An invitation arrived in the mail. It was addressed to me:
You are cordially invited to the presence of the King for a garden party.
Of course, I was delighted to go and I planned to wear my best dress, to honour the King. On the appointed day, I arrived to the meadow. The sun was bright and the temperature was exactly as I like it. I saw the King in the distance, waiting at a table. I walked across the field of grass and wild flowers, the colours magnified and exaggerated by the sun.
As I approached the table, I saw the King was none other than my Beloved and he beckoned me to sit. Others milled about and at once I knew who they were, although we had never met. They were from stories of old and though they seemed to know me, they did not speak or cause my attention to stray from the face of my Beloved, the King.
We sat down and tea was served. It was like gold and I wondered how it would taste. It was hot and sweetened with honey. I wanted to drink and have some more. My Beloved, the King, understood my desire and touched the teapot next to him. Eat, drink and have your fill, he said. The time was merry and joyful. It was a minute or a day, I don’t know. It didn’t matter because I was with my Beloved, the King and I was his favourite. I was rapt in the peace of his presence and I closed my eyes to remember the moment.
When I looked again, others had joined us at the table. I knew them; they were treasures to me and my inheritance. I was filled with gladness to share the generousity of my Beloved, the King. The moment held on the vibration of sound, suspended and prolonged. Do you love me more than these, he asked. Yes, I tried to say, but I couldn’t and I hung my head. I want to, my beloved, my King.
When I looked again, my Beloved, the King was gone and the table was at the foot of a mountain. It seemed to stretch to the heavens. Sitting in the place where my Beloved, the King had sat was a lamb who was slain. Its eyes were full of life and it looked on me with a ferocity of love I have never experienced before. A lion was seated next to me, and I wondered if I should be afraid but the look in the lamb’s eyes told me it was safe.
The lamb looked at me and then spoke. It said, I love you more than these. Then he offered me a cup to drink. The aroma was intoxicating and I wanted to gulp the liquid down because suddenly I realized my throat was dry and parched. Even a drop from the cup would restore and satisfy me. Will you drink from this cup, the lamb who was slain asked me. Then he awaited my reply.