My surrender to Christ began when I revisited a Catholic Church in 2001. Confronted with the image of Jesus’s suffering, I reflexively put my hand on my heart and held it out to him, offering “Use this for healing.” It culminated just after my forty-ninth birthday when, while commuting to work, I felt him reaching out from the cross to find a means of anchoring his will to the future. His conclusion, just before his death, was “our heart is beating still.”
Revelation 19 talks of a bride for Christ, a woman clothed in “fine linen, bright and clean (the linen being the righteous acts of God’s holy people).” That’s often seen as metaphorical – the woman is the Church. But my experiences lead me to other conclusions.
Out at Love Returns, I’ve been elaborating the nature of the Most High as love that seeks to heal. Healing requires two parts: change (which is masculine) coupled with preservation of that which is good (which is feminine). Jesus was the manifestation of the masculine impulse for healing. But he cannot manifest the feminine role.
So where is she?
When asked why I don’t have a lady in my life, I answered for a time that “I haven’t found a woman strong enough to stand up to her sisters.” The most godless book of the Bible is Esther. I mean that literally: God is never mentioned. The book of Esther is the story of a woman that uses her sexuality to secure political power for her people. It is the surrender of the virtue of Israel’s women in the same way that the men surrendered their virtue when ignoring Samuel’s warnings against raising up a king.
It is Esther’s compromise that John and others decry as “fornication” – intercourse for political and financial gain, rather than as an act of love.
The union of the masculine and feminine virtues – the celebration of sex as an act of love – is envisaged by John as the New Jerusalem. A river flows from the throne of the Most High down the street and enters the Tree of Life “growing on either side.” The leaves of the tree are given for “the healing of nations.”
Of course, those with political power seek to prevent this manifestation. They have corrupted our understanding of sex, advertising it as a carnal affair enjoyed most by people with rippling pectorals and bulging mammary glands. The conditioning is reinforced by religious hypocrisy that teaches us that those that succumb to sexual attraction are immoral.
The spirit of female corruption lurks in my psychic shadow. It comes on to me early in the morning, parading before me the women in whose hearts I find the most beauty. Some of them are uninterested, but when a lonely heart is found, the dreams turn to sex. Over the years, I have learned to respond in this way. “It is your heart I honor. Where is this passion coming from?” And behind them I see the females that guard political power, the culture that John describes as “Babylon” and “Mystery.”
And I make it clear that it is the bride of Christ that I seek – the woman in whose womb will be collected not corruption but rather virtue.
That didn’t work – none of the woman offered “Oh, OK. So how do I become that?” So I did something different last night. I sent light into my throbbing flesh, chasing away the corruption, and above and beyond the woman that Babylon had pushed upon me I found Her. The Sacred Mother. The White Lady. She looked down on me and smiled in favor.
Oh, ladies. Why are you so frightened by her?