Friday, February 18, 2011

Will You Follow? Dissection (Pt. 2)

Here is part two of our dissection of Will You Follow? A little later being finished and posted than I had originally hoped  and planned, but I suppose we can at least say that leastwise it has not been a year!

Once more I reiterate:
Please bear in mind this is an allegory, not everything is always literal, not everything is always figurative. God give you proper revelation and be with you.

I am open to hearing the thoughts of others on both my own thoughts and the story. Anything that sparks something with you? Something noteworthy to note? A revelation, a tidbit of comment, anything of interest?

Will You Follow?
Part 2

I stayed for time uncounted, cowering in my corner, hiding ashamedly, burying my face from my burning shame and my burning conscience. I cried until my tears ran out, and still I sat, miserable, wishing for more tears to match those that fell from my heart.

The statement of “time uncounted” is to insinuate that for each of us, this period of hiding will look differently; some will come out of hiding within minutes, for some it will take only hours, and yet others will take even longer than that—days, weeks, months…even years. How long is your “time uncounted”?

As I sat with head buried in my arms, wallowing in the shame of what I had done, I was startled by a hand on my shoulder. Hesitantly lifting my head, I wanted to groan at who was before me.

Couldn’t it have been any but Him?

I am sure this is no different for others than it is for me—after I have found myself in shame, I am, at the very least, shaken by even the thought of His presence near me whilst I am as I am. Some of us might find ourselves terrified, and/or our feelings are different in some situations from other situations and other people’s.

My shame was great and obvious as I pulled away from His touch and cowered further into my cubby, trying to pull away from the one person that knew me best and the worst person to have to face at this moment. I wanted to run far away, but had no where to go.

He touched my face and I reluctantly let Him lift my chin, reluctantly let my eyes meet His, afraid of what I would see there. I had failed so utterly, I had disobeyed and undoubtedly brought shame and disappointment to the One I cared about the most. How could I face Him? Yet face Him I must, so I let my eyes meet His.

What I saw there struck me deeply, shattering me.

In His eyes, there was not what I expected. Yes, He was disappointed, but this was not disappointment
in me, this was disappointment along with me—as in, sympathy, empathy—He felt with and for me. Somehow, He did. It was different and unexplainable, yet that it was there. He felt along with me. His sorrow was great, but overwhelming love was greater in His tender gaze.

And that was all somehow worse…and yet I drank in its tender, healing light.

I think we can all agree that, even in or perhaps especially in, our moments of shame, we (greedily) soak in Christ’s love.

‘I am sorry,’ I spoke, dropping my gaze. ‘I was wrong,’ I confessed. ‘Forgive me,’ the plea was soft and desperate. I was beyond sorry; I felt devastated. Worthless and horrible.

Such is the nature of shame—is it not?

‘Why do you hide? Why should you feel the need to shy away from Me? Do you doubt My Love, that it is not overcoming and all-encompassing, to cover even this? My Grace is sufficient for you.’ I was shocked when He spoke and ever so slowly raised my gaze at the prompting of His fingers beneath my chin.

I suppose I cannot be so sure about others, but I do know that in my shame, I very much feel the opposite of what the Truth is—and I need to be reminded that His grace is sufficient, no matter how dark the sin. I need to be reminded that He signed His name to every deed of mine, He took the blame, and He forgives me yet—no matter what I have done. This not as an excuse for doing what I please, but an encouragement, a directive to “go and sin no more.” In the words of “Go and Sin No More” by the artist Rebecca St. James, “‘Go and sin no more.’ He said, ‘I will not condemn; I’ll forgive and I’ll forget it all. Go and sin no more. My child, let Me remind you, it is I who’ll lead and guide you as you go…’”

‘I have failed you.’ I tried to shy away, but something in that open, kind gaze held me fast. I felt the need to face Him head on, but even so there was also something purely captivating about Him. And He would not be denied. Yet, was that not what I had done? ‘I denied You.’

‘None fail unless they fail to rise again.’ He answered softly. ‘How do you conclude that you have denied Me?’

How often does He answer with a question? How often does He seem to question us, when it is not that He does not know, but that He wants us to confess our thoughts, to speak them aloud to Him? He has this thing about that; He has a way of getting us to face our thoughts, however secret, head on.

‘You told me to follow, I did not.’

His gaze was sad, watching me for a moment until I felt somewhere between absolutely wretched and healing. ‘You have kept my commandments in your heart, and you have not denied My Name. My Grace is sufficient for even this.’

His infinite forgiveness never ceases to astound us—and if it does, I have to wonder at the circumstance of that.

When questioned before man, Peter denied knowing Christ; and Jesus says if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before His Father. Yet when called to follow Christ, Peter did not stop following Him; he fell and he got up again, yes, and Jesus’s Blood and Grace was enough to cover it. How many times did Mark turn back? Yet the Servant that Never Turned Back had forgiveness and grace for the servant that had—numerous times.

