The hall sparkled. Shimmered. I’m not sure. It kept changing. I thought maybe the walls were formed from some kind of exotic pearl, but there was nothing soft about them. The place was nothing if not sturdy, immutable. But those shifting colors, there was a certain translucence about them. And the twin rows of pillars, grand square giants, stretched into infinity. Or at least, far beyond the naked eye. When I started walking toward what I presumed to be the front -the hall seemed to stretch into nothing in both directions- my footfalls crashed in my ears. The place echoed and my heart started thumping. There wouldn’t be any sneaking around in this place. He would know I was coming.
The mere thought of Him gave me a sort of excited dread. I wasn’t sure that was possible. I searched my mind for the meaning of “dread”, even as I continued slowly forward. “Anticipate with great apprehension or fear.” Yep. That’s accurate. He was not a Being to blink at and yet, there was something about Him. Something in me that leapt when in His presence.
I didn’t seem to really be moving. I mean, my feet were moving, one in front of the other. The columns slipped by in stoic silence. But still no throne. No glimpse of royal red, glimmering gold, or majestic purple. That’s what I was expecting anyway. When I started to think about it, I realized I had made all that up. The pomp, the circumstance. The oversized thrones. But wasn’t there supposed to be singing? Why wasn’t there singing?
I stopped. Something was wrong. The never ending hall, the quiet, the loneliness. It was all wrong.
I didn’t dare turn. The whole place seemed to dim a little. I don’t think it actually shimmered out of existence. But if it had, I’m not sure I would have noticed. All I knew was that He was behind me. I wanted to turn. To give Him a hug. But it felt irreverent. That’s a lie. Honestly, I was scared. Scared of seeing Him close up. I waited for Him to say something else, frozen like a scared animal.
“You can see me?” I asked. I know it sounds like the most ridiculous question in the world. But well, we weren’t in the world per se. And it’s how I felt. I wondered just how much I would have to tell Him and just how much He saw as the Being He was. There was no answer. Not that I heard. Just a shuffling of feet and the brush of a coarse hand against mine. Tears immediately stung my eyes. Part of me desperately wanted to run away. But the warmth of His hand was too good, too right, to resist. A knot started bunching up in my chest. A thousand thoughts ran through my mind in a blur.
I pleaded silently, “Please say something else.”
But He just went on breathing, steady, true.
I couldn’t stand it anymore. I whipped around and buried my face in His robes. Or what I assumed were robes. And I sobbed. Quietly at first. But soon my choked cries were echoing off the unseen walls. But I wouldn’t let go. And neither would He. We held tightly to each other for the longest time. And that’s saying something considering time didn’t really exist in that place.
He never did say anything else. Every question I’d had in mind was covered in a sort of peaceful film. Sometimes that film filled in the gaps between the questions. Sometimes it didn’t. But every question was addressed, covered. Of course, those questions were important, but they weren’t why I was there. I’d been fooling myself along the way. I had to know if He’d accept me. If He’d still touch me even when He saw all those questions. All those doubts. All the many ways I hadn’t grown quite into His image yet. Would He recognize me? Would He love me? Would He forgive me? In His touch, I had no doubt He could see everything I thought was well hidden. Every crack and dent in my armor. Every scar. Every open, bleeding, festering wound. But He wouldn’t let go. And in His touch, I felt everything else slipping away. Every worry. Every bit of me. And I wouldn’t let go of Him, either.