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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)

TITLE: Dark Glory
By Connie Walcott


The shroud of darkness that cloaked my mind seemed tangible. Dampness clung to my cheeks as I strained to watch the scenes being played out on a screen that stood before me.
The place seemed familiar, yet I couldn’t bring to mind its exact location. My spirit was heavy as I looked upon a kaleidoscope of ever changing faces that seemed somehow, very familiar.
As I watched, the darkness lifted ever so slightly and details of the scenes before me began to sharpen with intense definition.
A young woman sank into an overstuffed chair, obviously exhausted and heavy of heart. Small children danced around her, oblivious to her deep pain. They shrieked in delight as they danced, incapable of compassion for the grip of dark pain that isolated the woman from their joy and exultation of their dance.
Shadows drew near and enveloped the scene as I tried to reach her through the almost palpable darkness. I could sense the pain as the young woman wearily closed her eyes in complete and utter despair.
The shadows around me swirled and danced into yet another unfolding scene as I watched an elderly gentleman sink into the worn, tattered seat of an old city bus. His eyes were hollow and dark, filled with an emptiness which could only be described as haunting.
I yearned to bring a smile to his face; I longed to share a morsel of joy with him for he seemed so devoid of emotion, totally lacking even the tiniest spark of life. His solemn face bespoke a heart full of tears, and yet… his empty eyes were unable to mask the deep grief that engulfed his weary heart.
The deep shadows around me thickened again, and my eyes strained to see through the dense patches of whirling night. I felt heaviness beyond my ability to comprehend. Crushing weight lay heavy on my heart and mind. I felt a sense of choking while my breathing became more labored. A deep sense of panic rose within me.
I tried to cry out for Jesus, but was unable to utter the syllables of His name. The despair became more intense as each passing scene played out on the screen before me.
The last scene that came into focus was one of unspeakable horror. A tiny baby girl lay before me… naked, injured and drowning in a pool of her own blood. The baby struggled to cry out, her tiny mouth opening and closing in her desperate attempts to draw in the breath of life.
The darkness had gone to pitch black, and yet, a beam of light showcased this child’s obvious battle with life and death. I choked back my own screams as I tried to make my way to the dying child. Unseen hands held me in an iron clad grip, my feet glued to the platform that distanced me from the baby’s battle for life.
Just as she seemed to be drawing what was certainly her final breath, the darkness that surrounded us both began to once again shift. Ever so slightly, the darkness faded to a paler shade of gray… the child drank deeply of the tiny rays of light that were responding to her silent pleas for life.
I pleaded for Jesus to rescue the helpless bundle that lay battered before me. At once, my feet were freed and my hands were loosed to reach for the bruised and bleeding baby.
The swirling darkness grew ever lighter, and I could see a fine linen cloth lying at my feet. I wrapped the child in its sweet scented softness, and felt my heart soar as her breathing became stronger and stable.
I watched in wonder as the baby was soon lifted from my grasp, and began to fade into the darkness that was returning to tangible proportions.
As I found myself waking to the early morning dawn, I turned to place my feet on the floor. Determined to be the hands of Jesus today, I knew I had been given opportunities to meet with him in the places where he longed to reveal his presence. He was calling me to service through the shadows of our encounter. I had to reach out in response to the longing I had sensed in the presence of Jesus. I came fully awake, and began to fully comprehend the mystery of the darkness. Through the soft swirling shadows I had spoken with Jesus, I’d been invited to touch His dear, precious face.

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Member Comments
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Jeanne E Webster 10/22/10
Very compassionate story; well written. I'm not sure if I get your message though. Was it to realize we need to see the face of Jesus in everyone we meet? If so, we become His eyes, ears, hands and feet and carry out His love to the world. Blessings. :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/22/10
You described such vivid scenes. Although I had a hard time seeing the topic the last sentence pulled it together for me and made it a poignant message.
Lollie Hofer10/25/10
How many needy and hurting people come and go in my life where I don't reach out to help them? Our pastor says, "The call is in the need." Thanks for sharing this thought-provoking story.