tales2apoint

…stories and poetry to touch, teach, & turn the heart toward truth.


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A False & Futile Reality

I allowed myself, over many years and through many self-serving practices, to create a dreamworld in which I thought I could escape from what I considered undesirable. This was a world where nothing existed except for what I desired. If I chose to remove God from it–which I usually, if not always, did because I envisioned myself as the god–I simply chose to ignore what I knew to be right.

This was my world, and it was my law which was given the illusion of power. I even allowed my world the luxury of believing there to be no consequence for sin. The only sin I declared to exist was that which I did not want, and its consequence was simply to not exist.

In my world, God was the transgressor, because He was the One telling me that what happened in my world–the very existence of my dreamworld even–was wrong. He insisted that I would suffer consequences in the real world–His world–for my rebellion. In stubborn, idiotic incredulity, I simply created counter laws in my world which dismissed his laws. I was a rebel.

As a jealous and selfish little god, I was quite territorial of my imaginative haven of rest. The more God impressed Himself on me–infiltrating every bulwark I raised to protect my little world from His assaulting love–the more desperate I became to protect myself–and my little world–from being removed from my imagined control. The deeper I went into my dreamworld, the longer I could stay and avoid the undesirable truths of God’s holy reality.

Many years later, and only slightly wiser, I began the strenuous and lengthy process of deconstructing my safe haven of denial. I quickly learned that this is very difficult work–nearly impossible. The first step I had to take was to admit, even to myself, that I am a completely lousy imitation of a god. The real God is no longer wrong. I am the one who was wrong all along, and I am needing to readmit that every day.

The things I allowed myself to do with such illusions of freedom in that world are being forced to cease. They do not want to be abandoned…at all! The little god in me–what the real God calls my flesh–still lives under the illusion that he deserves a place of royalty in my heart. He alone believes I owe him some twisted form of loyalty, but what he doesn’t realize is that, compared to the real God, he doesn’t have even half a leg on which to stand.

Even yet, he was the god of my secret world for so long that I sometimes get lost in the real world, and find myself wandering shamefully into my not-so-secret, less-than-private world of secrecy and escape. When this happens, I often find myself bewildered and sickened by my own foolish ignorance. How could I go back to a place that leaves me feeling so miserable? Worse yet, how could I let my flesh be a god to me, when the real God literally gave His life to free me time and time again from all the misery I suffered so long when I would try to hide from the truth?

God’s truth is so beautiful, that it invigorates every inch of me with awe, love, and hope. Even still, that measly old god, called flesh, seeks to preserve every possible claim he can over my old world–my old self. Between his stubbornness and the steady encouragement of his accomplice, the devil–who is at the same time his worst enemy–my little world of selfish pleasures has managed to remain year after year, day after day, haunting me.

It needs to be ended. I am ready. I am desperate for the real world, the one in which the real God is always God, and His goodness and truth are allowed to be alive in the real me at all times.

I am ready for complete sanctification. I am ready to be holy. Dear God, please make the real me emulate the real You. Help me to forever abandon my futile attempts to control. This is my most beautiful dream. This is what You desire. Give me the desires of Your heart.

Amen.


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Story of Hope, Chapter 9

In the time succeeding a serious conflict, the emotions left mangled in its stay are more complex and abundant than most humans are able to manage in a healthy fashion. This was certainly the case for Olly. How could his volatile interaction with Monica–which had just come to an extremely abrupt end–have gone so poorly as to have all but ended their entire twenty year relationship?

What had Monica done to him? What kind of monstrous things had she convinced herself to believe about him? How would he ever reconcile this betrayal–this lie?

There was little that proved to be more disabling to Olly than when someone simply didn’t listen to his words–or believe him if they did. He sought to be an honest man. Monica should have known that. Instead, Monica seemed to have rebuilt a very mangled version of herself in his absence, and had justified the complete removal of him from her new construction plans. He felt crippled by her rejection.

While she had been spending her years creating a world for herself without him, he’d been building one with her as his corner stone. He knew their marriage hadn’t been what either of them had dreamed about in the beginning. Over the past several years, since he’d become a sailor, there had been little about their marriage that had even seemed like a marriage. He knew this.

