By, Louisa Cambridge
Close the door to what haunts you, your fears from the past.
A new door has opened, Eternity’s path.
This path was created, before there was time.
Carved in it are footprints, with your feet in mind.
Each step, please listen and follow My lead.
This path was created for your life, your needs.
The words of a Poet will draw you along,
To the place where the Master of music and song,
Inspires your heart; your soul, it will sing,
The songs of His Kingdom, the words of the King.
His rhythm will woo you, He’s calling you near,
With the beat of His heart and the noise from His lyre.
His passion and fire swell into a song,
Lifting higher and higher, majestic and strong.
He calls through His Spirit. He knocks at your door.
Listen hard, listen closely, follow and know:
In Him are the answers to all of your needs.
His path reveals treasures, visions and dreams.
Submit to His music, dance with His call…
Move to the ultimate beat of His pulse.
Say NO to the past, to what held and what bound!
His door is wide open. He’s playing your song.
Light surrounded her. A second later, her room, her family and the bed she was lying in completely disappeared. Light was all there was, sheer white, more brilliant than the sun. She marveled at her ability to look directly at it without its intensity hurting her eyes.
Weightlessness replaced gravity, suspending her in the air. There was peace! All of her burdens, all her pain, simply dissolved. At first, she wasn’t sure she was seeing flecks of color that faded into the light, until the light was color, vibrant and full of tones she never knew existed. The history of her life flashed before her, the good history. For a moment she saw herself lying in her bed, with her family around her, crying. She closed her eyes.
Opening her eyes, she was startled to find herself standing on a hill overlooking a landscape that was richly green, breathtakingly beautiful. Instantly, she had the desire to share this miraculous place with her loved ones. A familiar bark broke her thoughts. She turned to see her golden retriever, Daisy bounding up the hill toward her. Falling to her knees she opened her arms wide. Daisy fell into them knocking her over, licking her face. The dog’s body shook with joy, thumping its tail against her leg. Tears streamed down her face. In her whole life, she had never experienced a surprise that exceeded this moment.
Someone called her name. Recognizing the voice, she turned and saw her mother walking toward her. She ran to her and they fell into each other’s arms, filled with the joy loved ones feel when reuniting after a very long separation. They talked for a while, catching up on the details of each other’s lives. Then her mother said, “Come, I want to take you to the Banquet Hall,” pointing to a brilliant city that suddenly appeared far in the horizon. The city spread vast and wide and was bejeweled with golden light. “It’s in that massive building with the big towers,” her mother said.
They walked down the hill toward the city. Daisy at her heals just like old times. They passed a heard of horses grazing. Two of them lifted their heads as they walked by, grass hanging from their mouths. The sky was crystal clear, full of colorful birds taking flight. They looked like tiny ornaments flying, perching in the trees.
They entered the city through a gate. People greeted her as she walked by. Her mother led her down streets paved in gold, which paled in comparison to the architecture and precious jewels used to construct the buildings. They stepped into the Banquet Hall and she was startled to find it full of people busting about. Busy with the preparations for an unfathomable number of guest. Interior decorators worked on beautifying the hall, all in perfect harmony.
The hall was full of delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, produced by Chefs preparing food. She realized she was hungry. Waiters burst through the kitchen, swinging doors carrying trays full of edibles for the workers to sample. They even gave Daisy a bite. Florists arranged flowers. A construction crew hung fresh garlands from the rafters. The sweet smell of the flowers and greenery impacted her. How long it had been since she pressed her nose to a rose and the rose possessed the sweet rose scent? She realized, that heaven was a place of fruitfulness where a person’s gifts flourished. A flush of anticipation rushed through her as she realized that that her own gifts would flourish too.
Her attention fell on the multitude of banquet tables filling the hall. Some of them were exquisitely adorned. Row-upon-row of table settings carefully prepared. The people working on them radiated a spirit of great joy and anticipation. In fact, anticipation filtered through the air.
Taking her hand, her mother led her through a maze of tables, “We’re preparing for the celebration,” she said, “The banquet that will take place once the whole family has arrived.” They came to a stop in front of an elaborate place setting she knew her mother had prepared for her. And she realized, heaven had foreseen her arrival!
