Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)
TITLE: May Darkness Overwhelm
By Lollie Hofer
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Calvin Johnson, a servant of the Lord and a servant to the numerous Filipino tribes he ministered to, smiled while inhaling the jungle aromas. The steamy moisture, dripping from everything green, emitted a musty odor which used to offend his nostrils. Now he enjoyed the cleansing the constant rains brought to this stifling land. Swatting at a swarm of gnats, he tried to remember what life was like before arriving to this primitive area on the island.
"Who would have thought this citified man could have survived the jungle?" he asked out loud to the humongous ferns growing along the path. "Not only have I survived, but after fifteen years I consider this my home. It's the cement jungle that scares me now."
Rounding a bend about 100 feet from the village, Calvin stopped on the narrow path. Quickly hiding in the shadows of a fern plant, he laid on his stomach trying to make himself as invisible as possible. Peeking from around a large clump of leaves, he saw militant guerillas going from cottage to cottage. He knew it wasn't the villagers they were interested in capturing. An American, any American, meant a possible windfall of wealth to these hoodlums. For fifteen years, Calvin had successfully stayed under their radar. That is until now.
Crawling further into the foliage, Calvin's breathing came in short, shallow gasps. He knew he had to get his fear under control before he decided his next move. He didn't know if he should surrender to the guerillas or take his chances with the jungle. Neither option seemed appealing to him, both scenarios were full of uncertainties and possible death.
Calvin began wriggling, not able to lay still. Thrashing his legs, he tried to get rid of the red, stinging ants. Looking down at the ground, he realized he was lying on top of an ant colony. He began crawling further into the brush trying to flee both the ants and the guerillas. Unfortunately, the commotion he made alerted the guerillas to his hiding place.
Several men began running back down the path. He knew it was only a matter of minutes and they would locate his hiding place.
"Lord, please help me! Hide me in Your arms of safety right now," Calvin began quietly praying. "Lord, I need a miracle. I sure wish it was dark right now."
Tuesday, 1:10 a.m., San Diego, CA
Sara sat straight up in bed, wiping sweat from her forehead. Pulling daisy-print pajamas away from her damp body, she tried to make sense of the fear grabbing hold of her. Clutching at her pounding heart, she shut her eyes in an attempt to close out the feeling of overwhelming dread. Taking a deep breath, she slowly exhaled. Realizing God was calling, Sara threw her legs over the bed while simultaneously reaching for the Bible on the nightstand. Kneeling next to her bed, she began to pray.
"What is exposed in the light, please hide in darkness, Lord," Sara prayed over and over. Strange, she thought to herself, shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't I be praying for the light to expose the darkness? The more she prayed, the more urgent it was for the darkness to overpower the light.
Wednesday, 4:15 p.m., Somewhere in the jungle, Philippines
Calvin, willing his breathing to slow down, began shaking from the adrenaline flowing through his body. "Stupid fear!" he muttered. "They could probably sense it a mile away!"
He could hear machetes cutting down jungle growth. They were heading directly to his hiding place. The men were only a few feet from where he was lying. He prayed the foliage would be enough to hide him but he also knew the guerillas wouldn't give up. They were already spending the money they hoped to make from his ransom.
"What in the…"? Calvin asked himself. He could feel the earth rumbling beneath his body. "An earthquake?" There was an active volcano on the island which frequently reminded its residence of its incredible power.
But no, it wasn't an earthquake. Water-laden clouds began to form directly above the forest where Calvin was lying. The afternoon light was enveloped in darkness as sheets of rain began to pelt the enemy. With lightening striking the ground around the guerillas, they began running toward their jeeps.
Calvin, now lying in a puddle of mud, raised his hands to the One who gave him a miracle.
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