There it sat; nestled peacefully between two beautifully wooded hills, the crystal blue lake sparkled in the late afternoon sun. It looked to be the most exquisite picture of clean water ever imagined. The surface was perfectly smooth except for an occasional caress by the mid-April breeze.
“How splendid!” exclaimed the young girl standing behind me, peering upon her tiptoes and pulling on my shirt for leverage.
“It appears so” I answered, never taking my eyes from the vision of the blue sky and cumulus clouds that reflected from the surface of the lake. It is simply too close to being utopian, I thought. I reveled in the fact that the ripples never promulgated to the center of this lake; a strange perception haunted my spirit, that, instead of the breeze creating the ripples, the disturbances were somehow created from beneath the surface. However, eye could not detect such a thing. And the closer one approached to the lake, the more brilliant the effect upon the senses.
How incredibly magnetic, I thought, slowly approaching the edge, pushing forward through the energetic and bewildered crowd.
“Wait for me please…sir”, a voice caught up with me. The girl pushed past two elderly women holding hands, and squirmed close enough to clamp sternly to my right hand.
“Certainly”, I replied, only half-interested in a companion. It seemed all who drew closer had the intent of drinking from instead of closely examining the new source of water. The child tugged and shoved her way past the masses of people. She was focused and elated. I perceive all children to be examples of amplified emotion; she certainly was expectant with uncensored joy. In contrast, I was not so consumed; for I still could not shake the sublime nausea that the appearance of the lake beckoned upon me. So gorgeous, yet…sterile, secretive, and somehow, I dare say, evil.
“Oh! It tastes absolutely divine!” I heard from ahead and to the left of us.
“Nothing compares to it”, returned a man’s voice, answering the exclamation. Groans of satisfaction poured all around as everyone partook of its water, bathed, splashed, and laughed in waves of intensity. Wild, deprived eyes darted with raised eyebrows, bursting with anticipation for their turn to drink.
These people are desperate, I thought. How pitiful these thirsty ones, that they not examine closely what they hurriedly consume. Their eyes reflect hunger, not discernment! As a man who has found rest, I am not thirsty; for I drink from the springs of living water found deep within the recesses of a quiet cave, miles from the city. Without success, I have desperately pleaded with others to come with me to this place, but there seems to be a general distaste for traveling so far on a daily basis. Most prefer to drink from the community water source, refined and purified by the city itself. Until now, everyone assumed that there was no alternative to this tolerable and innocuous source of water.
“Oh my god, how glorious!” said the young woman drinking before me. She slurped and coughed from overindulgence, as I waited with my little friend. As the woman reeled around with her hands still cupped to her mouth, her eyes were aglow with animal-like excitement. Rapture embraced this lady’s countenance as she began to cry like a mother reunited to a lost child.
Dear God, I thought; these seem to be receiving what I too receive when I drink from the living waters. Could this be their salvation? How could it be? The Holy Ghost told me that only the living waters could bring salvation and fill the human void.
“Is this from You, oh Holy One?” I whispered. The people look so happy and revived!
As the woman pushed past me, she ran quickly to tell a group of sceptics who, upon hearing her testimony, started to the edge of what henceforth will be referred to as “Lake Purity”. I approached the bank, and immediately the little girl released my hand and fell to her knees, hastening toward the water.
“Wait, my precious child”, I beckoned, “let me take a look before you drink”.
She glanced up at me; and ignoring my wish, started to draw the water with her hands. But I caught her shoulder sternly and pulled her back. It startled her, and she shot me a glance of curious disapproval.
“I’m sorry,” I said apologetically, “but allow me to examine the water first”.
Reluctantly, she put her hands on her knees and stared impatiently at me. I stooped down to one knee, and dipped my hand. As I was doing so, I noticed that a man next to me was relishing his reflection in Lake Purity. And turning back to my right, I looked to see my child friend grinning with approval at what she saw upon the surface. As I gazed into the reflection, I could see nothing but blue sky. I had no reflection! Everyone else was basking in the grandeur of their own reflected image; whereas, I had none.
Before I could stop her once again, the child threw her face to the edge and sucked the crystal clear water of the lake like a traveler dying of thirst; and then she shook with an almost perverted type of ecstasy. Looking away from this fiendish sight, I became faint with horror as I observed my wet hand covered in blood! I quickly thrust my hand back into the water to rinse the blood, but to my additional astonishment, my hand was now completely drenched with the dark red poison.
Staring in disbelief, two things occurred to me simultaneously: First, I realized that as the blood dripped from my hand and back into the lake, the blood did not taint the water but rather transformed perfectly clear upon entering back to the source. Secondly, I realized that no one else could see the blood on my hand, because as the child and the man looked at my hand held before me in amazement, neither reacted as if they had seen anything.