Aside from the rare letter and his times of leave, they never saw each other. He knew he’d been a lousy husband, but that had only spurred him on in his dreams of creating a better life for them. He’d held so long to the dream that things would get better, that he simply took it for granted. He’d never considered that Monica might not be there to live out those dreams with him.

They were dreams he’d dreamed for her as much as he’d ever dreamed them for himself. He’d saved his money year after year, every penny he could, to one day deliver his family together to a new place–a new quality of living. Monica wouldn’t have to worry about surviving anymore. She wouldn’t have to be alone without him again, like he knew she had silently desired for so many years.

That was something about Monica that he’d always admired. She rarely complained. He knew she had been unhappy all these years apart. For him, that had gone without saying. He apparently had been assuming blindly all along that she was holding on to his dreams as much as he had been. Though, looking back, he couldn’t remember ever sharing those dreams with her. She’d never known. She still didn’t.

He’d planned to come home in a grand fashion, swing her swiftly off her feet, and carry her off into the sunset. Instead, he’d come home and thrown her fragile world deeper into the darkness and bitterness she’d chosen for herself.

The reality of what she’d done came back to him with renewed freshness, now, and he began to feel the true gravity of what had taken place in his absence. He understood that she’d assumed it was a similar lifestyle of unfaithfulness that had carried him along all these years, but any man on his ship could attest to Captain Olly’s abstinence. It was a matter of regular discussion and scoffing among them. What sailor didn’t have whatever pleasure he desired? This had been the way his shipmates had seen things, and their lifestyles made that very evident–as did their general dissatisfaction with those lifestyles.

He’d been as honorable as he could have ever dreamed to be, and this was how she repaid him?

No. He wouldn’t allow himself to go down that path. Bitterness on Monica’s part had brought them much of the way to this place. His own bitterness would be of no benefit.

He needed to figure out how to fix this. He had to get his wife back! It was not over.

Oliver took to the streets, determined to prove to Monica the depth of his love and faithfulness. His reaction toward her had been strong and full of hurt, but his love and devotion remained unchanged, and she needed to know this. His mind was racing to think of where she might have gone. His heart was aching in its desire to know her love once again. How would he tell her? How would he show her the truth? What if she still didn’t believe him?

He was becoming a fool for her, and he felt like a young man again–trying to woo the woman he loved.

But why? Why did he love this woman who had betrayed him? What did Monica possess that was worth his love and devotion? What was his reason?

Was it the length of time she’d waited for him? Was it the fact that she’d cared for their daughter in his absence? Was it her beauty that smote him or was it the fact that she didn’t want him? Was she just some conquest to him, like the seas he’d sought to master?

With ease, Olly reasoned away each of these thoughts, and found his way to the true reason he sought her. It was because he loved her. That was it! That was the reason. She hadn’t earned it. She may never deserve his love. She may never even accept or reciprocate his love, but he still loved her. He truly was becoming a fool for her, and it was perhaps the most liberating state of being he’d known.

Olly smiled amid the gloom of his heart at losing his love. He hadn’t just lost her tonight. He’d lost her many years ago, and it had taken him this long to discover it. He realized again that he’d become a fool in more ways than one.

Olly smiled, though, because he now saw the truth as it was for the first time. He knew also that, by seeing the truth, he might actually find a way to embrace it and allow it to change him–to change them. Now that he had the truth, he could show it to Monica. She could see it as well!

Fully consumed in his hopes, he picked up his pace and began toward Mrs. Townsend’s house. That was where she would be. That was where he must go.

He never made it, though, because what he saw next stopped him still, and once again changed his life forever. He stumbled upon the sight as he nearly ran around a corner onto a new street. There, across this new street, just below a glowing streetlight, stood his daughter–his precious Nina–wrapped in the arms of smiling young man.


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Moments of Unparalleled Sequence 3

III.

