God doesn't like hiding

She prays aloud, mother with midnight auburn hair crowning head bent low, and it rolls off her tongue like a gemstone tumbling through a wave in the sea, apples of gold in pictures of silver. His Word, that Word that doesn't return to Him empty. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

I drive the long miles to a town where there is a shadow of my dark past. That shadow hangs on display in the shop windows as we rush down the carless street, the street where walkers meld with bicycle traffic and buses puff wearily, weaving between us as we peruse the sleepy hippie shops and fragrant Indian storefront.

The soundtrack of life hums busily through my mind, "I have built with my hands all the walls that hold me in, I have wandered my way in the desert. I have struggled against all the blessings you have sent, and I'm back in the place of surrender."

Forever, I am changed by mercy.
Forever my hope is Christ.

Apples of gold in pictures of silver.

I built walls again this week, sitting in an uncomfortable upholstered chair in dim incandescent light, surrounded by people offering hearts to each other, words to each other, sharing stories. Like the clam who has once shown her pearl and has now clasped it deep and impenetrable in her shabby gray shell, I close around my story and seal myself against pain. My apples of gold trapped inside the cage of my own design.

A friend pursues me, and I try to explain it away, this shell, this wall, this barrier. But Christ pursues me, too, through streets lined with silver and gold, and that phrase, over and over, like a mantra I cannot escape.

Apples of gold in pictures of silver.

It's in the gold skirt next to the gray shirt on the street corner. I grasp camera and sneak my photos. The girl always hiding behind the lens.

The yellow patina of the sign at the hat shop that started my obsession at sixteen, when I found out I could hide behind my own cool, hats shielding eyes, unexpected wardrobe and shoe pairings hiding the body I didn't want to discover.

Apples of gold...

Buried in the lamb in golden curry sauce nestled in injira.

Apples of gold....

The girl-become-woman I share my day with.
How can I deny the gold in her presence?

It is late, and my mind whirls around the lines of the music as I speed home under a lemon moon. I am desperate for your touch, a glimpse of heaven through the glory of your Son; in a moment you can turn a life around, forever to be found in you...I am reaching out to find there is nothing greater than your love that holds my life, your grace and mercy that have saved me by your blood, and swept away my shame, O Lord. Your love is like fire, burns for all to see. My only desire to worship at your feet. So let this fire consume my life. Let your love take me deeper, draw me closer to where you are, because all I want is more of you.

Apples of gold...

I plead with my Savior, with one hand on the steering wheel and one in the wind reaching for Him. Help me break down these walls. Blot out my lines in the sand. Let me go free from the cages I've built myself. Protect my heart as I place it at the feet of others in the next weeks. I cannot leave my family, I cannot be brought so close to destruction again. Protect me. Place these apples of gold you've given me in pictures of silver...fittings of silver, a framework of safety and beauty. Not a cage, but a fitting for the pearl I've clamped down upon. Your work in my life is so powerful, Christ! Let it be seen! Help me to open soul to show what You have done, dear Father! Heal me so I can serve you. Oh, how I long for it.

Tears are sweet as they fall
Mercy rushes through my soul
Bowing low as You wash me with healing
Lord, You’ve sealed me with grace
Life eternally sustained
By the hope in my soul,
You’re revealing Lord,
You meet me here In my darkest hour
And You stir my heart with Your love

The power of sin is broken, I have been set free
For I have died and Jesus is alive in me
~Forever Changed, Eddie Kirkland~