As I shared in the previous Installment, my interactive prayer led me to compose a letter to Rachel. On that same day I wrote it. It took me several hours to compose and I prayed during that process.
I prayed: Father, I have composed a letter to Rachel, how does it match what you wanted? The Divine responded:
It does and it doesn’t.
How’s that for a place to be. But perhaps, there is greater weight in how the Divine continued:
What matters is that it is from your heart.
That is an important thought. In telling “My Story” I have shared that I was learning to interact with the Divine on a whole new level, and because of that I was quite willing to throw all accountability at the Divine’s proverbial feet.
So, if I haven’t, let me share something that is just as important, and if I have, allow me to share it again. The Divine created humanity in the image of the Divine. This means, importantly, freedom to choose. This means that the Divine is not a puppet master. Humanity likes to blame the Divine, but it is not possible for humanity to align itself with the Divine without making a choice.
As I have shared, the Divine never declared the marriage of one husband to multiple wives as sin, never, not in any Scripture. Therefore, for a man to truly love two or more wives, he has to from his own heart love all of his wives. This is no different than if a man has one wife.
Here is what woman intuitively knows – she knows whether or not a man, in his heart, loves her. So whether what I wrote matches what the Divine wanted is actually irrelevant. I had to write from my heart to find her heart. That is tremendously difficult when one has never even met the woman to whom the letter is intended.
In that prayer, I asked: So what are you telling me about the letter? The Divine responded:
Keep it. Use it, if you like. I will tell you the next step later.
That prayer was given after my first major draft. I wasn’t too satisfied with it because the letter received several more changes, aiming to compose a letter for Rachel sourced from my heart. I made some changes and prayed again. In that prayer, the Divine conveyed:
My son, your have to write from your heart, what you believe.
Look, that’s from where we write, whether text messages, official correspondence, business letters, whatever it might be. We choose words that are appropriate, but the heart of the matter is what drives the correspondence, and in the heart resides our belief.
If we believe someone needs a reprimand, a letter is composed to say such. If we believe that someone needs to be encouraged, a letter is composed to say such.
In that prayer, the Divine focused in on my heart conveying:
[T]he letter has to be from your heart; no one else’s.
Talk about being nervous. I would have rather written a letter from anyone’s heart than mine. My heart was scared. My heart was still not settled. My heart was daring, but it was also muddled with doubt.
But I continued reworking my letter. I made more changes. I even had Mary read it. Most can’t begin to imagine how difficult it is to write to another woman and let your wife read what you have written. Then imagine this, if you will, my wife had suggestions about how to improve the letter.
When I felt better about the composition, I prayed. I asked: Abba, what do you think about the additions to my letter? The Divine responded:
I like them,
That is encouraging, a significantly different response than earlier. The Divine continued:
reveals, truly reveals, more of your heart.
Okay, so that was an improvement. As I have shared in “My Story” I am not one who likes to share what is within his heart. Over the course of my life, I learned to guard it, to protect, to barely allow it to be seen, because when I had been too open about my heart it had almost always found a proverbial kick in the teeth.
There is only so much of that that one wants to experience, which gives importance to how the Divine continued:
You have not revealed all of your heart, but maybe you don’t have to, vulnerability is a scary place.
That is why I still don’t reveal my heart. I allow it to peak out and look around from time to time, but I don’t know if I will ever be one who allows his heart to be completely vulnerable. I was beginning to open up my heart, but like I said I am still reserved.
In my prayer I asked: Will Rachel respond positively? The Divine responded:
Back then that is what I focused on, and didn’t fully understand how the Divine continued:
but remember pain manifests itself in various forms before pain accepts reality, so be patient.
That should have helped prepare me for what happened. But I missed it, and wasn’t.
The Divine closed the prayer conveying:
Send the letter after dark tonight. It will be blessed. Amen.
After that prayer, I felt that the letter was completed, and waited until after dark to send the correspondence. I wrote and sent the following:
Rachel is not a misnamed recipient, for you are my intended recipient, my writing will explain.
I sit here listening to The Beatles, knowing that I am about to open up to you my heart. My heart is a wondrous place, filled with dreams, anxiety, hopes, and fears. I have journeyed many miles in my short life. I have not been many places, but I have met many-a-person. Some of those individuals really impressed me – their tortured lives, despondent, without hope. Others impressed me at their quantity of lovely things. Me, I have always thought of myself as following God, but that journey has not always been easy. God has revealed to me my own pain, my own loss, my own nature. Yet, he has revealed to me his love, his redemption, his grace.
