Someone Had to Die
I heard the yell as I bounded around the corner in a newfound burst of speed. At the intersection, I ditched my ski cap and let my long blonde hair flow. I paused for a split second to blend in with the crowd, stopping to look at shoes in the window at the policeman ran past. I am not proud of stealing a woman’s purse, but that is part of the initiation ritual to the club. All my life I’ve been an outcast, unwanted by my parents and friends. Finally, I found people who wanted me.
Stealing cosmetics and a woman’s purse are the first two steps of initiation. After I give the purse to Mitchell, he’ll give me my final assignment. The others say it’s fun, yet they look scared when they talk about it. I’ve heard rumors that someone has to die before acceptance is final.
Strolling down Regan Avenue, I noticed a sign that said: “I died so you don’t have to.” It was in front on an old, dilapidated church that looked like it should be condemned. Yet something made me walk up the steps and enter the building.
“Welcome. I’ve been waiting for you,” said the captivating man.
“Me? I don’t even know you,” I stuttered.
“I know you and your plans. You need acceptance and love, which I freely offer. I gave my life so you can live as one with the Father.”
I didn’t understand His words, but I knew they were true. “What must I do?” I asked.
“Turn away from your evil ways, be truly sorry for your sins, and call upon the saving name of Jesus. I am the way to eternal life and peace.”
I fell to my knees faster than my tears fell to the floor, ashamed of my past and hating all I had done. As I called upon the name of Jesus, I felt a change within me. Love as I had never felt flowed over me.
He raised me to my feet and said, “Go and make right the wrong. There are many who will help you understand what I have revealed to you.”
“Thank you, my Lord,” I said. Feeling unworthy, I stepped outside into the bright sunlight. I nearly ran to Clint Street and entered the police station. I sounded like a lunatic as I ranted, “I stole this purse and I need to return it. I am so sorry. Mitchell is the leader of the group that forces us to do horrible things for initiation. I’ll tell you where he is and all about him. I deserve to be jailed.”
As the officer prepared to arrest me, a woman approached. It was she! I looked at her, horrified.
“Officer, I do not wish to press charges, under one condition. Will you come to church with me? We need help painting,” Mrs. Banner said with a smile.
I was stunned. “Why? What church?”
“The only one on Regan Avenue. You will come?” It was more of a statement than a question.
“Yes,” I replied. I was anxious to return to that church and see Jesus again.
As we approached the church, I stopped. Where just an hour ago had sat an old, rundown, broken building, I now saw a beautiful church with white brick and gleaming windows.
“How? I was just here ….” My voice drifted away.
Mrs. Banner replied, “Christ is the miracle worker.”
I suddenly understood. Until an hour ago, I was broken and filthy, like that old building. Now I have been made clean by the blood of Christ. He died so I could be accepted. I owe Him my life and will joyfully serve Him all my days.
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