It was late when David finally got home – close to midnight. He fumbled to find the right key, then fumbled some more getting it into the lock and opening the door. Once inside the house, instead of turning on the lights, he made his way across the living room and plopped into his favorite chair.
This was his ritual for the past several months. He would get home as late as he could, sit in the dark until he could no longer keep his eyes open and then make his way to bed, stopping somewhere along the way to change into shorts and a t-shirt. In the morning he would get showered, dressed and out the door before he had any time to think. Thinking came later, during his dark time alone in the chair.
Tonight, as he sat in the dark, he felt less tired than usual. The plan was to get home so late and exhausted that he wouldn't have time to think or feel much before he went off to bed. Now, though, his mind was racing and thoughts he'd held at bay were flinging themselves at him, demanding he give them his attention.
It was the church. He'd known it was a bad idea to go back there. He had avoided it like the plague, since that day. Apparently everyone else had too.
David's eyes roamed his dark empty house. Inexorably he took in the total absence. Absence of little girl laughter. Absence of Gayle pleading with the children to settle down. Absence of her eyes rolling in his direction as he wound them back up again.
Emptiness washed over him and he felt the pain anew. The loss cut deeply, but not as deeply as the shame. For them he could be happy. They were home. For him, there seemed to be no home left. Not in this empty house, and not in the death he so longed for but couldn't have; because he knew it wouldn't take him to his family. If it would, David would be with them now.
This evening as he'd wandered back into the church for the first time since that day, others wandered in too. They brushed away cobwebs, and opened up windows to let some air in. Nobody tried to turn on any lights, or wonder how they all ended up back there at the same time. They all simply felt pulled to the building this night. A pull none of them could understand.
They talked. Sam's wife and kids had been at the zoo. Veronica's parents on a flight to Dallas. Larry and Jennifer's kids were at a concert. Nobody realized, or understood at first how all-encompassing the disappearances were.
As information trickled in it was obvious they had been raptured. None wanted to believe it. How could it be true when so many were left behind? All of them had refused to go back to the church. They were confused. Embarrassed. Ashamed.
As he spoke with the others, David noticed similarities in their stories. How each of them, in their own way, had played at church - never truly giving themselves to God. Some of them had known all along that their faith was fake. Others, like David, played the part so well that they had even fooled themselves.
There was no fooling God, though. As they huddled together in a dark, cold and empty church, they looked at one another for answers that weren't there.
Back in his house, David sat in his comfortable chair, and finally broke down in tears. Tears for what he'd lost - for what he'd fooled himself into thinking he had.
“God!” He cried out as he fell out of the chair and onto his knees. “What do the rest of us do now? We have no one left to lead us or guide us.” It was his first genuine prayer in his life.
After a while - he had no idea how long - David peeled his face from his carpeted floor, wiped tears from his eyes, and noticed a light coming through his living room window.
A streetlight, he thought.
His eyes followed the light as it stabbed, arrow straight, across the room to the end table, and fell on his dust covered Bible. Chastened, David suddenly realized that was his problem. Possibly had been his problem all along.
He was always looking for direction, always trying to follow someone else. Everyone other than God.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.