DAY 09 | laura
You’ve been stumbling around for so long. Your soul is starving, empty, and nothing seems to be filling the quietly looming, slowly growing vacuum. Clinging to instantaneous rushes of gratification long after they’ve expired, sucking all the sickly sweet, artificial joy out of them, has weakened you. Babylon has weakened you. You’ve stepped into cage upon cage of falseness and doubt, until you are the smallest Russian doll with nothing but a smudge of paint for an expressionless face. You could admit defeat, curl up in the hard, cold nest you’ve made for yourself, and try to sleep for a while. It helps for a while. Or you could close your eyes, take a breath, and begin to become aware of the gentle breeze that’s followed you the whole time. This is what you do. You feel it on your skin, whipping and whirling around you, just long enough to realise that you’re hearing something. You realise it is not a breeze after all, but a whisper. A gentle, familiar whisper. You begin to listen, and this is when you hear your Father’s voice. He’s beckoning you gently, asking you to simply look up and trust. You follow. You take baby steps at first, of course, reaching for a strong hand to steady you when you feel unsure, but you are soon finding your confidence. There are traps set beneath you, snakes and mistakes biting at your ankles, hellbent on catching you out and clawing you back. Not this time. You flourish in prayer and penitence, hop, step and jumping over them with growing strides, still following the whisper, your gaze fixed ahead. You’re laughing now, shrieking and singing, and the whisper’s sound begins to amplify too, audibly guiding you and blessing you with each passing moment. Your head has been high for so long, catching moments of sunlight through the bars of the final cages, until you pause to take a breath. You inhale. Exhale. The voice encourages you forward, but for just a moment, you feel inclined to look back to see just how far you’ve travelled. Behind you, you thought there’d be nothing but dark. But once your eyes pull into focus, and you blink away the greeny remnants of sunlight over your vision, you can make out a faint glow, starting where you started too. You trace its course, drawing a line with your nose as you weave your vision through your old afflictions. They seem so small now, the gentle beam of light softening their sharp edges. Your gaze slows down at your feet, and you see the glow beneath you. You’ve been safe thus far. Slowly, hesitantly, you begin to curve your head up, over your other shoulder. Your heart swells. The light—it carries on! It soars out of the very last cage and into the open air. The voice is clearer than ever now, welcoming you to what awaits. Your eyes adjust again, and you see what the light has materialised into. A table, a place, a home with your name on it. Zion.
A few hours later, as the day draws to a close and the sun drops behind the trees, you start looking for a place to rest. You hear a vaguely familiar sound, a crackling, and follow your ears until you find a log fire, burning steadily on its hearth. It warms you instantly, but for the first time, the feeling stays. It’s in no rush. The crackling enters your mind again, and you can at once place the sound. Sparklers. For so long, you’d been given sparklers. Pretty while they’re there but with a capacity to scorch. Enchanting in one second, and gone in the next. But that time is over. As each of your senses return you to the present, you draw nearer to the roaring hearth, its gentle glow inviting you to curl up and rest. The voice has been softening all evening, preparing you for your slumber. You are warm, surrounded and safe. As your eyelids flutter closed, the sleep you almost accepted in Babylon is nothing but a leaf on the fire, soon smoke, travelling into the sky to join the clouds travelling away, preparing for a new day of uninterrupted sun.
“You see what the light has materialised into. A table, a place, a home…Zion” This hit me hard, it’s simply beautiful. This whole piece is like one big sigh of relief, and is unbelievbly engaging.