Here I stand in this current position. To my right is a river, flowing steady and straight. Its waters are warm yet refreshing, glinting in the light as it flows. Drops! Precious and vital! As if each one contained light from heavenly bodies by which sailors once guided their fleet. The waters are impossibly translucent, charitable in letting me see the bottom of it's path. In this river's bed I see that there are a thousand generations of stones. Each stone is a passionate shade of red; smoothed and rounded by the gentle caress of the river's ebbs and flows.
To my left is a river flowing from a different source. It's path is haphazard; curving, winding, doubling back on itself as if fleeting Whim cut it out herself, only then to change the placement of the river's mouth and begin again. It weaves in and out creating its serpentine tangles so that it places its banks at my left side. The waters are deep blue. Then again, are they brown? The color changes so as to make it appear to be what it is not. The now yellow water is nearly stagnant, creeping and crawling in it's sloth-like pace. Glistening on the surface is a thick oil, making the water shine in the hazy light.
I spend my days with one river on my right and another on my left. One foot placed firmly on one shore of each. My Father stands behind me watching me cast my gaze from one to another. When they appear to be a bottomless blue, the waters on the left captivate my attention. I reach my hand out to play with the silky film on top of the stream. I wonder, will it be smooth like glass just as it shines like glass? Placing my hand in the water I move the oil exclaiming "Look Father! Look what I can do!" I claim the substance and hold it momentarily in my hand, until I see that the oil has a goal of it's own. The film quickly spreads from my palm to the back of my hand, ultimately captures all five of my fingers and progresses up my arm toward my elbow. It is here when I cry out "Look Father! What have I done?"
He does not speak. He waits to see what I will do. As the film slithers up past my elbow I find that I must solve the problem that I have created. Timidly I put a finger in the clear water to see if it may reverse the path of the oil. I withdraw my hand to find that not only is the finger the same as it was, the rest of me continues to be slowly claimed by the muck. I fall in surrender. There is nothing I can do! The oil has covered me whole. I turn and find that my Father is looking down at me where I sit, huddled at His feet. "Father, what can I do to make myself clean?" He comes down to me where I lie on the Earth, in a pool of the mess that covers me. "It is not what you do that will save you from this, my daughter. I am here to reclaim you from the filth that covers you." And then I realize that He risked descending into such filth in order to save me from my current position. It is here that I yield. I turn myself over into his arms, in which he carries me to the river on my right.
I feel the waters break the oil from my skin. Reemerged I find myself cleaner than when I began to sit at these banks. My Father has freed me.
And so again, it is here that I stand in this current position. To my right is a river, flowing steady and straight. To my left is another, flowing from a different source. Most days I see the river on my right. It's clear waters allow me to see the red stones that were there before me. I see now that this river flows a powerful red. On the days that I forget and they still appear to be a bottomless blue, the waters on the left captivate my attention. I may continue to be forgetful and allow the oil to cover my hand. But it will not claim me. My Father patiently washes away my muck. When I forget He will teach me. He is my Teacher, He is my Father. I am His alone.