“Man is a mystery to himself,” I said.
“Yes and more than a mystery.”
“What do you mean?”
“The question you must ask yourself,” he said, “is why man is a mystery to himself. That answer will reveal everything.”
“Why is even harder than the what. If we can’t do more than guess at what is going on within us how will we ever know the why of it all?”
“Exactly,” he said. “How, indeed.”
“So, again, there is no hope,” I whispered.
“And again I tell you that with my help there is always hope,” he reminded me.
The silence thickened between us.
“It seems as if we are forever and always dependent on you in all things,” I said.
“It’s not an idea that most of us like.”
“I know,” he said, his gaze unreadable. “That is the heart of the problem.”
I couldn’t look up much less hold that holy gaze. I felt a reluctance, a barrier spring up between us and it made me feel dirty.
“It’s called sin,” he said gently as if he knew my innermost thoughts, which, of course, he did. “Sin is first and foremost rebellion and disloyalty to God. It’s the ‘not wanting God in my life’ attitude. It is always a barrier between us.”
I still could not look at him and my gaze was fixed on the trunk of a tree hewn down in the center of the garden. “Is there no privacy, then? Must everything be revealed? Is there no place where we can be free from the divine interference?” What was wrong with me? It just seemed to well up and spill over – these thoughts and words which were not mine – they are not mine, I refuse them, I deny them. I looked up quickly to search his face, to apologize, to seek again his favor.
He smiled and put his hand on my shoulder. “All is forgiven, don’t worry. You are mine and I am yours for all eternity.” Then he shifted in his seat to face me squarely.
“Listen, my son,” he said, the intensity of his words were filled with love. “How could there be any privacy? I am God, not your mother. And why would you want privacy from me unless you intend to do something I disapprove of? Besides, I have given you, each of you, even that privacy, temporarily, for some even eternally. Each one of you has a right to go to Hell in your own way.” He paused. “You want to be left alone, without any ‘divine interference’ as you call it? Fine. There is a place. You forced me to create it. You won’t like it there.”
I could hardly breathe. “Not me, Lord, not me.” It came out in a hoarse wheeze.
“No, not you,” he agreed. “I was talking to all of you.” He shifted closer to put an arm around my shoulder and grasped me tightly, securely. “But you still have that reluctance towards me. There are still barriers to our relationship. Sin and rebellion is still a force in your life, but it only has the power now that you give it. Remember that. It has no power of its own, no matter how hard it seems to overcome it.”
I could only nod in agreement. I wasn’t sure I understood any of it but I knew that I wanted a relationship with him free of barriers, free of any reluctance whatsoever. He knew that.
He knew my heart.
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A Conversation with God by Bert A. Amsing. Used with permission.
Excerpt from Whispers of the Desert Warrior by Bert A. Amsing.
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.