Sally and the Snake Pit: Part 3

Sally wrote back and I was right.  She and her husband do have a long pattern of building platforms under people and finding huge joy in it.  They don’t throw money at people.  Charity and unpacking gifts are two separate skill sets.  They know how to give in a way that does not demean the recipients, and to give in a fathering key of music that gives the recipient the ability to unpack their own treasures.

A mother gives her resources to improve the child’s external environment.  A father shapes the external environment in such a way that the son can unpack his own resources if he wishes.

So let’s recap.

We have a piece of land that has been defiled through the willful, savage abuse of children.

Fred and Sally have foundational assigned authority because God brought them to this land specifically and made it possible for them to buy it and redeem it.

They have a formidable generational heritage from forefathers who have nurtured children.

Fred and Sally individually have their own earned authority in jointly nurturing many children and adults.

On top of it all, their nurture was a fathering kind of nurture which is hugely significant against the backdrop of the abuse of children.

Remember:  dignity is given based on essence and essence only promises potential.  You give honor for a job already done.  Investing in someone’s essence is a gamble.  It is an expression of your belief that their future is more important than your present.

Let me say that again.

When we invest in someone’s essence, with no guarantee that there will be ROI, we are making a loud statement that unleashing their future is more important than retaining the resources we have in our present.

An Exhorter sent me this poem this week.  It captures it well.

The Bridge Builder
By Will Allen Dromgoole

An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way.
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide.
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim.
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”

Source: Father: An Anthology of Verse (EP Dutton & Company, 1931)

The old man had his own life to live.  It had value to him, even though it was nearly done.

The young man also had a life to live and it was not nearly so well unpacked as the old man’s was — and might never be.

The fellow pilgrim had a spirit of slavery.  He looked at the bridge which cost the old man some of his present resources and said, “This does not make sense.  You won’t get a return on investment for your expense of the present.”

And the old man replied that the potential future represented by the young man’s essence was more important than the present of the old man.

That is a fathering attitude and that is the gift of dignity — investing in the essence of the young man with no guarantees that he would be worth it — but doing it anyway.

And this is what Sally’s mother and great uncle did in intercession.  They had no guarantee that the family members and other friends who they interceded for would make great choices.  But they joyously and tenaciously sacrificed their present because they believed that the unseen essence of the next generation was more important than their present.

They wanted to give those kids a potentially great future.

Now, hold that frame up against the issue of child sacrifice or child abuse.

If that pit of snakes came from religious sacrifice of children in past centuries, then it was done by adults who said loudly that their present situation was worth more than the children’s future.

The same thing is true of sexual abuse.  A man feels his very transient present pleasure should be enhanced at the price of a child’s entire future life being deeply scarred.

Do you see that either way, someone with high authority in mothering would be less successful in cleaning up this mess than someone who has walked tall in fathering like Fred and Sally?

A father believes in the essence of the child enough that he will sacrifice his present in order to give the child a chance to unpack his treasures.

God the Father did that.  He believed in our essence so much, as people made in His image, able to love Him, that He sacrificed His present — His only Son — in order to give us a future, knowing that a lot of us would not value ourselves enough to take advantage of the gift and unpack ourselves — working out our salvation.

The Father did not do it because He crunched the numbers and figured enough people would get saved to make it worthwhile.  He did it because He believes in the essence He has placed in every spirit, and He HAD to make a way for us to get out of the pit and have a chance at unpacking that treasure.

Summarizing:  The iniquity is one generation valuing their present so highly and devaluing the essence of the next generation so badly that they rob the next generation of having a future, so they can have a present.

The opposite authority is a fathering spirit that radically invests in giving the next generation a chance to unpack their future, at the expense of the father’s present.

And Fred and Sally are superbly positioned.

Good stuff.

The King is on the move and this will be a smashing good victory!

But wait — there is more.

Actually, you are going to have to wait.  This is too long already.  Part 4 will arrive in due time.

Copyright December 2013 by Arthur Burk

Moved to awe again by the grandeur of the plan


This entry was posted in Land dynamics, Leviathan, Spiritual Warfare, The Human Spirit, The Kingdom of God. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Sally and the Snake Pit: Part 3

  1. I am so thankful for you and Sally sharing this wonderful exchange of God’s information. I did not grow up with a father so i had no understanding of being loved on with dignity. This is eye opening and will truly change the dynamics of my relationship with God the Father. Truly blessed today.

