Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Locust Shell

One cool lovely evening after taking a walk, Elliot and I sat in the backyard enjoying the breeze. Suddenly, he warned, "There's a strange bug in the grass by your chair!"

I looked down by my feet at an old familiar sight. A locust shell. As I picked it up, childhood memories flooded my mind. Elliot, born and raised in Brooklyn, was surprised at my reaction. His eyes bugged out as I held it in the palm of my hand, smiling, as if seeing an old friend. "A locust? Here at the beach," I murmured. "It's amazing how the locust pushes its old shell off and leaves it on trees. I remember collecting those empty skeletons off the trees on my Grandmother's farm. Its legs are like claws so they stick easily to trees and things. They were both creepy and fascinating."

There seemed to be a message finding it in our backyard. I had written in my book that I felt hollowed out like a locust shell stuck on an old oak tree. "This is the metaphor in my writing," I proudly showed Elliot. The skeleton was still intact...a perfect replica of the insect,right down to the eyeballs.

"What's it called again?" Elliot asked.

I tried to remember. "Locust...but then it could have been a cicada."

Later I looked it up on the web where it was called both. To my surprise, the site linked to another website where I found this message from Jesus. It was timely as we were going through a transition ourselves, shedding our old shells.

"My child: It's no use being capable if what you achieve is not what I had planned for you. It's no use having a beautiful voice if you sing the wrong song. It's no use writing this, if you don't let my thoughts guide the pen. There is no limit to what I can achieve through you, if you surrender your pride and let me use you in My way. Set aside your daydreams and spend your time aligning your mind to mine, seeking my forgiveness for your willfulness, being open to my guidance.

You will feel like a locust shell, all form and no substance, but as the wind can blow through a locust shell, so the wind of my Spirit can blow through your empty shell, can lift it and set it down in a new place, can make it fruitful beyond your dreams.

Surrender comes hard, but I ask nothing less. Do not let fear of loss prevent you. I will reward you a hundredfold. When your substance has been surrendered, your form becomes filled with my Spirit. You will be tasting the new wine of my Kingdom. I want this for you. Do not be afraid. I am incapable of acting without love, and your surrender will bring you into My love."

God and the angels speak to us in our own language. Mine is nature. So if you're feeling a little hollowed out these days, that's a good sign.

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