Sep 22, 2021, 8:14:06 PM Religion


(Intermittent Waves Recorded From The Transformed Heart Of A Woman)



Pride can be a chameleon. Pride can morph, or, transform itself into whatever shape or form it deems necessary. It must disguise itself, in order to lead us blindly into an abyss and keep us from growing, maturing, and worshipping in Spirit and in Truth. Pride can be a hurricane with waters so deep that they flood our soul to drown us in darkness. Pride can be a tornado that flattens and levels our lives spiritually, mentally, and physically. Pride can be a tsunami with waves so high that we could never see over it, nor, have forewarning of when it will hit. The waves of pride can wash over us, taking with it everything that we have, leaving us to the devices of the enemy and imminent death. Pride can be an earthquake that shakes and shatters our lives, tearing down whatever good that has been built and burying fertile ground within the hollows of the earth. Yet, we fight to hold on to this destructive entity that invades our mind and holds us captive. It fills us with a since of euphoria, making us believe that we are in control.

Father, I thank you for allowing me to see the unseen and to touch the intangible, to hear the unheard, and still be alive to breathe the Breath of Life through which you sustain me. You have allowed me to see the pride in men and women that so dangerously creeps into our lives, menacing us as we try to make our way throughout life. Pride that keeps us from knowing and living out our purpose, because, we are steeped in self-love and self-gratification.

I could say that it is age, experience, or, familiarity that has opened my eyes, but, I know that there are those who are much older than I who still cannot see. No. It is by your Grace and Mercy that my eyes have been opened to unburden my heart of the things that you have neither placed there, nor, intend for them to remain, reign, or, enslave me.

Have you done this just for me? No. It is for the sake of the Kingdom that men come to know their weaknesses and the iniquity that lurks within their heart keeping them from holiness and righteousness. Men and women who like Adam and Eve believed that they must have something of their own making. They believed they must have something of their own knowledge and power. Men and women who have bought into the lies of the enemy and his entrapment to steal, kill, and destroy.

I have often wondered why people fail to love and relationships fall apart. What is it that they cannot see? What is it that they do not want to see? We often discover that we are in a one-sided relationship and the other person sees the relationship as being all about them. -But, why? Why does a person come to have the need for everything to be about them? -And then, they find themselves in a quandary, unable to understand the other person, when there is no real desire to do so. They cannot see beyond the walls of the box they have been caged within. -But, why? Was there some trauma they endured as a child? Were they themselves unloved, or, did they lack a role model to teach them love? Can you teach a person love? What is missing within them for them not to be able to see that their interpretation of love is self-serving?

Father, it seems that love is a mystery to so many people. They see love as what they, themselves, are able to do and accomplish. Their gestures and acts of kindness are hollow and in vain, for, they are done for self, even when they intentionally try to help others. Within their heart there is still something missing, a deficiency, and the absence of a presence that purifies and cleanses our actions and thoughts. 

Father, you never fail and you have never failed me. I have no need to worry about the present or the future. I have no need to doubt that you want only good things for me and your children. I have no need to question who gives me wisdom, matures me, keeps me, and molds me into an image liken unto Christ, the Perfect Man.

As I have agonized with unwanted pride within myself, it is with sorrow and pity that I see my brothers and sisters unknowingly enslaved to pride. Many of us know the pain and heartache of only being an added accessory to wear in someone's life. To be like a garment that someone puts on and takes off at their convenience is to know and understand so many feelings suffered by those who are lonely, abused, neglected, disenfranchised, used, exploited, and thrown away. Yet, today, today, I no longer have had to wrestle with those feelings, because, I have come to understand the heart of the enslaved. I have come to understood the beginnings, the end, and the need thereof.

We could say that there are many things that drive man's pride, but, they are mere symptoms of a greater void within. Removing oppression, stressors, and negative circumstances can neither alleviate the symptoms, nor, arrest or heal the disease. The void within the heart of the proud will just be replaced with another treasure or distraction to be a stumbling block, or, a wall to keep them from having a true relationship with God, holiness and righteousness.

It's not as complicated as it sounds. It's really quite simple. That's why the adversary is capable of using pride as a tool to manipulate man. The structure of man's society makes it a perfect environment to nurture and foster the embryos of self and self-righteousness that come to attach themselves to an egocentric world at enmity with God. We have created a society where men and women must make a way for themselves and find their identity within the world. In other words, they fail to walk by Faith and not by sight. Ying must find yang, so, if your ying or faith is placed within the world, there, you will look for your yang.

So, can a man love a woman, as Christ loves the church, if his faith is placed within the world and himself? Can we love our brothers and sisters as we love ourselves if our faith is placed within ourselves and the world?

Today, failing to immediately identify pride within myself, I almost mistakenly felt that I had been replaced once again within the heart of another, but, this time not by another woman, or, career, but, by a child. Pride made me forget that in order to be replaced, one has to first be present

Then, I thought it was a good thing that the person was helping the child and perhaps it would help them to mature and grow closer to God. I don't believe that I am completely wrong about that, but, I did not pinpoint the work of the enemy, until I realized why that person still wanted me in their life and felt that I belonged to them. They were still lacking one thing and trying to make up for it through deeds of their own, by the only means of love that they knew. They were still afraid of affection and intimacy. They still were afraid to communicate on a level that involved truth and seeing into oneself and caring enough to see into the other people. Pride keeps them from seeing that they are still leaving God out of their good intentions. Pride keeps them from becoming humble and vulnerable. Thus, they are trapped and stagnant, unable to truly grow and have a healthy relationship with others.

So, what next? I must be truthful that I was relieved to find that this person had a full plate now, so to speak, and would not have as much time to pursue a relationship with me. Awful, right? Definitely not the Mind of Christ. I was playing into the enemy's hand, also, until, God's Holy Spirit reminded me of who I am in Christ. Why play games with the enemy? Why let him have his way? We must know our own truth before we can see into another's.

When we know the beginnings and the ultimate end, God doesn't want us to just slink away, grab a box of popcorn and watch the show. We are our brother's keeper. Perhaps, God is testing us and we too need to grow and mature. 

So, what can we do? We can dispel the lies of the enemy within our own lives and the lives of others. We can help others to prepare before the storm comes and perhaps, even curtail or disperse the awaiting storm. When, where, and how? 

Where there is a will there is a way. God is and can make a way out of no way. The question is, can God count on you to be His vessel when He chooses the when, where and how and begins to make a way? Can God count on you to be humble and die daily to speak truth to life within the lives of others? 

Results? You want results? Reward? You want reward? You want to keep what you believe is your peace of mind? Then, your work can already be counted as in vain. Only what you do for Christ will last. Wanting to see results places you into the same sinking boat as the person you are trying to save.

Holiness and Righteousness is the result of obeying God. We must remember that only God can finish the work that He began. God uses us to throw out a lifeline to those sinking and in despair. Lest the work of God be manifested through us, we can do nothing. Lest our heart be filled with love for our brothers and sisters, wanting them to be blessed, even more than we have been; lest we do everything in love, the unconditional love of God and Christ, our living is in vain.

God sees us as an extension of Himself, because, we are an extension of Him. He is our Father and Creator. Thus, He relates to us and provides for us accordingly. If you cannot see a person as an extension of yourself and treat them as so, then, they are an accessory in your life, someone you can live without, and someone whose well-being is not of great importance to you. This is how I looked into the eyes of the person whom I was with and saw myself. I continued to be an accessory, a trophy, and a discardable item to be thrown away at their discretion.

When we know that our brother, sister, friend, husband, wife, boss, acquaintance, does not love us as we love them, and does not see us as an extension of themselves, what is God asking of us? Is God asking us to suffer in vain? Is God asking us to live the life of a martyr? Is God asking us to be a fool? No. God is asking and expecting us to be His Child, showing His Character. God is asking us to have unconditional love.

God wants to recognize who you belong to and serve. He wants to welcome you with open arms because you look like Jesus. To be called God's children, we must see others as an extension of ourselves, loving them as we love ourselves. There can be no question as to how we must treat our brother and even our enemies. If we are to be a functional and fruitful member of the Body of Christ, then, we must see the other members as an extension of ourselves.

There are no ifs, ands, or, buts. Either someone wants a godly relationship with you or they don't. A godly relationship entails sacrifice and selflessness. A person will offer you excuses to see if you will compromise and how much you are willing to compromise. This is how the enemy operates. Know that you cannot serve two masters. 

So, my friends, brothers and sisters, it is we, who have been given sight, who must make a decision when presented with the evidence of pride before us. Will we compromise because of the way we feel? Will we yield to temptation? Will we allow pain to weaken us when we become subjected to manipulation, exploitation, insensitivity, and humiliation? Will we allow past feelings of hurt and pain to rule over what is often called our better judgment? This in itself should alert us that we are not following the Mind of Christ.

We must speak truth into the lives of others, even when they don't understand or respond positively. We must speak truth and not think that we must follow-up after it. Truth can defend itself! We must allow it to do its work and leave it alone! I must reiterate that only God can complete the work that He has begun. Speak Truth and let it go!


As Derek concluded his speech, he began to nervously look to the side of the stage. The ominous black figure was still there lurking behind the curtains. Christopher Holland stood in front of him, stiff and frozen, as if being held up by strings. The chairman of the campaign committee came and took over the microphone, leading the crowd in chants and cheering. Derek whispered to him that he had to leave immediately for urgent business matters. Waving to the crowd, as he left the stage, his legs were shaking and there was a sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach. Once again, he felt his chest, feeling the butt of the gun, hiding there to protect him, should the need arise. Derek was certain that that time had come.


Hal had resolved within himself that this may be his last day alive. Still, he was willing to die for those whom he loved. Taking out his phone, he dialed Rachel's number. He told himself that the least he could do was to say goodbye and tell her how sorry he was for ruining her life. Rachel answered the phone gleefully, wanting to share news about their son.

"Hal! Hi! David is nursing much better and he's even cooing. Can you believe that? Where are you? I thought you would come back after seeing Zenobia. How is she doing?" There was a long pause, causing Rachel to become anxious and concerned. "Hal? Are you there? What's the matter? Is Zenobia alright?...Hal, is everything okay?"

"I...I'm okay, Rachel. I don't know how Zenobia is. They...she...something went wrong. I just called to...say...to check on you and David. I have to go now. I'm sorry, Rachel. I...I'm sorry for everything, Rachel. I love you and David, very much. Take good care of him."

Hal hung up before Rachel could say anything else. He buried his head in his arms and tried to focus on what to do next. Then, he heard the crowd cheering and another man's voice bellowing out over the speakers. The rally was nearing the end. Derek had finished speaking. It was time to get ready. If he was going to do this, it had to be now. Standing up, he pulled out his gun and chambered a bullet. Returning it to his coat pocket, he headed out of the storage closet, into the halls of the arena. As he neared the arena stage, he stopped to pick up a campaign sign.


Nigel had been trying to reach Wendell for the last hour to tell him the good news. He had been found to be a good match for Zenobia and the doctor was very optimistic about the hospital allowing the surgery to take place. However, Wendell wasn't picking up his calls. They were going straight to voicemail.

Wendell was still thinking about his objective. It didn't matter why he was going to do it. He had been trained to concentrate on completing the mission. Engage the target, eliminate it, and then, exit. Three steps that's all he needed to do. He couldn't let anything else cloud his thoughts or interfere with his timing, therefore, his cellphone was turned off. He too, had heard the end of Derek Graves' speech and prepared his gun for its deadly purpose. He knew that he could handle the secret service and security around Derek, but, he wasn't sure if he wanted to do so. Could he forgive himself for what he was about to do? He quickly put those thoughts out of his mind and exited the coat room into the halls of the arena filled with the sound of the roaring crowd.


As Derek exited the stage, secret service agents quickly moved in to flank him on both sides. Derek headed for Christopher Holland and Borgya. Borgya gave Holland a slight jab with his gun and told him to start walking toward the exit door. As Derek saw them move, he headed in their direction. 

On the other side of the room, Wendell was moving in closer, blending into the reporters and cameras trying to get closer to Derek. Hal moved in from the opposite side, carrying a campaign sign he had found lying around. Eyes focused keenly upon Derek Graves, neither man saw the other.

As Borgya was about to turn around and fire his gun into Derek Graves, a shot rang out, ringing throughout the room. A hand to hand scuffle began to take place with the secret service agents. Security and crowds of people were running towards the area and away from the area. Chaos continued to reign as Borgya, Wendell, and Hal, stunned, tried to figure out what was happening.

One of the agents broke away from the fight and lurched toward Borgya, landing at his feet, shouting in Russian.

"твой дядя священник нуждается в том, чтобы ты пошел!"

"Tvoy dyadya svyashchennyk nuzhdaetsya vie tomme, chtoby the poschel!"

"Your Uncle Priest needs you, Go!"

Borgya turned to see Grisha and his men, dressed as Derek Graves' supporters, surrounding the area. A helicopter began hovering overhead. Borgya found himself dragged away by two of Grisha's men. Hal noticed something familiar about one of the men, who was shouting out orders in Russian. It was Grisha, whom he'd only met the other night, but, there was no mistaking him. Priest had said that his troubles were over and this one was free of charge. Priest was true to his word, there was no doubting that, now. He could see blood seeping out of a body sprawled out on the floor. His heart skipped a beat when he looked at the man's face. Yes, it was Derek. He had wanted his death, but, now, seeing him lying there in a pool of blood, he was terrified at what that death looked like and how close he had come to being the one who pulled the trigger.

Hal watched as the men kneeling down on top of Derek Graves, tried to administer life support. He knew that Derek wasn't going to make it. The Russians wouldn't entrust a job this important to someone who couldn't shoot to kill. Suddenly, Hal spotted Wendell in the crowd and it seemed that Wendell's eyes set upon him at that same moment. There was no need for words. Each knew why the other was there.

Wendell motioned with his head for Hal to follow him. Keeping his hand on top of his gun and his head down, Hal made it over to the other side of the room and tailed Wendell to an exit door. At this point, it was going to be difficult to avoid security and police. Getting out hadn't been an option before, but, now, the two men were thinking as fast as they could. This time, their goal was to survive and get away. Evidently, Grisha and his men had surveilled the room carefully, for when they started to descend the stairwell, there was a man at the top of stairs who whistled and motioned for them to follow him to the rooftop. There, they were hurried into the helicopter with Borgya and two other men. The helicopter took off immediately. Hal didn't know where he was going, but, at this point, he didn't care.


Natalie Tiledeler had been at the hospital all night and day, staying on top of one story and then another. She was there when the secret service came into the hospital looking for Rachel Graves. She knew that this was the biggest story of the day and maybe the decade. Hoping that Hal would give her the inside scoop, she tried dialing him, again.


Rachel had just left the nursery, and arrived at her room. Seeing it bombarded with security and the news media, she pushed her way through the crowd, asking what was going on. When a secret serviceman approached her, she knew that this had something to do with Derek. She was outraged. Was he trying to force her to be with him by sending his henchmen? Did he plan to kidnap her? She was ready to give them and Derek a piece of her mind, but, before she could speak, they had surrounded her and placed one of their coats around her shoulders.

"Ma'am, we need you to come with us right away. Your husband has been shot and it's necessary to protect you and your child. We'll take you to see your husband, first. A nurse is getting your child ready to transport along with us."

Rachel was dumbfounded...speechless. She allowed them to lead her swiftly to an elevator and out the side door of the hospital where a convoy of security vehicles were waiting. She wanted to call Hal, but, knew that this was not the right time. Finally, she gathered up enough courage to ask questions, like the reporter that she was cut out to be.

"Can you tell me where you're taking me? Who shot my...uh...Derek and when? Is he all right? Is he alive? Where is my baby? Can I see that he's alright?"

"Ma'am, someone will brief you when we arrive at the hospital. We'll be there shortly."

Rachel was driven to a rooftop where a helicopter awaited them. A nurse, carrying David in an infant carseat boarded the helicopter with them. From there, they were flown to the rooftop of a hospital in a neighboring city. 

Rachel's mind was racing with questions and speculations. She really didn't want to see Derek again, but, the reporter side of her was more than curious as to what was going on. It all seemed surreal. Was Derek going to die? Who did this? Her mind went to the last conversation she had with Hal and she began to panic, thinking about what he had said. It was as if he was saying a final farewell. Could Hal kill someone? -But, this wasn't just anyone. This was Derek, who had killed Hal's father and tried to kill her, Zenobia, and their children. When the helicopter landed, anxious to find answers to her questions, she wrapped the coat around her tightly and hurried with the agents to the doorway leading within the hospital.


