I started out in a windstorm. I couldn’t see what was more than a foot a head of me. The wind was swirling and blowing all around me. I was wearing a scarf around my head, thinking that would help me keep the sand out of my face. I was wearing converse; just like the pair that I had when I was in my teenage years — worn out and tattered. I had a backpack on and it felt as if I was on a journey. I didn’t know how I got to this place or how to move forward, but I knew I was smack dab in the middle of a crazy sand storm. I couldn’t see the sky; I could barely see the ground.
Suddenly, my scarf whips off my head, and as if in slow motion, goes sailing off into the distance, far away from me, in a sand scarf-napping. I watched it fly away from me, knowing that there was no way to save it, no way to salvage that small piece of protection and what felt like help for my head, and I knew that it was gone forever. But then it didn’t matter. It was like it was never there in the first place. I looked down and one footstep appeared in the sand in front of my feet. I took a step, just one, following the single step that was before me.
Step after step, one at a time, I walked through the storm, not knowing where I was going. The next step wouldn’t appear until I placed my foot in the place of the previous one showed to me. I was only being given one single step at a time, all the while being blasted with sand from every direction. Slowly, but surely, the sand begin to rise. I closed my eyes, trusting in that the footsteps would be there for me, even when I can’t see them. I was weak, I was tired, I was treading through the sand and I didn’t know where I was going. I crossed my arms across my body, hugging my back pack so tight, closing my eyes, and pressing into the sand that was trying to slow me down.
The sand continued to rise, from my feet to my neck, as I pressed forward, being battered and bruised by the journey itself. The sand, it came up around my neck, but still I kept walking. I could feel my steps, and I knew I was following the steps set before, even though it felt like it could kill me…
I stepped and started sliding under the sand, into a cavern–a long diagonal cavern that slid into what felt like the center of the earth. I looked below me and I was on what I can only describe as a magic carpet. I was sliding down, and I thought I was alone and about to fall into the center of this pit, but I wasn’t.
As we went through the narrow tunnels and incredibly bumpy caverns of what was below the sand storm, I clung on to the magic carpet as it flew through this obstacle course. It never left the ground; I still felt the journey–every bumb and rock in it. We swirled around inside the earth for what felt like hours. I still couldn’t see where we were going, and I didn’t really understand how, but suddenly I felt myself let go of the fear I had initially felt.
I was scared. I screamed as we were racing through these rocks, fearful of what could happen and what was waiting for me when this magic carpet stopped. The longer the journey went on, the more I relaxes. I didn’t need to keep screaming… I wasn’t the one driving. As I stopped screaming the carpet lifted up the front to protect me from the wind. It felt like we were moving at 100 miles an hour.
I took a deep breath. I couldn’t see what was on the other side, but I knew that this side of the carpet felt safe. I laid down, exhausted from the fear, the fight, the journey so far. As I rested my head, I relaxed and my backpack flew out of my hands. I reached for it, but I couldn’t save it. I laid back down, trusting that I didn’t need it and that I would have it if you wanted me to have it. My shoes fell off, my socks, and then I was stripped down, all while I just rested. The carpet wrapped fully around me. It was a place of peace and I rested, all the while knowing that we were continuing through all the small caverns and caves. I just didn’t care anymore. I trusted You. The longer the journey was, the more I got used to the bumps and sharp turns. They didn’t phase me the same way.
The ball of magic carpet holding me inside burst out into the cosmos. It began to open and I was staring right at the sun. It was warm and lovely. I looked down and I was wearing a simple white dress. My hair floating from the lack of gravity, but my body was as if it was on the earth. As the carpet opened like a blooming flower, I stepped out and walked towards the sun. I reached out and touched it, and giggled, thinking that it would burn me, but instead it gave me joy. It was radiant and all encompassing, on fire but felt approachable. I stared at it in wonder, amazed that we were out of this world.
I felt something touch my left hand, and I looked over, and I saw Jesus. I saw you. He reached out his hand and asked for a dance. We danced around the stars as if they were a ballroom floor. I didn’t remember learning the choreography, but I knew all the steps. We laughed and danced; forgetting about the sandstorm below. You smiled at me, almost as if asking if I was ready to go back. I looked down at the earth and I saw the magic carpet barreling through the sand, with me still inside, sand flying everywhere as it sped through the storm. I put my hand in Yours and smiled back. If You were with me, I would go where ever you wanted. We dove off an imaginary high dive and went barreling back towards the earth.
We landed in the middle of the storm, in an oasis, in what looked like a large plunge pool–deeper than my eyes could see. I was far below the water as I crashed into the center of what seemed like chaos whirling around the safety of the palm tree-lined oasis. I quickly began to panic and swim to the surface, forgetting that I was just in space with You dancing. Once again, You grabbed my hand and smiled. You looked at me and I knew that You just wanted me to trust you.
You started to dance underwater, as if there was no gravity. And You held my hand, asking me to just stay there with You. I didn’t fight; I danced. I laughed underwater, knowing that You were here and the things of this Earth don’t hold my heart and life in their hands. You do. You hold my life in your hands. I stayed with you a while and we slowly began to rise to the surface of the water. It wasn’t work. It wasn’t struggle. As long as I stayed with You, I knew I was safe.
My head came out of the water, and I gasped for air and laughed. I looked around and saw this perfect circle of water, with a perfectly beautiful beach all around it, and palm trees behind the beach, protecting this place. It was sunny and beautiful, and I almost forgot there was a sandstorm all around me. I laid on my back, floating in the water, starring up at the cosmos and slowly moving my arms in the water, spinning slowly in a circle. I took a deep breath and smiled; I knew that this was where I was supposed to be.
The water was filled with stars as it swirled with me. I saw my face, filled with joy and freedom. The sand couldn’t touch me here. There was no need for fear here. This place of peace, filled with the bluest water and the cosmos, felt like I was breathing in Your heart. I laid there in the water, as the Lord gave me a bird’s eye view. Like an ending to a movie, the camera pulled back and I saw I was in the eye of the sandstorm, floating in my endless cosmos, not shaken by what was knocking at my door. I saw the beach, the trees, and the angels posted around me.
I knew this was the true place of peace–the one that can only be found in You.