“Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.'” -Ephesians 5:14 (NKJV)
“It’s time to wake up,” a gentle masculine voice whispered.
“Open your eyes.”
Tia’s eyes sprung open and to her surprise, she was gazing into darkness, lying in the middle of nowhere.
The freezing air made her shiver and an unpleasant sensation of chills covered her bare skin.
A strong gust of wind rushed pass her, whipping her black coiled hair around her face.
She rubbed her hands up and down her arms to bring momentary warmth to her upper limbs.
“It’s time to arise,” the voice whispered.
As Tia’s eyes adjusted to the darkness, she scanned her surroundings to determine where the voice was coming from.
“Come to Me,” the voice spoke again.
“I’m having trouble getting up, Lord.”
She pressed downward on the ground to lift herself into a seated position.
She wondered to herself, “How did I know to call Him Lord?”
Tia shook her hands to knock off mud that clung to them, then she rubbed her palms together trying to wipe off what remained.
She noticed writing engraved inside the palm of her left hand.
It was written in bold embossed letters that read, “Rejected.”
Tia’s eyes widened, as she stared at the word.
She looked in the palm of her right hand, engraved in it was the word, “Worthless.”
Her heart started beating out of control, thumping loudly within her chest.
She started to notice more words that began appearing all over her body.
Tia felt exposed as her eyes shifted to each one of them.
She started reading the words as they appeared one after the other.
“Bitter, angry, vindictive, malicious, shameless, scorned, mean, filthy, disgusting, hateful, neglected, unwanted, unloved, abandoned, beaten, and molested,” were just some of the words that covered her bare flesh.
Tia covered the word, “Molested” with her hand, as she was embarrassed to admit it.
She couldn’t handle seeing another word and felt humiliated even though there wasn’t another soul around as far as she could see; it was only her—standing in the middle of nowhere, muddy, alone, cold, and naked.
She reached down to grab some mud from the ground.
Packing it firmly in the palm of her hands, she flattened it out, broke off tiny pieces, and covered as many words as she could.
Before she could complete her task, a strong current of violent wind swirled around her lifting her off the ground, then dropping her down again causing the mud to dry up quickly, crumble apart, and fall back onto the ground—only to become mud again.
Tia was baffled as to how it was even possible.
In the distance, she spotted a light.
Tia quickly ran over towards it and as she drew closer she discovered it was a mirror.
A light was reflecting from it, but she couldn’t find the source of it.
Picking up the oval shaped handheld mirror, she stared at the reflection looking back at her.
It was her own sure enough, but the face in the mirror grimaced, totally different from her actual face which had an expression of horror.
The word, “Sinner” was imprinted across her forehead.
“What is this?” Tia wondered in shock and confusion.
She dropped the handheld mirror, and it shattered on the muddy ground.
“How can mud shatter glass?” Tia wondered and asked herself.
“This doesn’t make sense,” she said trying to understand what was going on.
But, nothing about the situation made any sense to her.
It was all baffling and unsettling.
Suddenly, thunder roared and caused Tia to flinch.
She became afraid and ran in the opposite direction.
The ground beneath her feet quaked, dried up, and split apart exposing molten volcanic lava underneath.
“Someone please help me!”
“Come to Me and I will help you,” the voice assured her.
The voice seemed so far away, but yet so near.
It also seemed to be coming from above, beneath, and all around her, even from the surrounding areas as far as she could make out.
The light lit up as the voice spoke and grew dim again when it was quiet.
It brought a sudden calm over Tia, giving her a sense of comfort because it sounded so familiar as though she’d known it her entire life.
“Where are You, Lord?” Tia closed her eyes and asked in a whisper, then she squinted her eyes to peer out further into the darkness to find the source of the light.
She just knew somehow that if she could find the source of the light, it would also be the source of the voice.
“Don’t pay any attention to what’s going on around you only listen for My voice, and come to Me.”
Tia trusted the voice and took one step forward.
The instant she did this, the ground stopped shaking and the earth closed up again, but the mud returned.
She was growing tired of the mud, and the heaviness of it all was causing her lower extremities to feel like stone.
She kept walking as it accumulated.
The accumulation made her journey a lot harder, but not impossible.
Tia had to get to where she was headed no matter what she brought with her.
In the distance she could see what looked like an outlining of a cross with a man hanging from it.
A light shined illuminating the darkness that surrounded him.
She ran as fast as she could until she reached the bottom of the rugged cross and gazed up at the man before her who she thought was possibly dead.
He was nailed to the cross with two huge rusty iron nails pierced through the palm of his hands.
His feet had been placed on top of the other, pierced together with a single rusted nail.
Dried blood covered his whipped, beaten, and bruised body from head to toe.
There was a crown made from thorns that appeared to have been placed forcefully on his head, and a royal purple tunic rested upon his shoulders.
She saw a sign above his head, which was written in a language foreign to her.
Tia dropped to her knees in front of the dead man hanging on the cross and lowered her head heavily grieved.
“You can’t help me from up there, Lord.” Tia softly spoke in broken speech.
“I’m not up there,” The Lord proclaimed.
“I’m up here,” He assured her.
Tia lifted her head bewildered for a moment as she stared at the empty wooden cross before her.
The man that hung from it only seconds before was no longer there, but the nails were still embedded in place on the cross, along with the sign.
The crown of thorns remained, hanging across the very top along with the purple tunic that was now draped loosely over the extended right side of the cross.
Astonished and filled with gratitude, Tia watched the words that covered her body disappear and reappear on the cross.
She then lifted her eyes towards heaven, and there stood “The Lord of Glory” in parted dark clouds with His arms stretched wide.
A radiant light shined from Him onto Tia causing her entire body to become illuminated and alive.
“Whenever you’re in trouble, Letitia, you can always call to Me and I’ll be there to help you,” Jesus told her.
“Even in times such as this when you’re in the middle of nowhere covered and weighed down by sin. Only I can wash this mud away,” He added.
Another strong gust of wind blew suddenly knocking down the draped tunic from the cross, and completely covered Tia’s naked body.
She looked down at the beautiful seamless tunic and was fascinated by its brilliant royal color.
“Here daughter, cover your nakedness and shame with My garment, and continue on your way. Pursue righteousness and mercy, and you will also find life, and honor.”
Tia looked down once more at the beautiful tunic.
The long sleeves covered her hands and the bottom completely covered her feet.
She noticed that the hem of the robe hung extremely low, sweeping across the ground, but there wasn’t a trace of mud on it.
She knew then that the mud represented sin.
Tia smiled and closed her eyes, holding on tightly to the beautiful seamless royal purple tunic wrapped around her.
When she opened her eyes again, she was alone in her bed, wrapped snuggly in her comforter.
Tia looked around and when she came to her senses she realized she’d just had an encounter with, “Jesus Christ.”
You’ve just read a chapter from, “The Writeous Series.” Thanks for reading. I hope it blessed you.
Copyright © 2016 Talisha Walton
(This excerpt is from, “Writeousness: Tia’s Pursuit.” Book one can be purchased here.)