Immanuel Encounter: Into the Woods


[As experienced at the Wisdom Upgrade Workshop #2 with Father Andrew Miller, during the 100X Wisdom challenge]

I am in the woods at IVCF camp in Massachusetts
At the moonlit lake
I remember from my college days

Jesus is there
I am seven years old
It is daytime

We walk the forests
I am interested in everything
Running ahead, but looking back
He always keeps up

He is fully present with me
Listening gravely as I show off what I know
Just enjoying being in my presence

I wish we could stay like this forever

Then the trail we have been on
Comes to a dark place
Like a tunnel

Jesus, I don’t want to go in there
I won’t be able to see You

I know, He says.
But I will be there.
You just have to trust.

Jesus, I want to.
But I don’t know how.
I can’t do this without you.

I know, He says.
That’s one of the things you must learn.

But why?

He pauses.
Steps back from the tunnel
Sits on a stump.
I jump into His lap.
He holds me close, stroking my hair.
I nuzzle into Him.

Do you know why my Father created the universe?

No. Why?

Because He had so much love.
He wanted to have Others to share it with.

But I’m sharing your love now.
Aren’t I?

And I really enjoy our time together.
But even though I understand you.
You don’t really understand me, do you?

I think about this seriously.
I know He has many grown up things to do.
Things I never see.

Some of them serious things.
That hurt Him.
I can see the scars.
And sometimes, when I bump him
In a certain way
I can see Him wince with pain.

Not all of you.
But I trust you!

He smiles.

I know.
But it is easy to trust
When you can see
Blessed are those who do not see
And yet believe.

Can’t I just…
Stay with you?
Here, like this?

He looks at me gravely.

But that is what men call death.
It is not evil.
But it is a loss.
You would never learn
What it means to grow up
To fail and be forgiven
And suffer and grow
And love like I did.

You would never have the chance
To become like me
Knowing how much it costs
To love
And that it is worth it

I look at Him
He is serious
This is important to Him

Do you really want me
To go into that tunnel?
What if I lose you?

Yes, my child.
I know it is hard for you to believe.
But this is the only way
You can even begin to learn
Who I AM
And what it means to love
And what it is like
To be my friend
And not just my child

I look at Him
Really look at Him
I have never seen Him
So serious before

Is this really that important to you?

He smiles.
Through His tears.

I would give my life
And everything I own
Just to be with you
And have you know Me
As I know you

In fact
I already have

I look at Him
I don’t want to leave
It would be so much easier
To stay a child


He’s never asked me for anything before.
And the only thing He wants
The only thing He ever wanted
Was me
With Him
As a friend
Not just a child.

Okay, I say.
And enter into the woods.

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