Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Day and Night (07/10/14)
- TITLE: Darkness Turns to Light
By Karen Emmer
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A heavy blanket of despair had fallen over the town of Complacency, smothering the faith of its leading citizens. Even the most devout, the most religious folks trembled in their living rooms, alone, abandoned, forsaken. All those years of doing good and praying and working to find favor, and this was their reward? Had they not given enough money, added new pews and a gym? Had they not prayed at the appropriate times, for meals and funerals and other such occasions?
The Robinsons gave carefully gave a tenth of all they earned, although they could have used the extra money for a second vacation this year. The Mackenzies helped feed the homeless once a month, keeping up appearances and adding to their resume of community servitude. And the Buchanan family kept the church respectable with the finest furniture and décor. These families and many more had rightfully earned recognition amongst the congregation and God, securing for themselves mansions in heaven.
Pastor Michael Sheldon Lockwood the third felt his way along the wall to his office, to the place where he proudly threw together sermons on Fridays and Saturdays, between dinners with his faithful and affluent flock. The night pressed in on him, choking him, terrifying him, and he wondered what he hoped to accomplish by searching for his Bible in the pitch black. He hadn’t needed it in years, having committed the most commonly used scriptures to memory. But scriptures and Bible stories were not what his flock longed to hear. They loved the anecdotes and stories he put together after surfing the web, making them applicable to the lives of the people with a somewhat religious theme.
He shuffled blindly toward the desk and plowed into his large leather, executive style chair. What was it doing on the wrong side of his desk? His hands began to shake as he rolled it aside. Reaching out through the blackness he found the large mahogany desk where it belonged, and sighed with relief. His imagination had had begun to run away with the idea of demons and evil spirits moving things around in his house to thwart him. Taking a deep breath he took one large step toward the bookcase and tripped over his trashcan. He crashed to the floor with such force, as if he had been shoved from behind. The terror of the night deepened, penetrating his soul.
“Lord help!” He cried, hardly aware that it was his own voice. “I can’t see my way. Help me!”
Pastor Mike awoke in a haze, drained, achy, and lying on the floor of his office at home. In his hands was the Word of God, the Bible, and he could see it. Daylight flooded through the window, washing over him, warm and comforting. He sat up slowly, clutching the Holy book in his arms. The office chair was still on the wrong side of the desk and trash had been strewn across the floor. It had not been a dream. He felt weak and trembling, but not from the terrors of the night. Something fresh and clean and pure filled the air, and the light in the hallway suddenly flickered to life.
“Lord,” his voice shook, “are you here?”
He looked around the room, and didn’t expect to see God sitting in his executive chair, or to even answer in an audible way, but he knew. God was there.
He stood in awe, humbled at the presence of the Lord. Who am I, he thought with head bowed, that You would answer my plea?
He peered out the window at his neighborhood with the sun rising brilliantly, casting off shadows and flooding the streets with its light. Mr. Buchanan was the first to step foot outside, looking up and down the street before fetching the newspaper at the end of his driveway. The Robinsons waved a friendly hello as they ventured out one by one into the light. And at the end of the street the host of heaven’s armies stood guard praising God and boasting in the Lord’s victory.
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