Everything is gray. The only color that is escaping the mouth of the cloud rolling in over the fields is green. It refuses to surrender itself to the cool mist, and seems to push its vibrance. The forests looks like mounds of emeralds emerging out of the fog, the highlights sparkling and it’s shadows brooding. The rain falls down in an even blanket, tapping the leaves of the trees and splashing against the ground. The sound muffles my thoughts, makes it seem like cotton is stuffed in my skull. All the sound is muted. Maybe it would be better phrased to say it is as if we were hidden away underneath a quilt. Though the rain and fog chill the air, it seems warm and safe. The words coming off our lips hover close to our bodies instead of flying out like frightened birds across the field. Our words are intimate, and loving. I’m glad they stick near us.
We are underneath a tree, an ancient maple tree, and it’s branches bend low all around us except for one little lift on its southern side, the branches open up toward the corn field. It is a corn field, but all the tan broken shafts are hidden underneath the fog covering. Their fruit has been harvested and they have been made to fold over, to stand down. It’s time to usher in the fall, but for now the world is gray and green. The tree frames our view of the field from underneath its canopy.
I look to my right and He is there, standing a few paces away, just looking at me. His beard is long and strands are beaded with tiny drops of rain like tiny orbs of glass. He comes close to me and slides His hand across my back and rests his arm around my shoulders. We look out across the field. It is just us in the muffled closeness. We sit down in the damp grass and lean our backs against the tree. My butt is getting wet, but I simply couldn’t care less. I am with my first love, my only love. I rest my head on His shoulder and breath in his scent. “I love you,” I sigh out with an heavy exhale. I look up at him without moving my head from His shoulder. All I can see is his bearded jaw and the side of His mouth and the bottom of his nose, but I see His lips turn up in a proud smile. I didn’t have to say it, He already knew it, but He loves hearing it anyway. Words are not necessary, His presence is enough to fill me, so we just sit and take in the beauty around us. It is beauty that He created.
As if He were reading my thoughts he interrupts the quiet, “I made all of this for you, for your enjoyment. All of this beauty is for you to survey because I love you.” I don’t move my head from His shoulder, instead I let it rest heavier there, feeling even safer in the love that He professes with His words. The cloud of fog is rolling in deeper into the field and swallows up more of the bent over corn stalks. “When I spoke all of this into existence, I knew I’d find you here one day and that we’d see this corn field together. I have been waiting for this day for a long time.” Just then a flock of geese fly across the field in their standard v formation. Their honking sounds dry in the fog, and they quickly disappear into the gray as they head south.
He now shifts a little away from me to face me and I am forced to lift my head from His shoulder. Looking at me He says, “Trevor, you are not just one person in a crowd of people that I see all at once. I see you now, individually. You are my son. You are who I love.” My heart feels like it swells inside my chest, and I know it’s true, what this Person before me speaks is always truth. “When I was on the cross, I thought of you. I didn’t think of the world of people as a whole, rather I thought of every person on it individually, and one of those people was you! I love you for who you are, who I created you to be. I made you special. I made you to be a beauty-seer. That’s why I looked forward to this moment to sit here and watch the fog. I knew you’d see what I see. I made your eyes to behold beauty in a way that other people are not able to see. Trevor, I made you a man, a special man. I love you. With that love, I put you together this way. Everything that makes up who you are is a beautiful work of art. Trevor, you are beauty.” My mind reels at His words. The Creator of the world is speaking my identity over me. The Lord whose word is the only truth, whose word -by itself- creates, is drawing up the curtain of deceit from my eyes to show me who I really am. “I am writing your story, Trevor. It is amazing. The world saw this story and didn’t understand it. They thought they were wise to tell you what they didn’t understand. I don’t blame you for believing them, you were confused. But, they told you lies.” His eyes are soft and I feel as though I’m falling into them. His hand reaches out and touches my cheek almost as if to keep from loosing me in His eyes and to hold me so He could finish. “They saw what I was doing in you and was jealous of it. They threw it in the mud and hated it because it was not their own. Now, I’m telling you the truth about who you really are. You are my man, my son, my beautiful beloved.”
I draw in a deep breath and let out a stuttering exhale as my chest heaves, overwhelmed by the freedom being laid out over me. I don’t say anything, what else could I really even say? I reach out for Him again and pull Him close to me while He does the same. I whisper to Him in words I don’t recognize, showering Him with praise and love. My arms wrap tightly around Him and I lock my fingers together, gripping His presence with all my strength. My eyes are cinched closed, so I cannot see Him but, I know there is a huge smile drawn across His face. His warmth, His words, His presence, His love, I am swimming in the flood of it all and I want to drown in it.
We are entwined beneath the maple tree, He holding onto me and I Him, and I hear Him say, “This is eternal joy.”
There is a type of meditation that is called “Safe Place” that I heard about a few years ago. It’s a neat kind of practice where the participant imagines themselves to be in a safe place and then invites Jesus into that space with them. The results are often prophetic and healing. It can be a time when God really ministers to the imaginer. This is a scene that was birthed from this meditation that I did this morning. We have a God that works through our creativity and imagination to speak to us! Isn’t that incredible!? The featured image on this post is where I found myself with Jesus. It is a huge maple tree down the road from my parent’s home in Ohio.