Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Vote/Voted off the Island (05/29/14)
TITLE: Rejected And Cast Out
By JK Stenger
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We just didn't match. I never understood his empty joys and desires, his wild parties and inflated sense of importance. I felt hopelessly out of place in his company, and thus I kept searching for meaning elsewhere. But World doesn’t take kindly to those who question his carnal ways.
"You don’t want to conform? Then there’s no place for you."
"No place? But then…where is my place?"
"Don’t know. Probably nowhere. But in any case it's not here. And it doesn’t concern me!"
And so World turned his back on me, and left me alone.
Confusion was now my only companion. I detested him, but no one else seemed to be willing to walk with me.
Tears stung my eyes and I looked around in despair. I had to get away from this life with its disappointments and pain. Away from the darkness that tried to swallow me up in its gaping mouth of demoralizing anxiety. Away from the phony smiles and the insincere friendships. These artificial smiles had covered my face too, and I was no stranger to insincerity.
But no more. I was out. I could live with World no more. So what was there to do except leave? There was nothing to keep me here. So we left together, Confusion and I.
It didn’t matter where we would go. We didn’t belong anywhere. We would go with the wind and see where it would lead, although I had no hope of finding a better place.
The day we left, World cackled and sneered. A smirk was painted on his pompous face.
"Crazy fool. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Glad to see you go."
I still tried to hide my tears in a misplaced effort to keep up appearances, but when World was out of sight, and there was no one else around except Confusion, the tears flowed freely.
<I>How deep is the darkness? How lonely can one man be?</I>
Confusion chattered all the way. Kept blabbering at all the inappropriate moments. Can’t a man be left in peace, even for just a moment?
<I>God, just take him away from me.</I> I sighed and whispered the word again.
"What about Him?" Confusion sneered. "There is no God. We’re all alone, and you know it!"
So we stumbled on. Over roads unknown. Through forests and fields. We slept in haystacks and woke up in mud puddles and tightened our belts so we wouldn’t have to feel the hunger. And at night, when Confusion seemed to be sleeping, I cried.
<I>God, if only You would be real.</I>
One morning, as we shivered under a tree in our damp clothes, something changed.
Confusion didn’t seem to notice, but I felt it. It was clear. Undeniably clear. There was Somebody there. There was a Presence. I couldn’t explain it, but I could feel it. I felt safe and warm. I had once felt that way as a little child, when my mother had been speaking of the heavenly things. But that was long ago.
"God, is that You?"
I fell on my knees and looked up.
Confusion jumped up in alarm.
"There is no God."
I scowled at him.
"Shut your mouth. You only confuse me."
I asked again, "God, is that You?"
Right then and there a deep peace settled over my troubled heart.
Confusion looked… confused. He opened his mouth, but no words came. Then he turned and ran like the blazes and disappeared into the distance.
Gone was his gibberish and his drivel. My mind was clear.
The Savior was standing before me, bathed in the most glorious light.
He spoke gently while I gazed into His eyes, His love washing over me.
"You thought you were alone. But I was always at your side."
Once again tears stung my eyes. But this time, it was different.
The Savior put His hands on my head. I heard His words. Not outwardly, but deep down, inside the core of my being.
"I had to wait until you were ready. No friend of World can enter My kingdom, but I came to save those who have been thrown out by World."
Rejected and cast out. But I had come home.
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