By Shannon Parish
upon an imaginary person – or perhaps not so imaginary, holding in their arms
a glorious robe of praise. Their
heart is pure and joyous before the Lord, filled with compassion and love for
God's Kingdom, His creation, and His children.
This faithful saint is making the journey to the Holy of Holies.
This is the love of their life, to bow before the King of Heaven and
worship Him without reservation. How
the heart of this saint soars as each step is taken.
Lightly, almost as if in dance each foot touches the earth in rhythm to
the song that is bursting forth in his heart.
stranger steps out from the shadows and weeping bitterly stops the saint and
bears his heart of pain. Over his
back lie a rotting, moth eaten cloth, and the burden of it almost breaking his
weary back. Our faithful saint
removes the fraying cloth and lightens the load of this stranger, giving him
hope in return. God is pleased.
Further on down the road a dear
friend runs to catch up with our traveling saint and joins with him, side by
side. Conversation passes between
the two as the friend complains about his lot in life and the garment he is
wearing. The saint's smile begins
to fade and his steps slow down. Stopping
in the road our saint gives his friend his full attention.
After all, they are covenant brothers and this friend needs his help.
The cloth that had come from the previous stranger begins to itch as the
fleas it contains begin to roam through the saints clothing and hair nearly
driving him mad with frustration as he takes on the burden of his friend.
friend waves goodbye and trots off the path.
The saint takes another step, stumbles and falls and catches himself with
the palms of his hands. Looking
down he notices that the garment his friend was wearing is heavier than he had
expected. His heart weary, he
reasons out in his mind that at least his friend's load is lighter.
his load, the saint carries on. His
goal of reaching the Holy of Holies feels further away than he had originally
thought. A loud distraction takes
his eyes off the road and he witnesses the conflict of a couple of neighbors,
screaming and flailing fists at one another.
Pausing in his journey, the saint crosses the road and comes to the
neighbor's fence. "Excuse
me," he calls out, "Can I be of assistance?"
The man yells back to him all that is wrong with his wife, as his wife
throws a wet, heavy blanket at the saint shouting at him to mind his own
business. Helplessly the saint
trudges on, taking note that not only is he carrying the strangers diseased
cloth, and his friends garment, but the wet, filthy blanket the woman threw, the
weight of which is causing him to stumble.
the saint presses on, his burdens getting heavier by the mile, his destiny
appearing farther and farther away. The
song in his heart has long faded the notes but a distant memory.
Tears begin to trickle down his face as the fleas from the stranger's
cloth make their way into the folds of cloth over his bosom.
Scratching the area over his heart anger rises from within that he had
not noticed before. "This is a
lousy lot" he fumes.
I am on my way to worship God and trying to bring some cheer along the way to
the people I meet and look at me! He
calls me to love them and to care for them, but these clothes that are handed to
me are diseased and rotten, and I feel like I'm going to break under the
load!" He glares at the
unforgiving sky as another gust of wind kicks up some dust, stinging his eyes
and wrapping yet another rag blown in from who knows where around his neck and
steps, having gotten slower with the added weight of each rotting piece of
cloth, are now dragging, accenting the bow of his burden laden back.
Despair now clouds his mind as he tries desperately to remember why he
was on the path he was on, and why. Didn't
God care? Hadn't he shown care and concern over his brothers and
sister? Why then was he feeling
faint and ever so weary? The
glorious robe he had been carrying had become such a burden that he was tempted
to throw it down, yet something stayed his hand.
gentle breeze tosses his hair and brushes a sweet fragrance across his cheeks,
replacing the bitter winds, which had become his companion.
"Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...”
The words weave their way through his clouded mind.
"But I have taken these burdens to carry for YOUR glory God!”
Bitterly he points out his faithfulness and the sacrifice he has made for
on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...lift up your voice to
on the garment of praise?" Bravely
the saint stands and unfolding the glorious garment he has been carrying, he
tosses it in the air trying in vain to duck under its folds.
Reaching an arm in back of himself, he wrestles with the golden fabric in
an attempt to pull it over his shoulders. But
alas, the rotten, smelly rags he is carrying has made standing upright
impossible, let alone dressing in a garment so light and exacting.
on the garment of praise FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS...”
An urging to let loose of the burdens he carrying presses in on his soul.
"But I've been faithful!" he cries. "These burdens do not belong to you, Child" The
voice is clear and firm.
his heart is pricked and understanding comes to him. His error was in thinking that he and he alone could carry
those burdens away. His was a sin
of pride. Intending only good, he
had forgotten the most vital part of worship that he could extend.
That was the total trust in the Creator of the Universe, and a knowing
that HE and HE ALONE was able to carry burdens.
lift the burden of another was a good and righteous thing, but to keep that
burden was disobedience. He had
forgotten to cast those cares on the Lord. In his eagerness to please, he had
made the gravest of sins. He had
sacrificed that which had not been asked and had not obeyed what had been asked
of him. "Oh Lord God!" he
cried out. "Forgive me for not
trusting you and for not obeying your commands!"
to his feet the saint thrust off the disgusting garments he had been carrying as
his own. Joyously he casts the
garment of praise over his shoulders and in an ecstatic leap and majestic twirl,
new praise bursts forth from his lips as the song in his heart explodes in
praise and worship to His God and King. Once
again he laughs gloriously and joyously as he realizes that he is standing in
none other than the Holy of Holies.
A Cartoonist, Graphic Facilitator and Creative Life
Coach, Shannon Parish devotes her life
to encouraging those who are fed up with the 'status-quo' and are determined
and pursue their purpose and destiny in life through one-on-one mentoring,
facilitated workshops and retreats.
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(c) copyright 2010 All world
rights reserved, Shannon Parish, Living Stones Center.
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