Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)
TITLE: As Through Fire
By William Cox
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The black smoke rises above as a raging fire consumes everything in its path below. The flames spread quickly throughout the land with no lack of dried wood or famished landscape to feed upon. The nearest water source is miles and miles away. The flames are coming closer. There's no place to run or hide. And it's right here, burning all around you as you're powerless to avert disaster. All hope is lost as you wait for the inevitable conclusion...when a hand appears.
As the heat swells and sweat glistens down your face, the hand reaches out with its palm facing up and beckons you to come. Untouched in the midst of the fire, you hardly believe that this is real. Perhaps this is how it is before we enter the old pearly gates, because certainly hell, fire, and brimstone would have us stay right where we are. But the hand is here not because this is the end; it's here because it's your rescue, your chance to start again.
The fire closes in ever closer and seven times hotter. The hand is still unmoved and unchanged, waiting patiently for your decision, whatever it may be. Burned or bailed. As you struggle to stand, a gust of cool wind blows all around you. The flames are beaten back and smothered by a flood of tears. The path opens and you see the Way. It's so bright that you have to cover your eyes because of its radiance. Just as when you have your eyes closed but know when a light is on in the room, you step into the water and follow to where it's the brightest. That's where the hand is in the center of the light. The hand of rescue, the hand of salvation, the hand of a fire fighter. The hand of Jesus.
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