This series will interrupt the writings in Ezekiel. The two previous entries will be concluded "in the fullness of time."
From March 6th - 8th I attended an adoptive/foster/waiting mother's retreat in Kansas City, MO called Joy in the Journey. Over 300 women attended from the United States and Canada. One of those women, Cindy Lee, gave the main session talk on March 7th. Cindy is the Executive Director of the HALO Project which "addresses the needs of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable children on an individual level, a systematic level and in the area of prevention." The paragraph below is from Cindy's visualization exercise that she walked us all through, and is used with permission. At the time, she was speaking on the topic of "Flourishing in the Family." However, I can see now in these dark times that she was also preparing us for what was to come:
There is a giant, ancient tree at the heart of a mountain. It has the deepest roots. Surrounding it are stones of all sizes. Written on the stones are all of the poison lies of the evil one. You look at them and start filling a backpack with all of those you believe about yourself. You start climbing the mountain, but as you climb the weight of the stones is too great and you start taking them out one at a time and setting them down as you go up. When you reach the top of the mountain with an empty backpack, there is Jesus waiting to meet you. He whispers a word in your ear. At the sound of that, He and you turn to an enormous boulder on top of the mountain that reads "God's Truth". You push it down and it rolls over and crushes each and every stone that you laid down on your walk up. The boulder then crushes the ancient tree, this is the tree of "Doubt" that has stood ever since the serpent whispered to Eve in the garden all those years ago. The power of the boulder's force is so strong that even the tree's deepest roots are ripped up and torn apart.
(After Cindy finished, I still saw more during the worship time following her incredible talk.)
At the top of the mountain, Jesus put shining, strong, golden armor on me. I am a warrior of light. I have a sword. I look down past the now-obliterated tree. Beyond it, there is a valley of great darkness. There is misery and suffering - and GREAT NEED as people yearn to be rescued. The earth groans under the weight of sin and darkness, longing for Sabbaths of rest that have been neglected by the people. Jesus looks to me, and I know the battle is His, but I must go in and fight. It is what I was re-born to do, it is what I have been preparing for ever since Christ put His mark on me. My sisters, my brothers, will you join me in this fight?
I took this photo at a dark sky park in 2018. The brightest "star" in the center of the page is actually the planet Jupiter. Jupiter was the mythical Roman god of the sky/lightning/thunder. He was the chief god of Roman religion until Christianity took over.