As she walked tired and rugged, she came across a wooden cabin deep in the woods. A bed, desk, fire place, with kitchen stocked. She cleaned up from the rugged trail, it seemed she walked alone. Jesus knocked on the door and she invited him in. She hugged him closely surprised to see him. She walked past him to help him carry some stacks of wood inside.
He helped her unpack the rest of her things. She lay resting as he carved a piece of wood. She cried, laughed, and furies as she told him everything, the bad, the ugly in her journey so far. In the wee hours of the night, fire place crackling she shared with him her deep secrets, the ones she’d tell no one along the long venture, she told him everything. Her heart broke folding over again and again…
As she wiped her eyes she sat up hands in lap, she looked at him as he smiled and carved another groove, wood shavings slowly meeting the floor. “What have I done?” Shame and guilt over took her. Heart burning she tucked her legs close to her chest realizing all she’d said. Suddenly, he’d become unsafe for her…
“Lana…” Jesus looked at her with concern in his eyes. “Why am I here?” He asked. She coiled in tightly, “I. I. I’m not sure…” He lightly laughed and continue to carve away. She felt tricked by him, “You don’t fool me. I know why you’re here. To judge me, to see me for who I really am, all my struggle, all my temptation and sin to laugh and leave.” Wood savings only curled not falling to the floor, Lana’s heart beat fast tears brimming. Taking a deep breath Jesus put down his instruments. “Lana, come with me.”
Lana followed Jesus through the forest into the top of the mountain cascading with trees, clouds and waterfalls. “You see there?” She peered on her tip toes, “Yes I was there yesterday.” He looked at her as she continued to peer, “Me too…” She looked up at him, Jesus pointed out a far mountain top, “What about there?” Lana slightly smiled as warm memories came to mind, “I loved that place, though it was hard walk up. “ Then he pointed out several valleys. Lana’s heart dropped, “I really don’t want to talk about those…” Lana began walking down the mountain back to the cabin.
“Lana…” Jesus softly called after her. She stopped in her tracks and turned around, “Lana I was there too.” Jesus put his arm around her and led her to a log right outside the cabin. As they sat he shared his heart,“The pain you feel, the temptation you face, the sin you are overcoming, the person you are, the quirks you have do not scare me away from you. I will always call you even more so. I will desire you to seek my face even more. In valley living, you’ll never scare me away.” Tears in Lana’s eyes she laid her head on Jesus’s shoulder shedding weighted tears, finally taking a load off, Jesus held her close.
The next morning Lana awoke, Jesus sat beside her finishing his creation. She rubbed her eyes, picking up a fresh cup of tea beside her. Lana shared more deeply, freely, and fully… Valley living, where growth happens as you sit in the tension. A tension that invites Jesus who digs deeper, fully showing you how he sees you and who helps you to discover who you really are.