Friday, October 3, 2008

The Beast

It was a couple of days after my last night on the paper route. I was still exhausted beyond belief, and I was angry. No particular reason, but that kind of fatigue does scary things to my state of mind; which, you may recall, was the reason I had to quit that job. I was getting out of the shower that night and suddenly I saw inside myself. If I close my eyes I can still see it…

There was a pit, deep and dark and boiling. Smoke and steam filled the air. A beast rose up out of the pit; it was huge and strong, with bulging muscles that reminded me of a bull. It was dark, reddish black like old blood, with horns and burning red eyes. I could smell the beast’s heat, feel its lust, and taste the blood it craved. I heard its heartbeat and its breath, felt my own heart and lungs matching it beat for beat, and breath for breath. It was constrained somehow, I felt its chains, though they were invisible. It stood there, not fighting the chains, but waiting for me to set it free; free to destroy, to smash, to scream and cry and curse at God. I wasn’t afraid. I wanted to set it free; I felt its rage and lust and desire, its hate and anger. The heat and the blood filled my senses, and I wanted to give myself to the beast, let it take me completely. For I knew this beast; this beast is who I am inside. As I stood there breathing the beast in, God began to speak to me. I heard Him and I saw Him through the misty red veil of my beast within. He asked me questions, He made me angry. He pushed me, exerting his authority, keeping me from leaving, and I was so angry I wanted to punch Him, to hurt Him; but I couldn’t. He looked into my eyes and I could see the recognition of what He saw reflected in His own sad eyes. He did not turn away from me; He held me in His gaze, and He spoke, “This is not who you are; Becky, this is not you.” And then I saw my beast slowly sink back into the pit, until it was out of sight. But still I heard it muttering, whispering and coaxing and tempting from some dark corner of my heart, and I recognized its voice as one I have heard my whole life. I stood there hearing its voice, still filled with this vision of darkness, with the taste of violence and lust in my mouth; but the vision was veiled and my heart and my lungs began to beat in a different rhythm… a rhythm of life rather than death, with a glimmer of light rather than darkness.

The vision ended; I was once again standing in the bathroom. Then I was afraid. Afraid of how much I wanted the beast to be in control, afraid of the violence and lust that I knew was in my heart. Afraid of how utterly unafraid I had been.

But as I thought about it I realized that I had not set the beast free. God intervened. At the moment when the beast completely filled my vision, God spoke to me and called me back to Himself. He reminded me of who He is and who I am. I am His child, and I am not a slave to my sin nature. I do not belong to Satan, or even to myself, I belong to God. And He will keep me.

Rebecca A Givens, 09/2008
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