of your life *right now*. There are no sins that are secret from the watchful eye of God. There is no sin over which we will not one day sorrow. God in His grace will carry us through these times of brokenness, yes, but it is more painful than I had ever imagined...this business of healing. Start today...He will carry you until you are ready to crawl then walk and finally be fit to run the race one day at a time. God is so good.

"Those that will not lay their hand on their heart in godly sorrow, which works life, shall be made to lay their hand on their head in the sorrow of the world, which works death."-Matthew Henry commentary Jer2

"Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned. Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them." Jer 2:35-37

"Those shall be made to know how much they deceive themselves, 1. Who say that they have not offended God, that they are innocent, though they have been guilty of the grossest enormities. 2. Who expect that God will be reconciled to them though they do not repent and reform. They own that they had been under the tokens of God’s anger, but they think that it was causeless, and that they by pleading innocency had proved it to be so, and therefore they conclude that God will immediately let fall his action and his anger shall be turned from them. This is very provoking, and God will plead with them, and convince them that his anger is just, for they have sinned, and he will never cease his controversy till they, instead of justifying themselves thus, humble, and judge, and condemn themselves." -Matthew Henry Commentary


Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

A precious story, Heather. A very wonderful use of the theater of the mind through words. I am blessed by your makes me all the more excited to think of the day we will meet--whether here or there.

Sarah T said...

Very beautifully put, my friend, I couldn't have put it so eloquently... I thank you for the honesty and transparency as well, you are such a blessing in my life. God bless you.

Christian Mommy said...

Dearest Heather -
Your words are so eloquent and paint such a lovely picture of how loving and forgiving the Lord is. It is so humbling to realize how many tears are shed by our Saviour for his children.
God Bless,
PS - It took an hour and Bloggers for Dummies online, but I figured out how to see everything in English!!

Heather said...

GB- I was so jealous of Big Mama...she got to MIRL you!! :)one day for sure.
Sarah- you are such an encourager. I am sorry I have not had time to reply to your email yet!! I will!
((((Lauren))) KIRL (know in real life) It is so nice to see you in here :) Love you my are so incredibly thoughtful. Thinking of a unique pic of the girl in their prayer shawls to post :) They are beautiful. (((hug)))heather

Mishel said...

Beautiful...just like you. Love you, dear friend!

Heather said...

(((Mrs))) Mishel, you are so sweet to comment. I hope you are resting and feeling better. Love your family so much- yes, I know you are all human...but the heart's desire of being Christ centered is very plain in all of your lives. It gives me such hope. God is so good.