So I ask myself: what does it mean to travel life? Life seems so much more wondrous than what I was taught. The world, truly the world, holds God’s marvelous life, from poorest in the furthest most remote land, to the neon lights of the world’s largest cities. It really is his world – thunder, rain, snow, frost, sunshine, life. But traveling life seems not traveled if one simply observes those things. Life is filled with personal pain, personal failure, personal hurt – those things make the person know that there is more. So it is the personal longings that life brings – longings for acceptance, friends, family, longings to be heard, accepted for what the heart says without being rejected and betrayed. Yet, life holds betrayal – those closest to us betray us in the most dramatic of fashions. Yet, with love in life, love keeps hope alive, that close ones can remain close even in the midst of hurt.
So what is it to travel life? Life surely was not meant for traveling alone. Alone is one all without another. One is solitary. One is isolated. One is the loneliest number. One has no one close to share the most intimate of life – laughter, love, heart-felt longing, the touch of fingertips, or the closeness of lovers. God certainly did not intend for anyone to travel life without a partner.
Love, then, opens itself to hurt, betrayal – the deepest of hurts, not to find just a companion, but to find love. True love is open to betrayal, not really wanting to be hurt, but open to betrayal in order to find and feel love in the deepest part of the being, down in the soul. True love is acceptance in the deepest way, where frailties and failures matter not, because the heart is seen, the eyes of the soul opened to see the beauty of all things, where things are beautiful, wondrous, immeasurable happiness.
Depth of love that sees beyond the immediate, beyond the blemishes of the skin, finds the beauty of the heart, of the soul. Blemishes test the spirit. Can the spirit look beyond the surface and find the pillars of the person? The pillars of the person are personal. The pillars are tender, strong, yet frail. The pillars define the person, their laugh, their smile, their tears. Love finds the pillars, love is gentle with the pillars, love loves the pillars because love loves the soul.
In learning to live life, I have learned to love. That is my journey – the road that God has put me on. That road has not been easy. In learning to love, I have lost family, close friends, even work in the kingdom. I know of pain that comes from love, but love is worth the pain, because the depth of that love is amazingly amazing to where I have no adequate words. That love makes me weep. That love makes me curl up and cry. That love makes me lose my breath. That love makes me stop in my tracks. But that love makes me smile. That love makes me laugh. That love makes me want to jump and skip. That love makes we want to love. That love is simply amazing. That love is unlike anything I have ever experienced.
My life, my love, Miss Rachel has led me to you. Open is my heart. Hoping for love.
Opening up myself, opens my heart. My heart does not want hurt or betrayal, but the opening of my heart is the only way I can find you. I want my heart to be an open book that you want to read.
I have prayed countless times about what to say, and how to say things. Time and again, Abba tells me to reveal my heart, the very thing I want to protect. I have come to appreciate that only by laying out my heart like an open book, can I really be understood. Like a book, a heart, can be thrown away. Like a book, a heart, can be cherished.
God unfolds life in amazing and crazy ways, ways that astound and confound. Years ago, I would have never allowed myself to be in this situation. Yet, here I am – a man in love, in love with God, with Jesus, my life – a life totally strange to many others. With that love came struggles and valleys, and I am learning what it takes to traverse the valleys.
Valleys, sometimes, come because of our own decisions. We can’t see the future, we experience the present, we assess the known information, we act thereon. Only after we act, do we see what we have done. Sometimes that brings about great burdens making us cry, lose sleep, and question the future itself.
Valleys are rough, but valleys can be overcome. Victory, triumph, happiness and pleasure of life can be found, and overcome the valley you will. True love, genuine love, sacrificial love gives the valley its silver lining, its encouragement, the motive and ability to move forward.
I want to be the silver lining, the sacrificial love, to help you overcome your valleys. Hope is found in such. Life is found in such. Love is found in such. Not because I am the perfect man, just a man willing to be open, irrationally open, with his heart.
In my dreams and in my prayers, Rachel is a name that God has revealed. Rachel, beautiful, beautiful Rachel – the way He has painted you. Rachel in ages past the love of Jacob; Rachel a love of mine.
I would like to talk more with Rachel.
Before I went to sleep that night, I prayed again. I used my tallit and began: Abba, thank you for today, and your blessing of the letter and recipient. The Divine responded:
Your letter was good, from the heart.
That was encouraging to hear, even though I have to admit that it is difficult to reveal my heart. The Divine continued:
It hits her heart.
That is something that I was not sure I was aiming for, since I was supposed to be writing from mine. But consider how the Divine continued:
That is good and bad. Good because that is where you were supposed to aim; bad because she does not like how she feels and will let you know.
She let me know. So it was good that the Divine continued:
You will be okay. Things will be fine. You must trust me on this.
Things were okay and things have been fine. But consider how the Divine continued:
However, things do get bumpy from here. ‘All’s fair in love and war’ as the saying goes. But hang in there, you’ll be surprised.
Things did get bumpy, and I was surprised.
Blessings and Shalom