I stood up quickly, and a spell of dizziness overtook me. I wheeled around with my head hung in disbelief, and walked slowly back up the hill. As I began to climb, I saw the little girl fly past me with supernatural energy. Weakened and disturbed, a rejection set into my being.
About halfway up the grassy hillside, I stopped and pondered. What do I feel? What foreign emotions are pouring from my heart? I don’t know these; this is not me. For a moment, I was ashamed of my weakness and lack of Faith.
“Forgive me, Abba.” I quietly mumbled. Upon asking for forgiveness, peace pricked the center of my troubled heart and warmed my whole body. Strength returned.
Lake Purity was extremely repulsive to my spirit, yet these around me convincingly prove that this source is, to say the least, reviving. I contemplated this upon reaching the crest of the hill; and turning slowly, I prepared to take a final look back to Lake Purity. But deep within my soul came a calm yet commanding whisper, “No”.
On the path home, I thought intensely about the day’s events. I, as usual, had arisen very early to start my day by visiting the cave, which usually takes about two hours. I then worked all day in my Father’s fields. During the last part of the work day, people started traversing the valley towards the hills to the east, sometimes passing along the road that runs along the edge of my field. They could be heard shouting glorious statements about the mysterious creation of Lake Purity. So when my responsibilities were completed, I hurried to see what all the fuss was about.
Now in the aftermath of a disconcerting experience, I contemplated the facts: The Holy Ghost taught me to close my eyes when I drink from the living water, so I may see with my spiritual eyes. He said that I could truly see by searching deep in prayer and this is where He is. Conversely, Lake Purity beckons one to look directly at it and feast upon one’s own reflection. He has taught me that my inner beauty is not derived from my own being, but rather from the LORD who lives in me through Himself. Why or how could these people today receive such a blessing from drinking with their flesh eyes open?
I found no answers, and the Ghost was not moving about, seemingly observing my dilemma from a distance.
When I finally reached my humble yet comfortable home, I was fatigued beyond words; so I hurriedly made my way to the shelter of sleep. The night proved to be quite restless for me; and awakening early with a headache, I decided to make my way immediately to the cave where I hoped a lot of my curiosities would be relieved. The early morning sunrise proved to be a dismal one, with low storm clouds and a hazy, grey light cast all about. Even the usually breathtaking scenery along the path seemed muted.
Like an old friend, the Ghost waited at the mouth of the cave in full flame. Taking the torch, I traveled habitually to the altar located in the very back of my sanctuary. Like always, I placed the torch in His vase and knelt humbly at the foot of the altar. Closing my eyes tightly, I entered into silence. After what seemed to be only moments of prayer, I was lifted by the Spirit up to the altar to drink from the living water. As before mentioned, not only may I not open my flesh eyes, but also how I am lifted, where I am lifted, and what the living waters look like, all remained a mystery to me.
Partaking slowly and carefully, I received that indescribable feeling of elation, joy, love, and complete peace: worshiping my Lord and being loved by Him. But something wicked arose in my spirit; I had never had such an occurence, and before I could catch that despicable character of free will, I curiously opened my flesh eyes to behold the glory of what I drank. Immediately, I was blinded by an intense light much brighter than anything imaginable, and quickly I was thrown back to the foot of the altar.
The Paraclete had left me. I was now thirsty and parched instantly; and in fearful realization, found myself hopelessly blinded. It was not a dark blindness I might add, but rather a state of illumined blindness. I could not move, for I was also paralyzed.
After some time, I found myself resigned to this blindness and immobility. Worst of all, the Ghost had withdrawn and I was very lonely.
Two days had passed; and on the third morning, words began to bubble up from my spirit. This was unexpected in light of the fact that I had tried to pray throughout this ordeal but was unable. Misery had pushed me to delirium; and when I felt I would simply lose my sanity, the Holy Ghost sent these words to me that I now give to you. Forgiving me of my transgression, the LORD blessed me with the following:
Gazing into the reflection,
it is beautiful to the eyes;
Never have they noticed
as they do now,
The vision of their spirit.
Know they not from whence it comes?
perceiving it to be God.
Oh children, what you see
is only a part of the Whole.
All of humanity combined,
still remains merely a portion.
Choosing the beauty within,
which is His creation;
Rather than the Creator of this beauty,
who is the LORD God Almighty.
Behold, Satan is very wise.
The great lie lives, and breathes, and grows
because it is fed.
More so than wheat,
the tares are diligently sown.
But, harvest is soon indeed!
Take heed sons of men:
Man is not God.
“All are made in My Image;
Return to Me,
And receive eternal life.
Turn from your shadow,
To the Light that casts it.”
This is truth,
that Satan and his kingdom know
deep mysteries of God.
He is cast from heaven,
because he endeavors to equal God;
So likewise, men shall be cast out for the same.
Praise the Holy One of Israel!
Praise the Christ all you Gentiles!
Praise the Holy Spirit of God who moves!