To her right, the table settings were a spectacular sight, exceeding the enchantment of any holiday décor she had ever seen. Each place setting was designed to represent the uniqueness of the person it was made for. Individual, yet connected, like a giant puzzle.
In contrast, the left side of the table was stark and bare, lacking any embellishment at all. Somehow, she knew who the empty places were for—her family still on earth! Instantly, she missed them with a grief so intense, she thought her heart would break.
Understanding, her mother whispered in her ear, “We left their preparations for you. I know this is difficult, but He will help you with this grief. What He will show you is thrilling!” Her mother took her into her arms, holding her the way she had done so many times when she was a little girl.
A great commotion drew everyone’s attention outside. Anticipation intensified as if the air were charged by an electrical current. Excited, her mother grasped her hand exclaiming, “He’s coming for you—to see you!”
At once her knees weakened. A tremor shot through her body as she tried to process what her mother said. She felt so insignificant, how could He possibly take the time to see just her?” Her heart fluttered with nervous anticipation. How should she behave? What should she say? Years of faith had not prepared her for this moment—the moment when you see Jesus face-to-face!
The adults around her stepped reverently aside. But the children abandoned their play and ran to Him calling out His name. He ruffled their hair and touched each little hand reaching for His, giving each of them a bit of attention. Then He looked up and His eyes linked with hers. Time instantaneously stood still, as her passion from a lifetime of faith received its reward. Opening His arms, He called out her name.
He smelled like the seasons combined, the blossoms of spring and the sweetness of summer’s grass, the pungency of autumn’s leaves and the frost of a freshly fallen snow. Their communion was intimate—void of all words. She melted in His embrace and once again the desire for her family entered her heart.
And then, quite unexpectedly, she saw her family on earth, all of them, congregated together consoling each other, filled with sorrow over her passing. She witnessed firsthand how important she was to her family, how appreciated and loved.
Next, He showed her His plan for the future of her family. She was filled with such awe that every concern of hers dissolved in the knowledge that one day all her loved ones would be reunited, her husband, children, grandchildren and future generations to come. She had prayed for them and He was answering her prayers. Together they would dine at the table she helped prepared for them, and when they crossed over, she would be there to greet them rejoicing over each new arrival. There was so much joy to look forward too!
Tenderly, Jesus took her face in His hands, brushing away the tears streaming down her cheeks, “Your journey has just begun,” He said. His broad smile caused her to laugh. They were like two conspirators sharing an intimate secret.
“I have so many questions,” she confessed, “I don’t know where to begin.”
“I have the answers,” He replied, “and all the time in the world.”
He led her to His favorite tree, where they sat under its shade on a soft bed of moss. They talked for hours. He was unhurried, answering her questions, telling her jokes. And then she realized… there was only one thing… only one you could take to heaven with you—the people that you love!
“I will sing of Your mighty strength and power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy and loving-kindness in the morning; for You have been to me a defense and a refuge in the day of my distress. Unto You, O my strength, I will sing praises; for God is my Defense, my Fortress, and High Tower, the God Who shows me mercy and steadfast love.”
Within the bowels of the dungeon, stood a man shackled in chains. His eyes stared, unfocused. For hopelessness dulls the senses of men.
Time had transported the man chained against the stone wall, into a stagnant existence. No longer could he determine day from night, nor did he care. But as the sound of a commotion outside drew near, increasing into cries from an angry mob, the ear of the chained man was captured. He could hear the massive door to the dungeon open. As it did, sounds from the mob, the cracking of whips, increased in volume. He felt a burst of fresh air rush through the stinking prison, announcing the arrival of another man. Followed by the clamoring of boots upon the narrow stone steps.
Torches lit the stairway leading down to the prisoner’s chamber. Casting shadows, encased in golden light to dance upon the walls. Moments later, the soldiers appeared, pushing into the chamber two, new prisoners, not one. At the commander’s order, the two men were shackled to the floor. The chained man watched, taken back by the deep, purple bruises swelling on their beaten bodies. What had these men done to warrant such severe abuse? The commander addressed the jailor, threatening, if the two men escaped, it would cost the jailer his life. Snatching a torch from an iron bracket on the wall, the commander turned and left the dungeon, taking with him the golden light.
