The storm is fierce; I can just barely see you over there on that island. From the land where I am the waves are trying to gobble up your island and you. They break upon the shore on all sides and each time their wet fingers grasp at you. The clouds are thick and black and the rain pouring down is so heavy it appears to be a lace sheet dividing you and me. I can see you only when the lightning strikes but it’s only for a second before the deafening sound of thunder threatens to break the heavens in two. The wind sends the rain like sharp stone pelts at you and at me. The situation seems so bleak.
I am cold and shivering; my skin is numb from the relentless attacks of the stone like rain drops. The ringing in my ears from the thunder and the waves is so loud; this storm has a reason for its torment. But I can’t give up, I can’t give up on you, so I fight against the storm. The waves are rising harder and you are so very far away. But I need to speak to you, I need you to hear what I have to say, the message is one of urgency. Curse this storm and its relentlessness. It seeks to devour you, it wants to drown you!
You are my sibling, my brother my sister, and my heart is breaking as I watch the lies of this storm grow. I see you look out in my direction, but you don’t see me. I am screaming and my throat burns from the strain. You need to know I love you; you need to know you are loved before it is too late. I wave my hands frantically to get your attention and a look of sheer horror washes over your face, it then turns to disgust as for a instant you glance my way. The darkness of the storm is perverting what you see and the roar of it is keeping you deaf to what I have to say. I see you cover your head, hiding from the storm, wishing the waves would just come and swallow you up into an endless darkness of quiet and peace.
If I could just get you to look at me again, if I could just get you to hear me, you would know the truth. But all my screaming and jumping up and down and cursing the storm are for nothing. The waters continue to rise and my time is running out. I know if you could tell me, you would say to just go away and leave you to die. That you hated me and I repulsed you, but that is my fault. It is my fault because of all the flailing around and yelling to get your attention.
Suddenly I freeze. I turn and run up a spiral staircase of stairs, there are many and I am so tired! I push myself going as fast as I can. Once I reach the top I pull out a match and light the lantern. The fire in the cylinder roars to life with light and warmth. My shivering begins to slow as I allow the heat to warm and dry me. I know I must go back outside and I don’t have time to stall, that small amount of light and warmth are enough to recharge me to go back out in the storm.
The waves have all but consumed the island but now you are no longer hiding. I can see you straining to see, you are looking at the light! I barely make it out but I am sure of it! Hope burns in my chest so strong I fall to my knees. At that moment I pray, I pray God calms the storm so you can see the light better. There may still be time to tell you! As I pray face down the rain begins to soften against my skin. The ringing in my ears dies down as the thunder begins to quiet. The wind that was so harsh begins to calm into a steady breeze. Still I pray fervently for the storm to cease but I am so tired and I don’t want to trust my ears.
Then I hear a new sound, like a gentle thumping, over and over, getting louder and louder. Then it stops, I force my head to look up and my eyes to open. You are standing on my beach next to a row boat. You look exhausted and weary but your eyes keep bouncing from the light to me. You look back to me, doubt in your eyes, shivering still from the wet and the fear. I get up and I run to you. I embrace you hard crying as I do. I tell you I love you, that we are family. I tell you that you don’t ever have to go back to that island again, that you are home. I tell you that I want you to stay, stay with me where light and warm. You look at me, this time your eyes are gentle and full of understanding. Together we go to get more wood for the lantern, there will be more storms to come and more people that venture to the island and will need help. But if we keep the lantern lit they will always find their way to the light, even if they return to the island and decide not to stay in the light, the memory if its warmth will remain with them and maybe someday they will come home to stay.
This morning I was reading all the new updates in what is going on in the world. Well, to be honest, some of the world. I don’t think I could stand reading about the whole world. As I read my spirit sunk lower and lower. Everything I read was so harsh, even if it was meant for good. Honestly, the ONE thing I read today that I was like “Yay” was that there will once again be fireworks at Mount Rushmore. Now that is a sobering thought. A fresh morning with only one thing that could get my spirit somewhat lifted was some fireworks. Move over Charlie while I say, “Good grief”.
The problem that I am seeing is in the Christians of the world. I have talked a lot about lukewarm Christians and not speaking up and so on. All of that is very true; others cannot know what sin is unless we gently tell them. Emphasis on the word gently. But what I am seeing is unrelenting pushes towards people who do not share our views. If I came up to you and said, “You can’t take that food, you are stealing” in front of everyone at the grocery store; and I say it in a “way better than thou” tone, that will most likely not change you. It will make you feel judged, it will embarrass you, and it will humiliate you. You will probably walk away with either no answer or an excuse as to why you were going to do it. Then the next time I see you with some food I ask you if you stole it that will only make you turn bitter to me and fill you with anger. It will make it so bad to know you feel like you are being judged without any evidence that you push me completely away.
As Christians we are called to love above all else. How can we love if we hammer our knowledge down someone’s throat? If you have told them once, I can assure you they heard it. There is no wisdom in continuing to badger someone hoping that they will see the truth. In their hearts the seed was planted the first time you said it. The seed is the key, which is the start of all transformation. The problem is, as Christian we feel WE are the ones that need to do the transforming. We were never more wrong! We have no right to think we hold such power! Our power is of the Holy Spirit and if any transformation happens it is because He is working within us. But nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Holy Spirit is anger, stubborn, relentless? He isn’t any of those. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 English Standard Version (ESV) states:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
Our biggest weapon remains a secret one, a hidden armory deep in our soul. Our biggest weapon against those with scaled eyes and hardened hearts is prayer, because it is only through prayer and petition that we surrender our control and allow the one true King to allow scales to fall and hearts to soften.
I wrote the island for its symbolism to being a Christian. We are at war, not with the person on the island but with the storm that rages between us. Deafening ears, blinding sight and not allowing contact are how the storm lies to us, divides us and ultimately destroys us. It is only when we go to a power bigger then ourselves, the Holy Spirit that is the light within us does the person we want to reach even become interested in us. We must be a light; we must let the characteristics of the Holy Spirit permeate through us. We will still get hit with the same storms as them, we will have to fight for them even though we feel it is hopeless and we have no love left for them. Then we must pray that much harder for them and for ourselves, pray they are drawn to the source of our light. Because the source is God, the source is truth. A seed cannot grow in darkness and misery; it must have a light to reach towards. We as Christians must be that light or we cannot truly call ourselves Christians then, can we?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law ~
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven ~
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it ~