“You hide from God! Hide. You hold something back! Hold back.”
Is it true?! Have I held something back? I almost believed him. Holding my soul like a crumpled piece of canvas, I felt naked then and I looked around, almost in panic. I was about to seek a place of retreat, but the Holy Spirit reassured me. He made me stand up tall and caused me to say, almost in unison with Him, “No."
Then I spoke up on my own. My words were half to myself, half to one who was accusing me, "No. In fact, my heart is laid bare before my king. He is holy, but he has also made me holy, so I can lay my heart open before Him.”
And, as I said this, I had a vision of myself stepping forward very carefully, bowing down on one knee and unrolling my soul on the ground in front of me like a painter unrolls the case that holds all his most precious and most useful brushes. And, in an effort to show that it was an offering, I turned my palms up over the case of brushes there on the ground and waited just like that as my accuser looked on.
God approached me, as if He was expecting me, and I could tell that He was happy to see me. But, as He got closer, I could also tell that He was noticeably angry, seething, in fact and his anger was directed at my accuser in the corner. As God came even closer, I bowed my head and closed my eyes, but as I did so, I noticed with some regret that my hands were stained with brush marks, paint, ink. I hadn't noticed this when I offered them out to Him before. And, before that, I must have been too busy painting to fret over my appearance.
My king noticed the stains right away. He looked me over, but He wasn't displeased. He gently touched the underside my hands and almost lifting them, he seemed to admire the marks. I thought this was strange. It was as if the marks were the artwork He was looking for. And then he smiled over me. And, as the enemy skulked away from us, I rested there at my Lord's feet. I kept my eyes closed, to protect them from the intense light and heat, but I turned my face up to the Lord and smiled at Him as my soul was restored. It felt like He was stretching me, like I was a new canvas being pulled tight over a new frame.
And, all at once, I knew how lovely it is to be able to lay one's heart open before the most holy God, to be freed from sin, to be able to be oneself in His presence, to be holy, in fact, as He is holy.
And, before the dream was over, I bowed my head again and started to open my eyes within the dream. That's when I noticed with great delight that my hands had been made perfectly clean. I woke up an instant later.
A day later, I was reading the Bible and I came across these Scriptures. And, to me, they were an explanation, almost a perfect narration of what happened in my dream.
"...For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart... What can the righteous do?" The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates..." -Psalm 11