The Order of Love

7/11/22

This flash fiction was born of a conversation with my friend and spiritual mentor, Kevin Kridner. I believe it has the potential to change lives.

We amble along the lake boardwalk, somewhere in the South, listening to the chorus of cicadas and watching the cranes soar and swoop for their evening meal. Calm waters lap against a creaky old fishing boat tied to the dock. Reaching its edge, my Father invites me to sit. The cool evening breeze makes the invitation even more delightful. Our feet swing, our toes dangle, nearly touching the water. I can almost feel the swelling of the lake rising up to greet us.

“I have a Gift for you,” says God with a smile—the type of smile that’s born of giving not receiving. His arm extends, eyes fixed on mine. A stout, strong hand slowly opens like a clam shell. My eyes flash with excitement at the pearl inside His shell.

“What is it?” I ask. “It looks like a twisted ladder.”

“It’s something unique to you. It’s your DNA.”

Bewildered, I give my default response of “Thanks!” Taking a closer look, I stare at my personalized present, observing the biological marvel before me that’s been the unrelenting reason responsible for all my physical and psychological traits, not to mention bizarre behaviors, some of which’ve felt like boulders inside a backpack I’ve been carrying around ever since I can remember.

“What would you like me to do with it?” I wonder out loud.

“Here, you hold one end and I’ll hold the other,” He responds.

I grab hold, failing to understand the significance of what’s happening.

My Father engages me with a question: “What’s preventing you from fully seeing Me see you?”

Having never been asked that before, I pause to gather my thoughts; although, I know what I want to say. But my ambivalence makes me hesitate.

“I already know what you’re thinking. Just say it,” He says with a patient smile.

“Okay. I know what I’m supposed to say; I mean, the Sunday School answer, of course.”

“Yeah, what’s that?”

“Sin!”

“So why did you hesitate?”

“Well, a simple answer doesn’t seem to do it justice. The more I see my sin and confess my sin and hate my sin, the more I find myself doing the very thing I hate.”

“And?”

And I feel like I’m going mad, trying to do the right thing. It’s like … it’s like I’m living in a house of mirrors where sin multiplies, growing and glaring back at me, mocking me, haunting me.”

“But it’s Scripture,” He retorts.

“Yeah, I know! That’s the problem. I’m not feeling very victorious like Scripture promises. Instead, I feel like ‘a dog that returns to its vomit’ to lick it back up. It makes me sick to my stomach the way sin feeds on itself, the way it feeds on me like a virus, taking a life of its own, draining the host dry.”

“What you’re feeling doesn’t come from Me or My Word. That’s the enemy playing mind games, prescribing thoughts meant to manipulate your emotions, slowly getting you to doubt My love for you, My covenant with you, My Beloved. Satan’s goal is to get you to renounce your Creator, abandon the creation—your brothers and sisters—and even yourself; ultimately to hide in shameful ignorance and neglect.” He pauses then continues. “Acknowledging and renouncing sin is an essential aspect of your spiritual journey that glorifies me and blesses you and those around you. But it’s not the beginning: the impetus is faith. And it’s not the end: the culmination is love. Everything you think, feel and do should be from faith to love.”

“So sin is not supposed to make me feel bad about myself?” I query.

He smiles, waiting for me to meet His eyes.

“Now we’re talking,” He exclaims with a pleasing tone that indicates both a breakthrough and being at the cusp of going deeper. “Sin is rebellion. Most people see it as rebellion toward Me and nothing more. But here’s what they forget: it’s also rebellion toward yourself, not to mention the creation. Sin is self-harm. Sin is feeding the Ego or the False Self that turns on you and sabotages you. Sin is not the way things are supposed to be. Sin prevents you from living the abundant life My Son—your Brother—emulated during His life, and ultimately died for. This is why I despise it.”

Upon hearing this, I sense an internal seismic shift. Before I can process what’s happening, I glance down to see my hand shaking. Simultaneously, I see a specific nucleotide in my gene thread vibrate and change color; the piece of chromosome that looked like a blood blister suddenly turned rose-gold.

“Why would I want you to feel bad about yourself?” He asks. “You already feel bad about yourself.” His eyes start watering. “Sin is self-condemnation. So why would I condemn you if you’re already feeling condemned? This is not My heart. This is not My kingdom. You’ve believed the lie that your sin defines you and speaks for you. That’s why you perpetuate your sin, which forces you to lie down inside chalk lines of guilt and shame. This is a form of self-hatred. But guess what? Truth is self-love that sets you free and enables you to see your sin as an opportunity to talk with Me about why you sin so we can have conversations like this one and walk further down life’s path together. This is My heart. This is discipleship.”

Impulsively, I interrupt. “What was that thing that just happened to my DNA? I saw something change.”

“That was a marker of fear.”

“Fear of what?” I probe.

“Fear of abandonment.”

A flood of memories washes over me. Within seconds, thoughts of failure followed by feelings of condemnation overwhelm me. But there’s more: memories of abandonment—not my own—play out on the movie screen of my mind.

“What do you see?” He asks already knowing my response like a good father who asks his child a question to which he already knows the answer only to have a discussion that would’ve been lost if he’d not asked.

“Bad memories. But what’s weird is that they’re not all mine.”

“Yes, those are ‘generational sins’ that go back … ten generations.”

“Ten generations?!” I echo.

“Ten generations of feeling alone. Ten generations of addiction. Ten generations of affliction. Ten generations of bone-on-bone with nothing to absorb the shock of mistakenly believing I abandon My children when they sin or when suffering befalls them. But you’ve had the courage to do what no one else in your family history has done. This generational sin stops with you!”

My eyes alight upon the fireflies dancing nearby as joy like I’ve never felt before surges through my body like an electric current that starts at my head and finds the path of least resistance toward my feet. I revel in it. It settles into peace at the depths of my soul. Then, suddenly, a seed of doubt creeps in—a treacherous splinter in my mind begins to fester.

“But why do I still feel fearful?”

“What you’re feeling is a shift from being in the present moment with Me to recalling a painful past event where you can’t see Me next to you, bringing up a distressing thought pattern and influencing behavior that you then project onto a lonely future, assuming things will never change.”

“Like a ‘trigger’?”

“Exactly! But the ‘silver lining’ is that it’s not a fixed substance. It’s only a shadow slowly fading from existence every time you step closer to the Light of My presence. The more you and I connect, the more You come alive and your Shadow Self dies.”

Joy re-emerges. I ponder the implications of this new way to be human, paying closer attention to the double-helix held between us. I spot another murky gene, and another, and another…

“What about these?” I ask with a sense of exhilaration and desperation. “I want to be totally set free. I don’t want to carry around anymore boulders. I’m exhausted! I don’t want to hurt anymore. I don’t want to hate anymore. What else can I do?” I cry out.

He lets go of His end of my genetic spiral staircase, closes His eyes to bask in the last rays of sunlight, and says nothing. I ask again. He remains reticent. I ask a third time. Still nothing. So, I close my eyes to mimic my Maker.

“Good,” I hear Him whisper. “Be still, breathe and know I’m with you in every circumstance. In every dark thought and haunting feeling look for Me and you’ll find Me and we’ll continue the journey of healing together. But you’ll have to endure the hard work of confronting your traumas, the injustices you’ve committed and the injustices committed against you. This is how to ‘be transformed by the renewing of your mind’ to change your DNA. This is how you partner with Me in the spiritual realm so you can be empowered by My Spirit to foster change in the physical world. This is the order of love, from being to doing. This is the dark night before the light at the break of day. This is ‘My kingdom come, My will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ ”

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Mariann
Mariann
2 years ago

All I can say is Whoa …Wow!

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