I step into the low-lit log cabin and set my bag on the floor. Shut the door and turn the lock–not to keep anyone out, but to keep me in.
The cabin is one room, drawing my eye to the corner where a gas stove pops cheerily. A woven rug, a rocking chair, a wooden table against a large bay window that promotes a view of miles of trees. It’s the perfect place to fill in the gaps of my book that I’ve been putting off.
So why do I feel exposed?
I adjust the overhead light, switch on a lamp. Pull the shades down at the windows, then hoist them up. What am I doing?
I pull on my winter boots and leave the cabin. Trudging the snowy path, I start filtering what’s jamming my heart. I can identify fear, and am tempted to blame it on Satan, but it doesn’t feel like assault. Sinful fear? No. I trust God and his love for me. I’m no longer afraid of him or being alone with him.
Being by myself? That’s not it. I like myself now.
What about the old self?
There it is. The writing I undertake is all the parts of my old heart where I feel vulnerable. Exposed. Like walking into the cabin. It feels like my writing is the queen-size bed and I’m a prostitute who has just married the King. The engagement bliss evaporates as I enter his bedchamber and remember my shameful, guilty past.
Do I feel dirty? No, he’s washed me. Am I afraid to be pursued? That’s all I want. Am I afraid to know what is down in my heart? Yes. I am afraid to be exposed to what he already knows is down there because…
You don’t want to hurt me.
I stop walking.
You love me. And your past heart wounds me.
I drop to my knees, the tears rushing up.
God, I don’t want to know what was in my heart all those years I was whoring! I don’t want to explore and write it. I don’t want to feel the pain you are feeling.
He prods me gently. How is that fair? The Bridegroom gives up his life to redeem his bride. How is it loving to numb myself to my past and let him feel the pain alone?
Besides, I will not always be hurt. You will be wounded forever, unless you let my pain heal you.
A choked laugh escapes me. It’s still about his love for me…
And then the pain returns in waves. I know what he’s going to make me do. He’s going to make me lie naked on the bed, everything exposed. Before we consummate our love, he is going to ask me to name every lover I have been with. The Bridegroom will weep tears of grief, and I will weep tears of remorse.
Then he will cover my nakedness with the hem of his white garment and pull me close. I knew you would return to me…
And I will let him love me.