Sometimes, we deny Him, in that we will refuse to do what He has told us to do. He will lead us to go a way, and we will refuse to go there. Yet, if we walk in repentance, it is not too late wipe the slate clean and move forward. The fact that you have refused to do what He directed you to do and instead you denied Him (maybe not before men, but rather in doing as He told you to) is not so great that if in repentance (remember the previous mention of repentance, how I likened it to 180 degree turn?) you come to Him His Blood cannot cover it—for there is mercy and grace and forgiveness enough for even that.

I nodded—for who was I to argue with the Almighty? His voice was soft, serious, and struck right into the heart of me as He spoke. I could not deny what He said; I could not fight the Grace He offered to me, unworthy as I was. However, what excuse was that? He had died to make me worthy, therefore I was worthy through Him.

How can we say that we are “unworthy” of what He gives us when He died to make us worthy? Rarely is the receiver worthy of the gift that is given, especially a gift of this magnitude, yet why should that become our excuse, why should that keep us from accepting what He offers us? He made us worthy (apart from Him, we are not worthy), therefore we should live that out in our lives.

‘May I ask something, Lord?’ I finally managed. A nod to the affirmative met my hesitant, shy question. ‘Where were You taking me? If I had followed, what was Your plan?’

He gave a small, nigh-sad smile. ‘None are ever told what might have happened, child. What would have happened is never imparted to you.’

Anyone here a C.S. Lewis fanparticularly of the Chronicles of Narnia? Aslan’s similar words have kept that Truth with me.

I nodded, dropping my gaze. What had I ruined? The question plagued me.

I think regret is simply like this. And how many of us do find ourselves wondering the “what-ifs” and all such sundry questions of a plaguing sort?

‘What you can find out is this: what will happen.’ He pointed out.

Hope blossomed in me and I raised my gaze. Did that mean what I thought it did? ‘You…You will still use me? I have not ruined the plans You have for me?’

‘It is to your arrogance that such a notion plays, to think that something you could do would overcome the plans I have made. No, if you are willing to follow, if you are willing to accept the plans I have for you, you will receive them.’

I think it is to a degree arrogant of us to think that we have the power to completely ruin His plans. If we repent and continue to follow Him, though, we will still see plans beyond our wildest dreams unfold before us.

My head was nodding quickly before the last syllable had faded. Another chance? Truly? They—we—I do not call Him the God of Second Chances for nothing—He is the God of Second Chances.

He stood and offered me a hand up, and He easily pulled me to my feet. ‘Will you follow?’ He asked seriously, looking me straight in the eye and I dare not look away even as He looked right into my soul.


‘Then follow Me,’ He instructed, turning to lead the way.

I followed. I wanted to do no other thing. I would never know what would have happened if I had followed Him the first time, but I learned to trust Him and I learned what would happen. We did return to those I had run from, we did walk right in amongst the crowd and passed through without any harm. I would never know if that is what He intended the first time we came or not.

Whether it was passing through the crowd, or going in amongst them to spread His light, I would never know what that first time held, but there were many variations accomplished other times. I never knew what was coming, but I had to be willing to trust. When I went in amongst them, I was protected, the same as I was when just passing by on my way in following Him.

As already stated, we never know the ‘what might have been.’ What He asks of us is that we give our all—He asks of us to follow Him. Do not turn back, give up; burn the bridges behind you, that you will not think to return. You keep moving forward with Him. Follow Him—wherever He leads, you follow Him.

I wanted to be right where He was, wherever that was, no matter what. I want to be right where He is, whether He was with the kind-of-sick or the extremely-sick.

I want to be right where He is—even when He walks in amongst the thieves, the thugs, the rapists, and murderers. If that is where He has called me to be with Him, I will follow. I want to be where He is.


Once more, I will state what I had before. I feel it is important, so I will copy and paste what I said before about this:

“Is this a literal picture? Perhaps. Is this figurative? Perhaps. I cannot say one way or the other for others, but I can say until this moment in time (who can truly say about the future in entire detail?) for me this has been figurative. Nay, He has not led me to a ministry and a place of serving Him that has been near/among thieves, thugs, murderers and rapists, and all other manner of the worst of our society’s depravation and crime—but I have been in amidst a “dangerous situation,” a place that holds the potential of some kind of and degree of harm to me (that is not always of a literal life-threatening circumstance; but these words cover much, true to allegorical form). Thus that being said, I present a question that you alone can answer.”

What do your thieves, thugs, murderers and rapists look like?


It seems to me that there may, eventually, be a post for discussion about the allegory and the dissection of it. I would have to give it more though, but for now, and as stated at the start of both posts of the dissections: I am open to hearing the thoughts of others on both my own thoughts and the story. Anything that sparks something with you? Something noteworthy to note? A revelation, a tidbit of comment, anything of interest?


  1. Very nice post, thanks for sharing.

  2. Toyin, my apologies for not getting back with you sooner. This past month, for me, has not been a very...nice...month for me, shall we say. I, however, have not forsaken this and I have plans ahead for more posts.

    I did want to thank you, though. Thank you for commmenting! And to tell you, that you are welcome! I am most grateful that this mini-series meant something to you. And I am most thankful you took the time to tell me so!