Return to Love
Reconciliation. So many letters. Such a big word. To restore to friendly relationship, to restore harmony, to settle, to resolve. Even more than that… A return to love. A restoration of love. A forgiving and releasing place. A receiving forgiveness place.
I’ve been laying in bed recovering from a virus that’s been weakening my body for a couple of days. “Eat and rest” was the trumpeted call at a women’s retreat last weekend. Got that down the last two days. In my quiet, which is such a rarity, my mind has drifted back to an event that occurred last year on March 19th, the last day of an annual Cherokee celebration of new beginnings and fresh starts. At sunset, a crew of brokenhearted, children of the Most High ascended the mountain to perform a prophetic act of reconciliation over our region.
Weeks prior, almost daily my heavenly Father confirmed this is the place, this is the time, and you are to lead it. Two things perplexed me though, why was I to lead this prophetic act and why this particular place? The time had been confirmed by “My friend, always my friend”, a direct descendant of the Cherokee nation. This day was not only a Cherokee holiday, but also a Jewish remembrance day of reconciliation.
My home town has been riddled through the decades with racism, and religious piety, ickily slimed with it. The heavenly Father made it clear to me that a prophetic act of reconciliation must be done over our region, before reformation could come. He let me know that this act would be like a red carpet ushering in the reformation. These things all made sense to me, but why me? Why this place? Every piece to this puzzle seemed so divinely important to Him.
I asked my land warrior sister to help me research. She found that Bald Rock, SC was the place where headwaters began, flowing down to the land beneath it, nourishing or polluting. But something was still incomplete.
I was compelled to go to a counseling session, where I’ve sat many times before with puffy, swollen eyes as Jesus has gently put back together this broken soul. As I sat there, the light came on as to why He was asking me to lead this. “You have forgiven much!” Rang in my ears. I was a survivor of the very atrocities we were going up on that mountain to ask forgiveness for, to seek reconciliation from. Because I had chosen to forgive, release, and receive forgiveness not just for me, but for my bloodline, Jesus was now asking me to go represent my people group on that mountain. To very specifically, lay out the sins of my people, the white man, and ask forgiveness of first the Native American, and then the African American. I was stunned at the realization of the why, and the weighty responsibility that had just been handed me. Everyone involved in the event thought I had done such a wonderful job researching it all out. No. I had lived it as a child. The hidden, black, suffocating sins no one in the south wants to mention. So, I had “the why me” puzzle piece.
My other question got answered the day before the event. Another general in the Spirit answered me frankly, after my question of why there. “Oh, I know why.”, she said matter of factly. “That’s where satanic rituals are performed over the region.” I almost vomited at her feet. She proceeded to explain to me all the landmarks, what they are used for in the rituals, and that this had been the first place she had been sent to to pray over when she arrived in Greenville. If I had not already fully surrendered this event to the Lord, and had a notebook full of confirmations, I would have been like Jonah on a boat to no man’s land.
This appointed day came. So did rains. Our God used the rain to clear the site, then held it off of us like a sheet, by His hand. Each person who came had been specifically picked by God to be there. Unknowingly, the band chose to set up in the middle of the pit where sacrifices would have been burned. A sweet sacrifice of praise to undo all the twisted-ness that had arisen before out of this place in times past. Now a sweet aroma of praise filled the air. “May the lamb receive the reward of His suffering starting with me.” The words hung in the air as all of heaven and hell watched. Each people group was represented by a man and woman. Native American, Caucasian, and African American. We all presented our repentance for our generations of sinful hatred, pride, inhumanity. We all received forgiveness. We wept together. We took communion together. We praised God together. And we rang out a bell of freedom, of revival.
As I look back on this, it was a huge deal to God for us to obey Him in this. We have seen tangible changes in our region since then, like a grace that now flows down the mountain. Purified headwaters, fresh and clean, flowing down. Reconciliation is on God’s mind! It’s where unity flows from, which is where God commands the blessing. You may not be called to a literal mountain top, but maybe to an act of forgiveness of an estranged family member or even a neighbor. Reconciliation involves both parties, which we can not control. But we can still offer, extend a hand of love, forgiveness, and unity. It will be like a sweet aroma in the courtroom of heaven, and will be pleasing to our heavenly Father! It sets captives free, and ushers in His presence.
Our Abba deeply loves us. He cares about even the details of things long past. The words of my Native American friend are forever etched, “My people have waited a long time to hear those words.” Our confession matters. Through time and space our words, our actions will carry His love or not. Return to love, my friend. Let it wash over you like a sweet spring rain.