Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: Light in the Darkness
By Stacey Thaeler
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You know why you have to do this, Rachel.
Yes, Lord, but—
Before you were born, I loved you. And before he was born, I loved him.
Lord, how can I—
I’m the true light of the world. I’ve given you part of my light; walk as a child of light.
Rachel raised her head and looked at the low-slung building. From where she sat, she could make out the words “correctional institution” on the front. She watched as several more people walked up the tulip-lined walkway and opened the glass doors.
You really want me to go in there and forgive him?
My light shines brightest in the darkest places. There is no darkness I cannot chase away.
Lord, I’m afraid.
Then do it afraid. What better place is there for someone to experience my power over death?
More fat raindrops splashed onto the clean windshield. Her whole body felt like lead. Was this how Mary felt as she gazed up at her son, dying on the cross? Was she ever able to extend forgiveness and love? No! She couldn’t do this. She’d have to be out of her mind. The tears finally came, mimicking the rhythm of the rain.
As she reached into her purse for a tissue, her hand brushed up against something stiff, like cardboard. She stared down at the leftover valentine from one of her students. Unbidden, a smile formed on her lips. In shaky, first grade printing Amy had written, “I love you.”
The rough construction paper heart pressed to her cheek, Rachel recalled Jesus’ words in John’s Gospel: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.* Out of love, God gave his Son for whoever would believe in Him. Jesus came for sinners who are sick and dying.
The rain pelted her as she stepped out of the car. She dashed for the entrance to the prison, brushing up against a large mass of yellow tulips. Inside, a few people waited to check their belongings before entering the visitation room. Fighting the urge to run, she stepped into line, praying silently. When her turn came, she answered the questions, filled in the appropriate information, and waited to extend forgiveness to the drunk driver who took her son’s life.
*Scripture quotation from John 3:16 (KJV)
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