  2. When I read the first post I was really convicted about how much awe plays a part of our relationship with God. By His grace I could confess my lack of it. I’m leaning into these posts and they are such a crystal clear portrait of grateful and selfless living.

  3. Rosa says:

    I can so relate to the mothering aspect, having nurtured many medically needy foster babies to improved health, how I miss them! I fall short on the fathering aspect,or, as I call it,”being hard on people”,from not having been fathered well myself,perhaps? My father was ‘present’ but very ‘absent’. Thank you for this series.

  4. Ruthie Young says:

    Thank You.

  5. Patricia Cook says:

    One thought that came to mind after reading the summary (The iniquity is one generation valuing their present so highly and devaluing the essence of the next generation so badly that they rob the next generation of having a future, so they can have a present) was this sounds like a major root motivation behind abortion and birth control.

    • eva says:

      i can see your point, the abortion issue is a major issue of robbing both the present and the next generation. Root iniquity is the CULTURE OF COMFORT.

  6. eva says:

    This is magnificantly Awesome, and more awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. nancy henry says:

    I love the summary, it is a recipe that cannot fail! I have thought of this similarly, ie. our ceiling becomes their floor, but I like your more descript summary a lot! Thanks, Arthur

  8. Sonia says:

    Yeah:) Thank you Arthur for this post. I look forward to part 4. Great battle and lesson!

  9. Ingrid Roberts says:

    Wow Arthur. I was savouring your post about Nelson Mandela, when this also arrived. After getting caught up on these posts about Sally, I have an even greater awareness (and awe) in me about what Father is up to in our lives… my husband and I both have strong generational heritage, both our natural fathers are incredibly nurturing even though they grew up fatherless. My husband is Giver, as is my father… I am Mercy. We have recently purchased a piece of land with an old barn on it that we will be rebuilding into not only a home, but a place of refuge… It is on a high point in our teacher region, and includes a watershed. Have only started that project so are in the early stages of evaluating the land, not sure about the level of defilement yet… the challenge now is selling our current home which has been our learning ground; we’ve battled an exploitive water bottling company, a former toxic waste disposal, a former grow-op and currently, an aggregate pit, all of these right next door. Without your input I would have felt powerless; instead I have seen our role as stewards. The water company folded, the dump got cleaned up, the grow-op was discovered and the base of operation cleansed, the pit is still not open after almost 10 years since it’s inception. Our road has beautiful new homes with great neighbours. Almost daily I bless the land and the building! At the same time Father has called me back to the main charismatic church in the region, currently under the control of a triple stronghold of control, tradition and expectation. A church on ‘ life-support.’ On returning I have discerned a river of His presence flowing on that land which the enemy has successfully kept ‘locked up.’ Right next door is the city water tower… I am convinced this piece of land is strategic and so am contending for it… My husband works as a nurse with children in burns and plastics and has ‘given dignity’ to children and families with abnormalities for over 25 years. We have fostered children over the years, 3 of which were burn survivors and currently foster a son who also had a serious burn injury. I am getting increasingly involved in the community, just recently became a director for the organization that has been fighting the pit, as well work as a volunteer in our community built and funded Hospice. Father moved us into social responsibility without our realizing it, I know that is strategic, but believe there is more to discover and unpack. I appreciate your sharing these stories, I love learning from this wonderful environment and community called Sapphire.

  10. Dana says:

    Thank you for taking us with you on this journey! Seeing the process fleshed out makes it more real in my own life. This is actually very encouraging and validating. While I am deeply savoring the process and anticipating a wowzers outcome, I am most in awe of how Father is using the mundane daily living we’ve just done because it was ours to do! I’m sure her uncle and mother weren’t thinking, “I’ll interceed now because it will build such and such a package of authority for future generations”. When I interceed, it is simply what is on my heart. It isn’t what I do, it is who I am. The same with “fathering” out of my mother’s heart. I build platforms for my kiddos and friends just because that is how Father’s life flows out of me. I don’t work at it (much), I can’t imagine NOT investing myself to unpack the potential in others! But now I see it in a different light….. Our Father takes our few loaves and fish and leverages them to immense, laser focus for His Kingdom! Indeed, not even a cup of water given in His name is wasted. His kindness is simply overwhelming.

  11. Julia Montgomery says:


    Amen and amen.


  12. Mary-Anne Simpson says:

    Oh WOW! I love that poem 🙂 it says it all!

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