Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Discern (08/12/10)
TITLE: Stained Glass
By Edy T Johnson
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His life held such promise. Beloved son and brother, he tried to do
everything right to please his family and more. He even graduated from
the seminary and became a pastor. But, unknown to everyone, hidden in his
genetic make-up, lay a trap just waiting to be sprung.
When this dedicated and radiant young man came to the attention of his
superiors, they selected him to groom for higher office. In these
ecclesiastical circles, David’s guard was down. He came unprepared for
the new social scene. One of his mentors offered him an alcoholic
beverage. Not knowing what to do, even though he came from a family of
teetotalers, he accepted the drink. He took the bait. He fell into the
If he had never taken that first drink, he might never have known his
potential to become an alcoholic. The downward spiral began slowly at
first. But, it didn’t take his young wife long to realize what the liquor
was capable of doing to her husband. Before their baby was two years old,
she had enough. She left and filed for divorce. Everyone was devastated.
The loneliness pushed David even more quickly into the pit of despair. He
could make it through the week, working at church headquarters. But, no
longer a parish pastor, he blew his weekends getting plastered.
An office secretary noticed him. She could tell he was suffering and
thought she might be able to help. For awhile, her friendship and
blossoming love brought back his radiant smile. They married and he
provided for his growing family. But, the snare that had such a grip on
him continued to haunt him. Even though his new wife loved him and did
everything she could think of to patch his broken heart and life, David
continued to deteriorate. Finally, realizing she didn’t have what David
needed, she gave him an ultimatum: get help, or she would leave, too.
By this time, David concluded that his life was so hopeless, so beyond
repair, that his only solace came from the bottle. His wife saw that she
could not compete, that he wouldn’t or couldn’t put his family ahead of
his addiction. Once again, David found himself bereft of companionship as
his wife and children moved out.
Besides his mother, David had no one left except for his little sister.
But both of them lived hundreds of miles away. Karen regularly phoned
him. She tried to determine from their conversations what state he might
be in. After every phone call, she wept for her brother, fearing each
time that it could be the last she’d ever hear his voice.
And, the day finally came when David no longer answered his phone.
After several days of not being able to get through to him, Karen alerted
authorities. Would they please check his apartment to see if he was okay?
She learned that neighbors had already called the police.
Later, weeping as she told her cousins what happened, she said, “I prayed
and prayed that God would take away his desire for what was poisoning
him. Since his death I’ve grieved that he might have died lost.” He had
died alone, she explained, and when they found him, he had been dead for
days and there was blood everywhere. Apparently blood vessels in his
esophagus had ruptured due to liver disease.
“But, I have hope,” she continued, weeping. “When they found him, he was
on his knees beside the couch.”
In this life, we see “through a glass darkly.” So much of this world’s
suffering remains beyond our comprehension. We search the Scriptures to
see if these things be so, looking for answers, for comfort, for insight
on the unexplainable. We know we cannot wash ourselves clean from the sin
that so easily besets us. That’s a job only God can do and has already
done for us at Calvary. When we sing “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in
me,” we know His light shines brightest through those clear-washed
windows of the soul.
But, perhaps it is only when He shines His radiance through stained glass
that our vision is arrested. Such a sight leaves us at a loss for words
to describe the beauty of His holiness and His mercy.
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