Stay Awhile


Stay Awhile


Safely curled in a fetal position, I lay motionless.

In the dream, I was encased in an egg-shaped capsule with thick, opaque walls. I could see shadows of people passing, but no one could see me. It was a refuge. Predictable. Controlled. Protected.

From there I could observe without showing up; critique without committing. From an early age I learned how to survive this way. Just follow the rules and figure out how to make everyone happy. Fly low. Never dream. Stay quiet.

It took time, and a myriad of circumstances, to lead me into this pallid, silent existence. However, in the dream, release came in an instant.

Someone cracked a hole in the encasement just large enough for light to penetrate and color to invade. A hand entered my darkness and beckoned me to come.

I had a choice. There is always a choice. I could accept the offer and follow color, or remain in the shadows.

It takes only a little faith to move a mountain. Mine was enough.

Steadied by the strong hand, my feet exited first and came to rest on warm, rich soil. As the remainder of my stiff body unfurled, I breathed in the fragrance of flowers and leaned toward the playful sounds of spring. Once free from constraining walls, the sun’s warmth  coursed over my chilled body and vibrant hues washed the remaining scales from my eyes.

I saw we were in a lush meadow, my Rescuer and I, surrounded by impenetrable, rugged mountains that pierced the heavens. The valley overflowed with wildflowers and rushing streams. Only an occasional oak tree interrupted the lush turf that carpeted the expanse.

We stood in silence. It was exquisite and untamed. Fertile and wild.

Releasing the hand that had freed me, I stepped forward in wonder. Instantly, the joy of my newfound freedom was cut by a cold blade of fear. This expanse was resplendent, yes, but also formidable. Where was the control? Where the safety?

Instinctively, I turned toward the shell I had vacated. Although still resting on the meadow floor, it was clear I could never return to its safe confines. Somehow, I was larger now.

Scanning the horizon for another hideout, my eyes came to rest on the hand still extended by my Liberator. His hand was meant to be my security – His presence my fortress.

If I accepted His offer, together we would walk. Explore. Discover. Conquer.

Reaching out my hand, He enveloped it in His and led me away from my past. In time, fear gave way to trust. Trust created room for peace. And peace ushered in rest.

Still walking hand in hand as dusk fell, we ascended a knoll. Gazing down onto yet another meadow, I saw hundreds of great boulders strewn haphazardly as far as the eye could see. When I asked why the landscape had changed, He urged me to look more closely. Suddenly, I realized these were not boulders, but egg-shaped capsules. Each containing a person, curled motionless in a fetal position.

Tears flowed unrestrained and a mere glance was enough. Together we moved toward the first shell. Easing next to it, He whispered, “Stay with them awhile as I work.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 
–Matthew 14:28-29

Tamara Carpenter is part of Newsong’s Board. You can read more of her writing on her blog: