by Duane Bemis

Dungeon to Castle
Rev. Duane Bemis
Isaiah 42:6-9
Feb. '92

I see the door of my heart--solid oak, heavy and secure, and oh, so beautiful! Yet, it was not too long ago that I was in my dungeon cell looking at the door which held me captive. My captivity included moldy bread and stale water. Still, You came to my door and knocked. It was not a powerful knock, but a light tap of the hand; it came meekly to the door asking to enter and eat with me--only if I granted permission. It was a knock of deep compassion and love.

Very few ventured into the stench of the dark and gloomy dungeon of human rejects to eat and fellowship with me. But You, Jesus, did. You came in as I sat chained to the pillar of guilt and the pillar of failure. Oh those chains and the cuffs which wore my flesh raw were so painful and confining! It was there You found this wretched sinner.

Yet, You Jesus, my newfound friend, did not come as so many before. You did not come to condemn or torment me. You came to talk about life outside in Your world of forgiveness. You came simply to talk with me and to have fellowship with a broken down man. You gave me, a dungeon dweller, a sample of royal food from the King's table. You came to loosen the chains around my wrists. You came with the key to set me free. Oh, that wonderful stuff You gave me to drink! It was not stale, but fresh wine from the heavenly vine. It did refresh my soul; then You left and asked me to follow. However, I hesitated, since I had spent so much of my life chained to those pillars. I could not leave them yet. So I just stood in the doorway of the cell. I was free to go, but scared to leave that which had become my routine life style. Darkness I knew, but this Light thing was all too new.

You were so faithful to visit me; You came everyday. You taught me Your wisdom, truth, and a new sound of music--music so full of love, honesty, and grace. Although You knew about my failures, you spoke of hope and a future foun ...

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