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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)

TITLE: Blue Lights
By Aaron Morrow
10/14/09


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I could sense him quietly approaching. The sound of his slacks creasing as he tiptoed closer gave him away.

Keeping my eyes locked on the computer screen, not wanting to alert him that I was fully aware of his devious plan, I slowly pushed myself a few inches away from the desk.

I swiveled my chair quickly to confront my stalker.

“AAAH!” Danny’s shock of blond hair sprang up like a frightened porcupine.

“No fair!” My nine-year-olds’ disappointed shrug perfectly illustrated Robert Burns’ words: The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley (often go awry).

I pointed to his feet, “Sounds like we need to take those sneakers back, they forgot to attach the sneak.

Danny’s flashed a smile that could have melted a frozen stick of butter from forty paces. Oh Lord. Fathers, hide your daughters before this kid gets past the all-girls-have-cooties stage.

He looked past me at my computer screen and the daily interrogation began, “Whatcha working on?”

“Just trying to put together some thoughts for offering time.”

“Hmm” His enthusiasm was palpable.

“What’s that?” His pointing index finger nearly skewered my nose. My eyes traced the line of his finger to the object of his inquiry.

“That’s where I plug in my guitar when I’m recording.” The neglected little box looked dusty and sad.

“Are you recording something today?”

“No…haven’t used it in awhile.” So much for the next “big thing” in Christian rock and the money I had spent on another piece of equipment that I never used.

“Then why is it turned on?”

“It’s not”

“Then what’s that light for?”

I stole a quick glance. A small blue light was emanating from a hidden corner of the face plate. “Oh, that. That just shows it’s plugged in. The TV has one of those too.”

“Oh, yeah. It’s kinda weird…” Danny’s tone announced his arrival in “deep thought” mode.

Okay, I’ll bite. “Weird how?”

“Well, they’re plugged into all this power…tons and tons of it, right?” Let it go, now is not the time for a lesson on units of electrical measurement.

“Right.”

“But all they do is put out this little blue light you gotta get real close to see.”

Danny turned slightly and looked thoughtfully at the blue light on the television.

Time for a little demonstration. “Watch this, champ,” I walked to the TV and switched it on. A light appeared in the center of the screen and yawned to life filling the screen. A group of teens were mountain-biking and chugging some new soft drink apparently concocted to facilitate death-defying, parental-heart-attack-inducing, two-wheeled daredevilry.

“It’s a commercial.”

“Thank you Detective Dan, what else do you notice?”

Danny’s wheels were turning but I was impatient to get back to work.

“No more blue light.” I pointed to where it had been.

“Ah.”

“See it has been replaced by this very bright, colorful, and oh-so-educational, light. It’s using the electricity for the purpose we bought it for….right champ? Danny?”

The flashing images on the big screen had already claimed Danny’s attention.

***

With communion coming to a close, I took my position at the podium. The congregation was already shifting in their pews in preparation for worship service to end. Some were pulling their checkbooks out of their purses to prepare their offering, some were looking around the worship center to find friends that they would be meeting afterward for lunch, and a few appeared to be deeply in prayer (though an early Sunday nap was just as likely).

I shifted slightly from one foot to the other, uncomfortable by the obvious yearning for release in the eyes and the movements of the crowd. The entire environment seemed to shout, “Make it fast Reverend, we have plans!

I shuffled my notes randomly on the lectern for a moment and closed my eyes. Lord, provide the words. I looked out at the crowd, and blinked in surprise at the unfolding vision before me.

That can’t be. Lord, help us.

The eyes of the congregation appeared only as row upon row of dim blue lights, connected to the power but unresponsive to the purpose for which they had been purchased at so great a cost.

I felt the Spirit move within me and I began to speak…


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This article has been read 516 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mary Alice Bowles10/16/09
Wonderful read...I have now read this about three times. The first part is so very peaceful, but the last part really says it all....

So very wonderful...

The eyes of the congregation appeared only as row upon row of dim blue lights, connected to the power but unresponsive to the purpose for which they had been purchased at so great a cost.

Thank you!
Anita van der Elst10/17/09
Wow! The last couple of paragraphs deliver the punch!

Enjoyed the dialogue between MC & son too. (Sneakers not having the sneak attached was really cute!)

Mona Purvis10/20/09
Offered a lot to think about. Interesting entry. I'm always amazed as I walk through the house in the dark and see all the small lights throughout. Creative.
Mona
Ruth Brown 10/20/09
Cool story,but sad.Lord let us not be little blue lights!
Jan Ackerson 10/21/09
Excellent object lesson!

Some of your italicized thoughts were really "asides" by your narrator, and didn't need the italics. A minor quibble.

Love the little guy--this was a very strong entry.
Lisa Johnson 10/22/09
What a great correlation between the blue lights on the electronics, and the eyes of the people in the congregation. Plugged into the power... but not serving the intended purpose... how well that describes too many of us who inhabit a pew each Sunday. Thank you for sharing such a thought provoking entry. Congratulations on the 3rd place win for level.
Catrina Bradley 10/22/09
I can see why this story is in the top 10. Powerful message; I like how you didn't actually write out the reverend's words to his congregation, but let us glean the message from his experience just like he did.
Sarah Elisabeth 10/23/09
Great entry! Such a powerful illustration.

Congrats on your placing!
bill johnson10/24/09
This is a great object lesson, Aaron. Well done.