#34 Rapture

by Christy Lenzi

He whispers to me in the sanctuary. I hear my name every day, but he makes it sound like a jewel cradled in his palm. His voice curls around my spine like the serpent slithering up the tree in the stained glass window. Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. I feel naked as Adam and Eve. I prayed he’d find me here.

Draw nearer.

He touches me.

My soul quivers beneath my skin, aching for release. We’re so close, I can’t tell where I end and he begins. He takes my breath, giving me his. My tongue is fire. Strange words shoot from my mouth in bright flames.

My God.

Calling his name is like pouring out perfume.

He pours into me—flooding, baptizing. My soul is a dove rising from my body. I dance and quake like my flesh doesn’t even belong to me. I think I am dying and being born as something new, like snow melting into a rushing river.

God, I’m weak.

But he won’t let me fall. Hands lower me to my knees, the altar, earth. I blink at the tree in the glass. Voices murmur, caressing me. Familiar faces slide into focus. Organ music rocks me in its arms.

“‘Taste and see that the LORD is good.’” Pastor knows. He’s been touched by him too. “Sister, can I hear an ‘amen’?”

I tremble from the aftershocks of rapture. My tongue remembers its earthly language.

“Amen!” I whisper.

Now I know. He is good.

14 comments:

Laura Lane said...

I love how the author uses such flowing phrases to paint a picture in my head as I read this. It is a beautifully written piece of fiction that keeps the reader wanting more. You are right there in the same room looking on. I definitely didn't want the story to end. Well done!

amessoffeathers said...

Nice portrayal of a spiritual consciousness; the opening is sensual and desperate, the end feels relieved and peaceful. A lot of weight in a small space.

Anonymous said...

Love this! Descriptive, emotional, erotic, clever, and thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

Too many metaphors and similes.

Photos4Joyce said...

A perfect description of the experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. It's wonderful.

Sarah said...

Wonderful, lyrical prose.

Sam Knight said...

I was caught a little off-guard. I assume I was supposed to be. I assume I must be used to the metaphors being used to describe erotic situations, but then...what is Rapture? Very thought provoking.

Jade said...

Rapturous, although a few of the analogies don't quite make sense to me, and tend to take me out of the flow of the narrative (e.g. like pouring out perfume.) I'd like to hear more of the strange and unearthly language.

Christy Lenzi said...

"Your name is like perfume poured out" is spoken by the Beloved describing her lover in Song of Songs, a Biblical book that was written as erotic poetry, but is widely interpreted spiritually as referring to God. (Song of Songs 1:3)

Jade said...

Thanks so much for the additional information Christy, I'll be sure to look up the text. Sounds like good reading! I'm fond of the Gita Govinda.

Christy Lenzi said...

I haven't heard of that--I will look it up. Thanks!

Bryan said...

Perfectly written. I love a story that stucks in my mind and won't leave me alone. Most awesome.

susansavory.com said...

I love how this story moves effortlessly between sensual and spiritual - elements that are often polarizing, but marry perfectly here. Beautiful, rich images and perfect pacing, too.

Bill Lenzi said...

Beautiful. I agree with amessoffeathers, I feel the desperation and sensual-ness which resolves nicely into a peaceful relief at the end.