Branson was here intentionally, but this had to be an accident. Weren’t all mistakes accidents? He wished that it was so! He couldn’t bear the idea that he may have actually done this by intention. His desires couldn’t have that strong a grip on him, could they? But he was smart enough to know that accidents didn’t happen in complete disconnection from purpose.  He had chosen.

It began as usual: come together, get closer, dance, make an exit, complete the sequence, say nice things at the end, get up the next morning, return to life as usual. It should all be guilt free.

That’s how he’d expected it to be.

That’s not how it was.

There was guilt here. Deep, unsightly, crippling…crippling guilt consumed him. All that guilt he had never acknowledged before was suffocating him.

But it was almost beautiful.  Pain was surprising.

{This is part three of six…keep reading for part four! I will post the whole story as one post after all the parts have been posted.}


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Moments of Unparalleled Sequence 2

II.

A dream of ecstasy. He came and went. Then he returned and returned again. Not physically, but mentally he was present. Oh, how he was present! It was a beautiful, fleeting, lust-filled moment. A moment of unparalleled sequence. A moment that could never be repeated. He never wanted to repeat it, but he wanted more of it.

Aln opened his eyes. He didn’t see much, but his eyes were opened. He wanted to see more, but all he saw was the darkness of night. He saw the dim, lava-colored glow of his alarm clock. It was too close to morning.

‘Alarm clocks are stressful.’

 He saw the glow of a street light in glaring stripes through the blinds of his window. Outside, the green of an abandoned soccer field filled his view

‘Soccer…one more part of life I don’t know anything about.’

He heard the start up whirl of a small refrigerator’s generator at the foot of his bunk. He took in the smell of an apartment frequented by a regular influx of college students. It didn’t smell bad—not yet. It smelled used.

‘Used isn’t always bad. It really means that it’s good enough to be around for a little while. Maybe I’m just saying that so I feel like I have something intelligent to say. Probably.’

He was having another one of those nights. Nights were good when they meant relief, sleep. They were bad when they meant thinking, pondering, facing deep reality.

‘I’m really sick of reality. I hate it. I hate that I can’t escape it. Why can’t I just forget reality?’

Maybe that was his problem. He wanted to be free–free from reality, free from consequence—but he knew there was no freedom in what he wanted. He only wanted it because it felt like freedom. It only felt like freedom because it was different from his current prison.

‘What prison?’

This was definitely a prison. It was engulfing him. He was ready to sell himself. He knew it was a mistake, but he didn’t feel like being strong.

‘It will make sense someday.’

Would it be too late?

Late…2:30 AM…it was late! He closed his eyes again, more firmly this time, tried to relax, found relief, and slowly fell to sleep.

{This is part two of six…keep reading for part three! I will post the whole story as one post after all the parts have been posted.}


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When I Dreamt of Captain Hook and His Demons

Captain Hook is real.

He is a dark lord.

He’s in my basement.

I have managed to stay in the light all night,

But he is a master deceiver.

All of my allies have fallen through

The dark doorway that leads down

To where he waits grinning, snarling.

I will never forget the sight of him

Reaching out like a shadow

To grab my friends

And plunge them into darkness,

The whites of their eyes shining in terror

Through charcoal grey shadows.

Am I a coward not to go after them?

Should I surrender to his death?

Could I win this dark game with living death?

Even Peter Pan couldn’t stop him this time.

All the lights in my house were on,

But one by one he tricked my allies.

One by one they turned them off,

Then he drowned them in his darkness.

He is a liar.

Peter Pan is  gone,

Dressed now in shades of black death.

His shadow betrayed him.

Hook’s blackness is spreading.

I’m stuck in the kitchen.

This is my last stand.

The house is surrounded by his night riders.

I long for dawn.

I need more light.

There is no way out,

And He’s coming for me.

He knows my secrets now.

He knows my weaknesses.

He knows I won’t wait him out.

He knows.

He’s inside my head.

There is darkness inside me and he found it.

But he won’t win!

I run  to the drawer by the microwave.

I grab the flashlight,

And reach for the basement door.

“Stand back Mr. Hook.

I’ve come for you,

and what you took from me.

They’re not yours.

You can’t have them.

Get out of my house!”

Good morning.