A young woman was standing on the edge of a canyon. She looks across to the other side and she sees a beautiful city. A city filled with hope and love. Everything about this city sparkles and shines. With everything in her, she wants to get to that city. When she looks down she sees a huge chasm. It’s dark. It’s cold. It feels lifeless. One uncertain slip of her feet and she would be sent careening down into this empty pit in front of her.
A dense fog has filled the canyon now. Her view of the city has become engulfed in the fog, and the fog surrounds her. She can’t see her feet. She can’t see the edge of the canyon. She doesn’t know which way to turn.
Then a light appears through the fog and is shining on something that sparkles in front of her. The light feels good. It feels like a warm embrace, like a blanket wrapped around her heart.
Tentatively, she goes towards this light. She takes a step as her foot makes contact with something solid and sturdy. Her hands reach out to find a strong solid rail, smooth to the touch, like something made of metal.
She takes another step. Though she can’t see, she knows she is standing on a bridge over the deep chasm. The light flickers in front of her and she can see a momentary glance of the bridge. It’s a beautiful bridge and made of gold.
Then she understands that this bridge is the passage to the city on the other side of the canyon! Her heart begins to pound, and she begins to run towards the light on the bridge, when unexpectedly she runs into something solid, like a giant gate, a gate with a lock on it. She needs a pass to enter.
The light draws closer to her, and she feels the presence of someone in the light. She tries to see who it is, but the fog is too dense, and the light is too bright to see. Then this presence in the mist softly says.
“Come to me – I will give you rest.”
Her heart is pounding now. The sweet presence in the mist is drawing her in. She wants to get closer. She takes the gate into her hands and begins to shake it furiously, trying with all her might to break the lock and enter the other side. But, the lock will not give way.
“Please let me enter sir”. She entreated him. “The gate is locked, and I can’t get in.
“To enter to the city you must leave your life behind.”
The voice in the mist said to her.
She looks behind her. She sees her past. She sees fragments of a life built on bad choices. She sees dreams that were built on uncertainty and fear, but they were her dreams. These are dreams that she has nurtured for a lifetime.
“Step. If you are ready. The lock will come open when you are ready.” The man in the light said to her.
Holding on to the gate she tries again to see through the bars, and the fog, to see if she can see who this man is that speaks so certainly to her. After all, what man, and what place in the world is worth it to give up everything for?
She almost turns back.
She turns to face the light again.
“Excuse me sir”, she says, “Who are you that you can place such demands of me? I have a business and a family. I have dreams and things I want to accomplish before I die. How can you ask me to give them up?”
The man in the fog said nothing for a moment. And then he said to her; “I am the True Vine. I am the Bright and Morning Star. I ask you to give up your life so that you can save it”.
She stood there a moment puzzled by his answer. She wondered how giving up your life could possibly save it.
And then he said to her: “Once you pass through that gate, you belong to me. You become my child. I become your protector. Everything that I own becomes yours. You become an heir to my kingdom.
But before you do that I have to know that you will care for it and love it as I do. I need to know that you will love the things that I love and hate the things that I hate.”
“You must love your enemies, and forgive those who have trespassed on your heart.”
“No”. She said. “I can’t forgive those people who trod upon my heart. I can’t forgive those who hurt me.”
Then little pulses like drops of love begin to fall on her, and the hard edges of her heart begin to soften. She could see the pain in the hearts of those that hurt her.
She could see the abuse that they suffered as well. She could see that many of them did not understand or intend to hurt her. Her heart began to swell with love and compassion for them, and she forgave them all.
Another wave of love washed over her.
Again, she thought about her life. She bit her bottom lip, and contemplated everything that he said. To give up everything? She looked behind her. She looked down. She saw the empty pit. Only this time she knew that going back meant that she would surly fall into the pit. She knew that she couldn’t save her own life.
She looked up, and saw the city breaking through the fog. It was shining like gold. And once again she thought about her family and friends, only this time she wanted them to come with her into the great city.
She glanced back at the man, and the gate that was separating them was gone. On his head, there was a crown. Then she understood that he was a king. Not just a king but The King. The King of Kings.
He walked over to her and placed a crown on her head. “ Welcome to the Kingdom, my princess.” He said to her. They stood there for a long time held in an embrace. Then he said to her, “This is where you will spend all of your days. Here with me in the city. But, first, you must stay where you are and carry out your mission. Go now, and love those who are lost, and lead them home.
Life goes on forever. You need never fear death again because I has overcome it.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 – Jesus.
COME TO ME .. By Marjorie Whitley
Come to me all weary, Come to who thirst
Come to me come to me come receive new birth
Come to me who labor, Come and get your rest
Come to me come to me I’ve conquered death
Behold the beauty, Behold the throne
Feast your eyes, Feast your eyes, Feast your eyes
Behold the glory, Behold the crown,
All is forgiven, Even now, Even now
Come to me all broken, Come to me who mourn
Come to me, Come to me, Come and grieve no more
Come to me my children, Come to me my lambs