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My sin overshadows me.
Like a thick cloak, my shame wraps around me and forbids forgiveness to enter. The weight of it growing heavier with each step, I tread through the garden looking for you, and avoiding you at the same time.
I did not mean to take it as far as I did. The provocation of such a thing seems childish now that it’s behind me. But, the crowd, my Lord. What was I to do? Not defend you?
They did not believe me. The explanation for the glow of my skin, the smile upon my lips, and the light-hearted way in which I now walk. They heralded me with accusations of being bewitched by an unholy incantation, for only that would cause such a change within me.
I told them, my Lord. I told them about you, and about our garden. I left no detail out as I dictated your love in insufficient prose. I tried to explain the part of me that is alive because of you, but they would not listen.
They threw slurs around like poisonous darts that penetrated my soul, and darkened my heart. “It is all in your mind.” They yelled. “A lie of your making used to belittle us. You are no better than we are.”
They are right. I thought, I am no better than any of you. And to some, I am less than that.
Their accusations turned to counsel and their counsel became my beliefs. In an instant, I believed in their version of your truth. As the crowd dissipated, I stood alone. Tears of frustration welled in my eyes. How could I have been so wrong? Shedding my hope, I laid plans to return to my old life. To once again become that which I fought so hard to forget. For, in my mind, it was the only place I could find solace.
At first, I wasn’t sure I heard it.
Princess, come to me.
The tears that filled my eyes now spilled down my face. My head bowed, I ran towards your garden. Yes, the garden. How could I believe another above you?
Now, walking in our sacred place, I feel the weight of my shame from being so easily persuaded from the truth. My heart, bubbling over with love for you, fears the reprimand that should come, and the sadness that will fill your eyes when you look at me. It is almost too much to bear.
My feet saunter down the path toward the willow tree that stands alone in front of your lake. Head bowed, staring at the broken bedrock, my arms swing mindlessly by my sides in cadence with my footsteps. Intermittent tears trickle to the ground.
From the corner of my eye, a shadow joined me along the path. Footsteps, now audible, fell in rhythm with mine. And, as my arm swung back behind me, your hand grabbed mine and interlaced your fingers into my fingers.
My momentum slowed as we strolled, hand-in-hand, along the path towards the lake.
We stopped at the water’s edge and, fearing the calm before the storm, I braced for your anger. Instead, you smiled. Stepping behind me, you wrapped your arms around my shoulders and pulled me back into your chest.
Your lips brushed my ear as you whispered, “No matter how much you doubt, Princess, I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are mine and mine alone. Call upon me dear one…..I will always answer.”
Your words stung. But just as salve stings before it soothes, your words brought healing as well. My cloak of shame was ripped from me and thrown to the wind. Peace infiltrated my mind and body as I lay engulfed in the security of your embrace.
Under the willow tree by the water’s edge, we stood until the sun was tucked beneath the horizon. And, I wished I could have stayed there forever.
May I never doubt your love again.
Your enraptured servant.
“…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5