Shocked by the commander’s threat, the jailor stared at the two men, feeling a moment of compassion. But experience and fear, pushed his compassion away. Rubbing his forehead, he assigned a fresh set of guards to watch over the two men and retired to the comforts of his private quarter’s where he could rest. The chained man shook with hatred for the guards. Anger bubbled inside of him causing his body to shake. The sight of the guards, always brought back memories of his life that was lost. Memories the chained man struggled to forget. A draft, cooled by the dungeon’s stony depths, circulated through the chamber, caressing the chained man, sending gooseflesh down his arms and legs. Trembling, the man stood, in his chains, forgotten, caught in the clutches of hell.
Somewhere in the darkness, the new prisoners groaned. They were stunned that death had passed them by. Moving slow, for every movement brought fresh ripples of pain, they inched their bodies as close together as their shackles would allow. Quietly, talking. Their words fell like feathered whispers, rising and falling, growing in strength, echoing off the dungeon’s walls. Some of the prisoners began to curse, when they realized the two men were talking to God. Praising God, as if God was in the dungeon with them. As if God was listening. The chained man wondered if the two men were mad. New prisoners always made frantic pleas to God when they first arrived, but never spoke words of praise. In time, their voices stilled, once they realized that God wasn’t listening, that God didn’t care. Still, the praises of the two men grew in strength. They lifted their voices, empowered by faith that seemed to know no limitations.
As the praise increased in volume, the cursing men shouted profanities, mocking and stupefying the two men’s faith. Yet, the psalmists, raised their voices louder. They praised without desperation, but adoration accompanying every word. Their words transformed into songs. Songs that resonated through the dungeon’s chamber. As the chained man listened to the melodic strains, he felt a stirring of hope. A foreign energy had somehow pierced through the dungeon’s walls causing tears to stream down his face. The prisoner’s shouting profanities yelled louder, with faces bibulous and red. Insane men babbled and cackled, gyrating up and down. The guards looked at each other bewildered and alarmed, as the uprising intensified into uncontrollable bedlam.
The chained man barely noticed the tremor that shook the earth until the dungeon’s foundation began to shake. He stood in terror, as ear-piercing sounds from the shaking intensified. He felt the wall vibrate against his back. The shackles around his wrists and ankles cut into his flesh. The dungeon lurched and shifted, sending boulders from the ceiling crashing down. When unexpectedly, the chained man’s shackles opened and he fell to the ground, unhindered. With eyes closed and teeth grit, the man waited for the deadly strike that would surely hit him at any moment. He welcomed it. The floor shimmied and shuddered beneath his hands and knees. Boulders continued to fall from above. The dust was so thick none of the men could see. Breathing was difficult. The thundering sounds of the walls falling in drowned out the men’s cries of panic… Then… the quivering stopped. Boulders became stones. All was still, except for a showering of loosened pebbles.
Sunlight, coming from the shattered roof, spilled down through the settling dust. The men were scattered; every one of them free from his chains. For several minutes there was silence, no one dared to make a sound. The unexpected freedom was so astonishing that it rendered the men unable to move. Not one, instigated the desire to escape. The silence was broken by the frantic jailer bursting through the dungeon’s door, downing the stairs. Seeing the prisoner’s free from their chains, he pulled his sword from its sheath in fear, readying his hand to plunge the blade into his heart. The new prisoner, named Paul, yelled for him to stop. Reassuring him that every one of the prisoners was accounted for. The jailor’s life was safe!
Stunned, the jailer moved to step forward, but his legs buckled beneath him. As he fell, Paul, and the other named, Silas, went to his aid. The jailer marveled at the respectful way they treated him and remembered their cause. They spoke of Jesus, the Nazarene, who was crucified. Whose followers, like these men, believed he rose from the dead, calling him the Messiah, the Son of the living God. A hush descended upon the prison as each man realized they were in the presence of the supernatural. Humbled, like small children, they waited to be told what to do next.
