Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Upper Room

She dreamt she was in a strange room. It was rounded from floor to ceiling, like the inside of the top of a dome. The walls were silver, white, and gold, painted in intricate geometric shapes. It was dusty and empty and looked like no one had been there in a long, long while. The room seemed to call her across time. It would be many years before she would see it again.

She used to cause trouble. Those were interesting times and she'd led others in resistance, so she was assigned followers. They kept an eye on her. Maybe guards. Maybe spies. She came to recognize them in crowds, on the street, in the most unlikely places. She'd tried to speak to them many times, but they would shrink back into the shadows without a sound. They had names, of course, but she never had the opportunity to ask what they were. In her mind she called them Bless You and Keep You. People become what you expect of them afterall.

Bless You was an assassin's son. He was bleak, hopeless, effortlessly depressed, but his handsomeness drew everyone to him. It annoyed him. He wanted to be left alone, desperately alone, but eyes were always gathering around and giving him attention like he was lost or sad. He hated how weak it made him feel. It didn't help that he was a terrible spy and the person he and his cohort were watching knew full well they were there. She'd given them nicknames. The indignity of it! He hated her too.

Keep You was alone in the world. He'd had a grandmother and a son at one time. Now he had no one but himself. He was a spy because he was invisible. He had no trace to leave and no one to hide. He could get away with murder. Keep You was nobody. He didn't exist. He tried to look strong, defiant, and frightening, but instead looked like a man on his way to somewhere else, a destiny where his chains would fall off. Keep You had the appearance of someone on his way to freedom. He inspired people. He made them smile. He was a light in a dark place and it made him feel defenseless.

They were her followers. 

A chilled wind swept between the buildings surrounding the square and bounced off the cobblestones at her feet. It struck her hard and made her want to get indoors as quickly as possible, so she took off. She ran like the wind. Her two watchers chased her. Someone who runs away is guilty of something, they figured. So they ran with her. 

She was slow and they were very, very fast, but could not catch her. It seemed like many days or even years went by. Forever passed as they ran. They continued to follow because that was what they were told to do and they hadn't questioned it until now. Why couldn't they reach her? 

She was drawn to the cathedral by the spire reaching toward the sky. She'd seen it from a distance and knew it would be warm inside. She slowed a bit to wait for her charges and they entered the building just behind her. Only the breath of God separated them. All three took to the steps of a staircase, each just one step ahead of the other.

At the top was a simple wooden door, propped open wide. Inside, a room with rounded walls. She entered in a flash. It was as she remembered, but now clean and radiating bright light. It was like the dream, but this time the walls seemed to be singing. Music moved within and without. She was certain the entire world could hear it. The lyrics were a great call, beckoning and whispering, "Here."

Bless You was the first to enter behind her. He jolted in and stopped suddenly with shock. He saw nothing. His eyes could not focus on the walls, the colors, even the shape of the room. He did not know what he was looking at.

Keep You entered next, his heart full of contrition and shame. His eyes took a moment to adjust to the bright light. He wanted to hide. His sins were too great. But more than his desire to hide was his hunger to be seen. Would the light accept him? 

She sat down in the center of the floor. Waiting. Praying. Interceeding. She looked like she'd been there the whole time, not running, not bounding up impossible steps.

Keep You slumped onto the floor next to her. 

Bless You stood still in terror. He was in darkness. As far as he knew, they'd entered a void. He could not make out a single detail, not the design on the curved walls nor the song they sang. He was alone in a room that was built to welcome him.

Keep You wept because the light could see him. He was not alone. He saw with new eyes, everything, the brushstrokes of the paint, the music, even the thoughts of the person they'd been trailing. They all said the same thing: Here.

But Bless You could see none of it. 

The distance between the darkness and the light was thin, like a veil or sheet. They were all in the temple, but two knew and one did not. The two called out to the one, but he did not hear them. He didn't know what they were saying or even that they were there. So they remained, waiting for him to realize. Forever passed, days, years, but they did not move. They waited.

He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:11


  1. Hello dear Sandi!
    Such a beautiful story and so touching!
    Thank you for sharing! Have a blessed week and a happy October!

  2. Wow, Sandi, this is so imaginative and powerful. Thanks for sharing with us!

  3. Sandi, you are such a gifted writer! I loved every word.
    Wonderful post!!

  4. Wow--that is awesome. You are an amazing writer.... Such 'God-Given' words.... LOVED it. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Hello Dear Sandi!

    A moving and beautiful story.
    Blessed week.

  6. Being a called a 'Christian' does not make us children of God. It is what we are on the inside that defines us, not what we appear to be on the outside. Truth will always overpower tradition. This is what I see your story is portraying Sandi. God bless you.

  7. A compelling story, Sandi. It held me from beginning to end.

  8. Dear Sandi,
    Sheep are painted on the back. To know every shepherd who is his sheep, after the color - green, red, blue-, when they meet on the mountain, and the sheep mix.