The man sat on his couch. He was alone in his house filled with fine furnishings. In front of him a large screen television was playing multiple news channels. The man had muted the volume and merely watched the scrolling headlines of each channel. The news wasn’t good and he knew it to be only a matter of time before chaos erupted to turn his own life upside down. There was no other conclusion.
He glanced at his glass coffee table and could see the ornate bible laying on the lower shelf. It had belonged to someone in his family lineage, but he’d long forgotten their name. Now and again a girlfriend had asked him why he kept it there, and he’d jokingly replied, “in case of emergencies”.
Looking back at the television, he used the remote to pull up the stock market channel. He could see he was bleeding money fast. The riches he’d spent so many years of his life accumulating were dissipating as though he’d never had them. He wondered how long it’d be before his luxury home would again belong to the bank.
He turned off the television, leaning his head on the back of the leather couch. Closing his eyes he wondered at the meaning of it all. He was already in the latter years of his life and here he sat alone. He hadn’t made time for having a family and those who were closest to him were business associates. Since the turn in the market, his once busy phone was quiet.
Opening his eyes he looked around the room. Everywhere was opulence and yet the thrill he’d once gotten for having such things was no longer there. Now they all looked like empty trinkets; things to be auctioned off to the highest bidder once the sharks came to break apart the pieces of his life.
His face felt strange and reaching up to touch it, he realized he’d been crying. His beard was soaked in his own tears. A sorrow entered his heart for all the waste. Leaning forward he reached under his coffee table to the lower shelf. The time of emergency had finally come; he could only hope it wasn’t too late.
In its flame there was a steadiness I wanted to know. I photographed the light burning before me in wonder and awe; mesmerized by its beauty. Yearning pulled at my heart once more. I wanted to see what I was reading; His eyes were like a flame of fire. I wanted to experience the revelation of God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
* Rev 19:12, 1John 1:5
No longer able to afford the cable, her television gathered dust in a corner of the tiny room. The only other furniture was a worn couch with a lopsided dinner tray beside it. Any light entering the room was filtered through a dingy window she had long ago given up putting a covering over. Her smoking had put its own film upon the glass.
She flipped through the same magazines again, their pages fading from the oils in her fingers. Reaching for the cigarettes, she tapped the pack until it released another tobacco cylinder. Lighting up, she inhaled deeply, enjoying the freshness of the inhalation before the coughing wracked her body once more. This one took longer than ever before to recede and she could feel spittle dribbling down her chin. Sitting back she wiped it away with the sleeve of her tattered robe.
Her mind screamed in anger of how she didn’t deserve this life allotted to her. Her tear ducts had long ago dried up leaving only bitter memories. In frustration she spoke out into the empty air, “God, you’ve never helped me a day in my life, if you were real you’d have come knockin’ long ago!”
Her cigarette had burned down to the filter. Stubbing it out she closed the pages she’d been looking at. Maybe she could sleep some more? She reached for the blanket nearby and readied her head for the flattened pillow when a knock came to her door. Looking at the door she wondered if it was even worth moving to answer it.
Valor made me curious. What was valor? I searched the word and online for its meaning and a consistent theme emerged. Valor was the stuff of legends. To be one of valor meant to have courage and boldness especially in the face of danger. To possess valor was to be heroically brave.
My stomach began to flip again and I knew I was meant to understand this word, not just for myself, but for those who already know they are being called into an arena of valiant acts of heroism. Our actions will fly in the face of reason.
Jdg 6:12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
A certain loneliness fell upon my heart. I was not alone, but my heart could not be consoled with this fact. I realized the stirrings were to awaken my depths once more. My King summoned me into His presence. I didn’t need to do anything, say anything or be anything more than I was.
The ache came to fill my chest with a desire unspeakable. I could feel the need to be loved and it overwhelmed me. Lowering my eyes, I pulled back for fear I’d drown in being so undone. Tears had filled my lap.
Son 6:5a Turn your eyes away from me, for they have overcome me
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
In the background I could hear, “it’s just another day” playing quietly on my radio.
I thought back to my morning. I had chosen an easy walking path but it was populated with friends who were walking in pairs. My own partner couldn’t be seen but He walked with me, and I shared all that was upon my heart with the Lord; my hopes, anxieties and needs. He was quick to remind me I just needed to seek first His kingdom and righteousness, the rest He would take care of.
It was a small park I was in, so I kept passing the same people also walking. I could hear what they were speaking to each other. None of it was about the One who gave us the day to rejoice in. The One who gave us trees and grass; the One who gave us the sunshine and fresh air; the One who gave us companionship to enjoy. To them it really was “just another day”.
Turning off my radio, I let the quiet fill my house so I could again talk to my best friend, and thank Him for all His wonderful ways….
John 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
An ache in my heart reminded me of the date. I didn’t need to look at the calendar. I reflected upon questions I’d never have answers to this side of life. The sun was warm upon my face and I lay my head upon the steering wheel. A promise of long ago rang in my memory. I missed him and wondered again about the life not lived.
The world was different. A lifetime ago I was wrapped up in the same hype as our entire nation, a Superbowl event. Today I didn’t even know the starting time or even the line ups. Like I said, the world was different. The event playing upon my heart was the game of a lifetime, mine. The eternal lifetime.