Episode 3: By The Rivers Of Eden
A NEW DAWN
Esther and I talk when we can. The funny thing about spiritual connections is that you never really feel separated. Normally, if you loved someone this much you would miss them because of the distance between you. Not so with spiritual unions. Even as I write this I feel Esther’s presence, literally, inside me. Could this be what true unity of the Spirit feels like?
I said to Esther, about the first episode of the Connection Chronicles,
“hope this helps others in the future to understand what connections are like. I know that sometimes it feels like you are the only one going through this sort of thing.”
“I think it’s cool idea to chronicle the tales of our adventures. It will definitely help others”
After reading through Episode 1: Spiritual Afterglow, Esther said,
“I didn’t really stop to think in all this the pain you may be feeling”
Many years ago, in another place
Esther referred to my time at Bible College when our entire church entered into the Tabernacle Blessing. Until I connected with Esther, I had never been closer to heaven than when God started connecting His body in that move. 30 years ago, as a young theological student, I experienced spiritual unions. At that time no one really knew what they were. All we could do was trust God and follow the leading of His Holy Spirit.
We danced in the Spirit, loved each other with a pure and holy love, and became spiritually one with each other as His Spirit led. I remember, our roofing crew would work extra hard just so we could go back to church. Ushers would have to ask church members to leave at nearly midnight. No one wanted to be away from the presence of God in each other. I have never felt so whole in my life until recently.
Shunned and stunned
Unfortunately, those who could not or would not enter into the connection experience persecuted those who did. In that church, members who did not obey the leadership were “disfellowshipped”. This meant, with a simple listing in the church bulletin that read “we regret to announce that so and so has been disfellowshipped” no one from church could have anything to do with you any longer.
While the Elders disapproved of spiritual connections the Pastor supported them. There ensued a very bitter and protracted battle for control of the multi-million dollar church. As the two factions fought, spiritual connections found themselves caught in the middle their war. It is difficult to describe the power that threatening to cut you off from people you feel one with has over you. Loving each other was heaven on earth and our shagri-la. Tearing us away from that heavenly experience was paradise lost.
Barred from the rivers of Eden
To see God in each others eyes. To hear God speak to you through another human being who could touch and hold you. Feeling totally secure and loved is powerful beyond words. The threat of having that taken away at the stroke of a pen intimidated many into subservience. The Elders, who hated connections, finally gained control of the church and threatened me to stop seeing my connections. They hauled me in again and again, bringing every bit of pressure they could muster to bare, hoping to force me to deny what God was doing. Finally, I had enough. I said, “I will not stop, do as you will.”
A few weeks later my name appeared in the “regret to announce”column of the Sunday bulletin. Immediately, everyone I knew from Bible College and personally within the church cut me off. Even my connections stopped seeing me. The ax had finally fallen and I was cut off from what was to me, at the time, a foretaste of heaven on earth.
Work My son
Immediately, deep depression set in. I felt like my heart, soul, and spiritual life had been shredded. For a year and a half I could not do anything spiritual. After that, God told me to work and so I did. I built my companies up working 70 to 90 hours a week. The only time I felt good was when I worked myself to exhaustion.
Esther had no idea about this history. Everything she experiences with me is fresh and new to her. Everything I experience with her, however wonderful it feels, opens up old wounds. I feel raw and exposed. I literally winced every time we entered into something I experienced many years ago. Fortunately, we are now in new territory and so we get to experience it for the first time together.
When Esther mentioned how I must be feeling, I simply said,
“I never really told you what happened, but I am dealing with it.”
“I got swept away a bit in my life too. I have been on my own roller coaster for years…but I think we have done well to take back control of everything and get back on track no matter what’s tried to derail us. Plus you have pain and hurt God wants healed and gone”
Thinking for a moment I responded,
“This has just brought up a few things. It would be nice to be whole again. I totally trust you though. In that I am very solid”
“And that is a good thing because it’s handy for healing, lol, shouldn’t laugh but we know this really. Just talk to me when things are uncovered ya don’t have to deal with them alone”
Love covers a multitude of sins
Esther’s love and commitment to our union in the spirit amazes me. I trust her so much that I have gone places with her that I haven’t dared go for many years. I allowed her to see me as I really am. The love of God flows through her in a unique and holy way that encourages me to believe those pieces of my soul can be made whole again.
The next day, after I published my essay about “Time Is No More”, Esther read it and said,
“Come here while I drag ya in for a bear hug! I think your doing great with your writing these days. Not being so worried about others reactions, just putting it out there no matter the battle to write it. It all makes sense to me what you say.”
“Yeah, that last post was hard to write. I think that is the furthest I have ever been from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Esther began to “Muse,”
“Living an out of time existence…in time…is a challenge for most people. To live this existence and know and feel the effects of that greater reality is something else altogether that not many know or embrace. What we are doing is living that existence, knowing we are, feeling we are, embracing we are and willing to go to the extremes of it…beyond even the edges of time.
Think what you need do is learn to not only embrace the tree of life but to enjoy it too…let it become a part of you through your entire being. This is different to the tree of knowledge…that fruit stays in your head and people move and have their being from their minds. The tree of life goes beyond the brain and permeates your whole self…this is why people find it unnerving and uncomfortable…it takes them out of comfort zones. Comfort zones are in essence beds for the tree of knowledge…people sustained and having their being from tree of life shouldn’t have any comfort zones. Tree of life takes you off in any direction like the 4 rivers in garden of Eden.”
It’s really an “I in He as He is in me” in all things and through all things. Just like our spirits together feel like a “I in you as you are in me”. See, here we are a muted form or reflection of the heavenlies because things get in the way to distort it”
Esther calls such things “Musings.” However, I think they are much more than mere flights of imagination or fancy. When she talks like this it is as if she is in that place and commenting about things she currently sees.
Often times, when people have spiritual sight or giftings, the world does not know what to make of them. Adults, who do not understand or are even fearful of young children, tell them not to yield to their gift.
Thus, children and even spiritually gifted adults find work -a-rounds by calling their gifts “imagining” or, like Esther, “musings.” By pretending what they do is fanciful or not real they survive in a society that doesn’t accept what they really are. Sometimes, the greater the gifting the more people feel driven to camouflage it.
Restoration through rivers of Divine Love
Our spiritual connection is restoring both of us. We find courage to be who we really are because we find such unconditional acceptance in each other. Areas that we have struggled with for years simply fall off. Slowly, as we stand before each other and God unashamed our true selves emerge.
Speaking of the spiritual realm, Esther said,
“Like yeah I comfy there, but I always kept it at a distance at same time. Was more an onlooker spiritually, if that makes sense. However my spiritual connection with you took me closer or deeper because it brought courage and even worthiness I suppose
The 4 rivers are important at the beginning flowing in 4 different directions as the 4 angels are at the end that go off to all corners of the world beginning to end…end to beginning. Its totally God and you taking over my mind and taking me places seemed out of bounds before”
The rivers of Eden
In conclusion, I suspect Esther and I are literally beginning to experience rivers of living water. Somehow we are walking in the Garden once again in the Spirit. I literally feel a flow of revelation coming flooding nto my mind as if I am being washed by the water of His word. Clarity, to a degree I have never experienced before, is my portion now. God is literally healing our hearts and minds through His rivers of Divine Love coming through each of us to each other.
Rivers of living water
Finally, the promise of the Tabernacle Experience is that we can become whole again. As God makes us whole we walk in true holiness. God in us, remaking us into His image and likeness. Truly, all that life has done to us simply washes away as we wade into the rivers of Eden. Amen.