The free man stood. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he examined the scars on his ankles and wrists. He looked at the open shackles hanging from what remained of the dungeon’s wall, savoring the pleasure of moving his unhindered limbs. Waves of emotion gripped his heart as he listened, while the jailor asked questions about Jesus. As Paul answered them, the free man believed. The seed of hope inside of him grew, expanding as the dawn rising over the horizon, stirring him with its powerful love. He never knew there was such love! Falling to his knees he realized the light of Salvation had conquered his darkness forever.
At the bottom of this introduction, I’ve posted a poem. I have no idea who this poem is for! Perhaps I never will know! But, over the past few days I’ve been compelled to pull it from the archives of inspirational poetry that I wrote years ago and share it. Maybe someone will read this poem today and find it inspiring. Maybe someone will read it tomorrow, or perhaps it won’t be read for many years to come. I wrote this poem during my early years as a Christian, a stay-home mom, organizing my busy schedule as a fitness professional around the many needs of my children. I wrote it at a time when I felt a burning desire to share what I was learning about God, while walking out my own faith. I wanted to reach out and encourage others who might be facing similar circumstances in their lives. Yet, in contrast, feeling so hypercritical, because of the many shortcoming I knew I had. One of those shortcomings beginning the fact that I struggle with dyslexia. Ironically, after all these years, I’ve found myself in the same state of doubt concerning this blog. Once again, I’ve been questioning whether or not to share the meat of my inspirational. This new, yet old debate, began anew, when I pulled a huge file of unsorted, inspiration work from my filing cabinet. Hidden work, that was discarded, forgotten for decades. When suddenly, this poem was dropped in my mind! This happened just a few days ago. Two additional confirmations came my way, telling me to pay attention to the text. As I read this poem, I was reminded that its not my efforts or power or grace, but God’s flowing through me that inspires others. That even though I am anything but perfect, my Jesus IS perfect, and when He places something on my mind to do, I’d much rather do it and look foolish, than miss an opportunity to spread His goodness. So, my friends, I hope the following poem blesses you! It was written for the young and old, for housewives and business professionals, for single parents and couples struggling to balance their marriages, for laymen and ministers, and all who fall in-between. For everyone who might be doubting their abilities. So, upon the posting of this poem and other material like it, please remember… I’m ALWAYS ministering to my imperfect self! God bless!
“Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands…” (Isaiah 49: 16, Amplified Bible) WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? INDEED! By, Louisa Cambridge
One day while thinking about the Lord,
His heavenly throne, His mighty Word,
How much my God has done for me,
His faithfulness, His love, complete.
I thought about His timely plan,
To rescue me, to rescue man,
Which made me wonder—
What can I do for Him?
How can I share His tender touch,
Speak forth His Word, talk of His love,
So others might know of Him?
While contemplating these things
I became keenly aware of my shortcomings.
They multiplied in my head,
Raised high on a pedestal, magnified for all to see.
I asked myself,
How could someone like me possibly glorify the Jesus I know? “Who do you think you are? Indeed! “That He, the Lord, the King of Kings, “Could ever use someone like you? “What do you think that you could do? “Stop and take a look around “At mighty men that He has called. “His miracles, through them abound. “He’d never use someone like you! “Who do you think you are?”
And so, my spirit deflated
As I believed those thoughts!
It was true, God couldn’t use someone like me?
Best If I just let it be…
But then… a still small voice, the Holy Spirit,
Whispering in my ear, ever close,
Asked me to stop and listen to His side.
Passages from His Word flooded to my mind.
Steady words of truth, reminding me of His power,
These truths rose above the chastening slander,
Challenging the thoughts that tore me down.
I was reminded of who I am in Him.
Encased in armor, strong and bold,
Enforced with God’s most piercing sword,
Desire blazing in my soul,
The Spirit, urged me on,
With assurance that He was on my side. Who do I think I am? Indeed! I am a child of the King! I am the one who has received The gift that God so freely gives! I’m seated in His heavenly spheres, And when I pray, my Father hears. His precious blood, it covers me. It cleansed my past, it set me free. I’m gilded with redeeming grace And when I die, I’ll see His face. Next time you question who I am, Go to the Lord, look at his hands. Imprinted on His palm you’ll see, A picture of His child, Me!