Estelle walked through the gate, and the world changed. She stepped into another realm, one bursting with color. It brought a smile so bright, the joy of it filled her heart. Her colorless clothes before the gate had changed. The white of her shirt dazzled her eyes, and she had never seen the blueish hue of her jeans before. The greenish color of the grass emitted life, and one could see the trees’ sturdiness from the brownish shades of their barks. The whites from the clouds formed enough light with their bluish undertones that there seemed to be no need for the sun. Flowers in reds, golden yellows, brilliant purples, and baby pinks filled the panoramic view, as Estelle walked on a path created, as if for sight-seeing.
She continued forward, savoring every sight, smell, and even the air filled her lungs with clean, clear, life. She laughed, filled with the new life inside her. Estelle followed the path in this joyous state, till she turned into a bend and stopped dead. The black and white world replaced the picturesque view behind her. A market bustled before her, people walked here and there, going about their businesses. Life progressed in the dull world, and it seemed odd to her that people overlooked the domain popping with color right before them.
She made to turn back, when she heard her name. Estelle turned to see a man dressed in white all-through, standing right before her. She stepped back fast, wondering at his speed when he smiled. This man looked ordinary, nothing differentiated him from others, but the smile he gave her spoke volumes. It spoke of peace, security, and trustworthiness, all for her.
“Walk with me.” He said, stretching out his hand to her.
She laid her hand in his, agreeing to believe in the comfort his smile provided. He drew her into the drab world of the market and turned back to her.
The difference between them and the market place became apparent as she followed. Both of them retained the bright colors of the world she left behind, while the world they walked in, had none. She followed the man, moving past people who saw her, but not what made her different. She mulled over this, not noticing the man had stopped until he held out a hand to stop her approach.
“Watch, be alert.” He said, and she nodded.
“You will encounter certain things on your way, but do not be afraid, they will not harm you, and I will be with you.”
“If you are with me, and you know these things will happen, why let them?”
“Trust me. Watch and see.”
He smiled as he turned back and continued moving. Estelle followed, and once she stepped on the path, a wheelbarrow carrying sand hit her, knocking her off her feet. She didn’t feel the blow or the sand on her body, and before people gathered, the man smiled as he bent to her, giving her his hand. She stood and calmed the bystanders, showing them she was okay. The man held her hand and walked her through the crowd, and they were on their way again.
“What did you notice?” He said, letting go of her as they walked.
“The wheelbarrow came at me with force, but I neither felt the blow, nor the sand stain on my clothes. I just dusted them off. How is that possible?”
“You are not alive in this world.” He said, looking at her.
“What does that mean, am I dead?”
“Yes, in a sense. Dead to one world and alive in another.”
Estelle let out a deep breath. “And it’s just the two of us?”
“No, there are others. I am walking you through this, teaching you how to live again.”
“Am I dead?”
“Not as the world understands it. Walk with me, and I will show you more as we go.”
He stretched out his hand again, and she took it, but this time, there was a hesitation. He smiled.
Estelle fell into a ditch, which she walked out of without a scratch and was accosted by pickpockets, whom she allowed until they went their way. Through these tests, the man stood by her side, smiling. Estelle had to smile back at the ease with which she scaled through her problems.
They walked to the market gate and stopped, and the man turned back to her.
“Conqueror.” He said, smiling.
Estelle smiled, too, not thinking beyond the present use of the word.
“We are going somewhere else. Follow me.”
The man stepped out of the market gate and took a right. Something about the road looked familiar, but Estelle couldn’t place where she had seen it before. He stopped in front of a hospital, looked at her, and smiled, then walked in. They walked past patients, nurses, and doctors, two flights up the stairs, and then they stood in front of a room.
“When we get in there, ask any questions you want because the people there can’t hear us.”
She nodded, and he gave her a look with such compassion, it almost made her cry. He looked at her like he knew something about her she didn’t know and was trying to relay without words that he loved her, and she would be okay. He held the doorknob when she blurted out the first question in her mind.
“Who are you?”
“The lover of your soul. The shepherd who will leave his 99 to save only you.”
He didn’t wait for her response; he opened the door and walked into the room. She stood there, piecing the information together, ingesting, but not understanding. She walked into the room and halted at the door. Her mother slept in a chair, next to someone lying on the bed, hooked to different machines. Estelle walked towards her mother to discover why she was there when she stopped as she saw the patient’s face. She was looking at her self.
“Ask.” The shepherd said.
“Why am I here?” She said, not knowing which version of here she referred to in her confusion.
“Your body is hooked to the machines. Your spirit is with me.”
She looked at him, as the truth about his identity dawned on her. She nodded to herself in understanding.
“I am still alive.”
“Why the tour?”
“To show you what abiding in me is like.”
“I didn’t feel a thing because my spirit lived through those experiences, not my body,” she said, looking at him, enlightened.
“Yes, and so it should be. In this world, tribulations will come, but I have shown you that with me, you can get up, dust them off, and keep going.”
“So, I can dust this experience off?” She said, pointing at her body on the bed.
“What do you think?”
She could hear the smile in his voice, he did that a lot. She smiled back.
“I think I can, knowing you are by my side.”
He beamed at her, his smile a promise, and disappeared. Once he left, Estelle lost consciousness, and the next time she opened her eyes, her body was attached to machines.
‘For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. ‘ Colossians 3:3
Till next time, be transformed!!