Derek Graves was fighting for each breath that he took. He heard voices shouting all around him. People were asking him questions, but, he couldn't answer them. He tried to reach for his gun in the inside pocket of his jacket, but, his arms weren't moving. There was a haze covering his eyes and he could barely see. It was as if he was in a dark tunnel, unable to speak and unable to reach anyone, although, they were right there before him. His ears were ringing and his head felt heavy. His mouth was filled with an irony, bitter taste. He tried to tell an agent that he was thirsty, but, the words wouldn't come out. In his mind he knew that he needed help, but, no one seemed to be helping him. Why weren't they helping him? Why was he so cold? He started calling for help in his mind. Could they hear him? Why were they moving away from him?

He could feel himself being lifted into the air. Was he floating? People were still shouting, but, the sound was muffled. Were they talking to him? Where were they taking him, he wondered? His heart began to beat faster and faster. He tried to take a deep breath, but, it was too painful. Was he hurt? Where? Suddenly, there was just a white ceiling and bright lights above him. He could feel someone grab his arm and then a sharp prick. 

A paramedic cut his shirt from his body. Derek's eyes widened as the paramedic pulled the shirt away from him, He saw that it was drenched and covered in blood, dripping heavily. It was then that he realized that he had been fatally wounded. His heart began to beat faster and faster.

"He's going into shock! Stay with us Mr. Graves! Pete, hand me that syringe!"

Tears began to roll from the sides of his eyes. This couldn't be happening to him, he thought. Perhaps, he was dreaming. However, the pain that he felt with each breath, told him that this was real. This was happening, now, and there was nothing he could do about it. Derek's mind was writhing in bitter agony and despair. How could this happen to him? He was Derek Graves. He always had things under control. Someone was going to pay for this. He'd see to that.

He tried to focus his eyes as a large hand holding an oxygen mask came closer and closer to his face. They were shouting at him again.

"Stay with us, Mr. Graves! Stay with us! Keep your eyes open! Mr. Graves?! Mr. Graves?!

Derek struggled to stay conscious, but, the last thing he heard before blacking out was the sound of muffled sirens. 


When the helicopter landed in an old abandoned airstrip, one of Grisha's men told Hal and Wendell that they had the option of coming with them, or, being driven to Priest's residence in the city to lay low for a few days. Priest, they said, was in Russia, awaiting Borgya's arrival to bury his father, but, servants and guards at the mansion would be instructed to take care of them. They advised them not to go home or back to the hospital for a few days, as there would be police wanting to question them.


Rachel was taken to a floor of the hospital that almost seemed abandoned, but, there were plenty of secret service agents around. A team of doctors were gathered in a corner of the room in a somewhat heated discussion. When they saw them coming, everyone stopped talking and one doctor stepped forward out of the group.

"Hello, Mrs. Graves? I'm Doctor Matthews. I'm heading your husband's medical team. Can I get you anything?"

"No, thank you. I just want to know what's going on. Is Derek still alive?"

"...uh..yes, but, I don't want to get your hopes up. He's been severely wounded and operating may not be an option. We don't even know if it's safe to move him or put him under anesthesia right now. We're doing our best to come up with a solution, but, an artery has been severed and he's lost a tremendous amount of blood."

"Can I see him, now. Is he alert?"

"He's under heavy sedation, but, he seems to be somewhat cognizant and aware of his surroundings. He was able to blink his eyes when we asked him questions."

"Can I see him, just for a moment, doctor?"

"Yes, of course."

Dr. Matthews led the way into Derek's hospital room. It was a huge room with no windows. Derek's bed was in the middle of the room where it allowed him to be hooked up to various machines. It was a ghastly sight that shocked Rachel and made her stop for a moment to take it all in. They pulled up a chair for her to sit next to Derek's bedside.

Slowly, Rachel eased herself down in the chair. Would Derek know that it was her? Would knowing that she was there upset him and cause further harm? She wasn't quite sure what to say or do. Clearly, no one there was aware of the current state of their relationship. They only knew that she and Derek had recently gotten married. She didn't want to appear to be heartless or brash. So, she touched Derek's hand. Somewhat repulsed by feeling him next to her again, she jerked it away. She looked around her to see who had been watching. The doctor nodded to her and pointed to a monitor.

"He's awake. You can say something to him."

"Umm...can we have a little privacy...just for a few minutes...please. I won't be long. It's just that...well...it's uncomfortable talking in front of so many people. Please..."

"Of course, Mrs. Graves. Let us know when you're ready to leave the room. Okay, everyone, let's give Mrs. Graves some privacy."

"Thank you, doctor."

Rachel looked at Derek under all the wires and tubes and thought about how normal he looked. Normal in that he was just a man. A man that God had made. What had happened to him to make him so evil, she wondered? 

She felt convicted. She knew that if he were any other man, she would be praying for him. Praying for his recovery. Praying for his soul. -But, she couldn't find it within her heart to pray for this man who had brought her, her child, and so many others so much grief and pain. She began to cry, feeling as if she herself was evil for not being able to pray for him. How could she get past this? What was keeping her in bondage? Had Derek won?

"No! You can't win! You won't hold me hostage for the rest of my life, even from the grave. Derek, I don't know if you can hear me, but, there are some things I need to say and some things you need to know."

It suddenly occurred to her that it wasn't Derek holding her hostage. It was her pain and her pain continued because of her unwillingness to humble herself and let go of her pride. She was unwilling to surrender all to God. Holding on to her pain gave her a reason not to love unconditionally and that's what the enemy wanted. God wanted her to see and know the Truth and the Truth would set her free. She had chosen the wrong way to deal with her pain, separating herself from The Light. She wanted someone and something to blame. She wanted to fight flesh and that flesh was Derek Graves. She looked at Derek again, in pity. This is what his prideful life had led him to.

She took his hand again without the anger and malice in her heart.

"Derek, It takes two. Forgive me for my part in this relationship. I disobeyed God in so many ways. I forgive you, also, because, I know that you know no other way to live or love. You have never known unconditional love. All you know how to do is use people and take. You're lost Derek and I pray for your soul.

All of this time you've been fighting your own flesh and blood. Hal Siegfried is your cousin! That's why the money is rightfully his. Your Aunt Tanya had been watching over him and his family since he was born. President Graves raped his great grandmother who was his maid. It was a skeleton in your families closet. A dirty, little secret the Graves Family didn't want anyone to know, but, now, everyone will know. This will be your legacy, Derek, killing Hal's Father, your cousin, killing your Cousin Miriam and trying to kill your Great Aunt Tanya., and countless others who have died because of you. You're a murderer Derek. Only God can help you now. -But, it's not too late, Derek. Humble yourself, repent, pray, and seek God's face. Please Derek...I'm begging you...please pray with me now. Father, we ask your forgiveness for our trespasses and..."

Derek's pride completely consumed him. He rejected Rachel's attempt at proselytizing and turning him to God. Instead of remorse and repentance within his heart, his heart hardened even more resulting in enough protest, hatred, and vitriol to begin pulling his hand away from Rachel's. Rachel opened her eyes and looked at his face. Red and swollen, it appeared to be grotesquely angry. Derek balled up his hand into a fist, then, his body began convulsing. Several monitors began to beep. His team of physicians ran into the room and began working on their patient. Rachel stood up, frightened and shocked. She felt as if evil and darkness filled the room with fury, angry with her interference. A nurse took her by the hand and led her out of the room. Her motherly instincts sent her into protective mode.

"Where's my baby? Where is David?"

An agent pointed the way to the room where David was being cared for. He and the nurse remained there with her. Rachel scooped David up in her arms, holding him tightly against her breast, needing to feel his warmth close to her. Derek's hand had been cold and lifeless. She knew he was dying. She shuddered at the feeling of having felt death and sighed deeply. David would be safe now. God works in mysterious ways, she thought. Clinging to the feeling of life within her arms, she began to hum, trying to tune out all of the commotion around her. David began to cry. She hovered over him, shielding him from the shroud of death which had come to claim its own.


Published by Michelle T. Kenner

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