It happened at night when shadows walked the earth and all the people were sleeping. Their fires had gone out in the hearth. They didn’t see their front doors open at the midnight hour or the shadows that walked in. They didn’t hear a sound as the cold dark hands stole their homes, their hearts, everything they had once held dear. In the morning, when the dawn’s light filtered through the windows, they opened their eyes to see that it was all gone…
Their flag hung dead in the windless sky. They stood looking at it, wondering what had happened…and noticing that their once proud flag seemed so meaningless now. There was no life here. Even the morning sun’s light seemed dreary and cold. Why hadn’t they noticed, why hadn’t they seen, that the enemy had been so close all along.
Perhaps it was years ago when people fought that it was unlawful for young children to say His name within their schools. Could it be when His laws were forsaken and packed away to be forgotten. What were those laws again? What had been the words that were in the pledge? In whom did they once trust?
Then there had come the day, so long ago, when steeples came down. The people within the churches had fought hard to keep them, but before long, they were to weak and filled with helplessness to fight anymore. But no one cared after a while. They adjusted, they conformed, they forgot who’s name they had lifted up within those buildings.
When people fought for the deaths of those that could not be tolerant, would not love freely and would not stop claiming His name, the last few that had believed with all their hearts lost their strength to fight. Death loomed over them and they were terrified. Looking to the heavens they cried, “What more can I do?”
And the world became united and void…formless and dark. It became so that no one had the will to fight any longer, because their hearts gave way to fear. The revolution was lost before it was even born. The people lived their lives as they pleased, thinking nothing of Him any longer. They gave birth to children that lived in a world without hope…only their own wills and their own choices to guide their paths. They knew nothing of salvation and redemption. They never heard of Calvary or redeeming blood. They didn’t know of the darkness or the light…
But when the darkness came in and stole their homes and children, those that once knew of the truth realized what they had done--and it was too late. Thunder rolled and the heavens split and judgment reigned down. They fell to their knees, they begged for mercy, “One last chance to fight!” They begged, but their chance had come, and they had turned away.
A beautiful man walked toward them. They knew His face. They knew His voice. Behind him came dark shadows with wicked eyes. In their hands they held the people’s children who wept and cried out in fear. “Save us!” They screamed…but the people could not reach them.
“What have you done?” The Man asked, tears falling from His eyes. “All I wanted was for you to stand for me, to fight.”
“We were afraid!” They cried, covering their faces in shame.
“Afraid?” He asked. “Didn’t you know that I was right there with you?”
The children screamed as they faded away into the clutches of the dark shadows. They had been innocent, born into this world that held no light at all. They were the children of cowards, of unbelievers…that did not love enough to fight, to see, to believe, that this was their one chance.
The Man started to walk away, His head hanging in grief, the kind of grief a father suffers when he looses a son. Darkness closed in on the town…
Suddenly the people cried. “Take us, please! Don’t leave us here!”
The man turned and said with anguish tearing at His heart. “I cannot. For I do not know you.”
And it was finished. Time had run out. The war had ended. And the people perished. If only they had known their enemy. If only they had known what was truly at stake. Perhaps then…they would have had ears to hear, eyes to see…and hands ready to make war.
~Andrea M. Cooper
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