My Little Light
just trying to let it shine

Raindrops and New Beginnings

8:22 PM

The raindrops splatter against my windshield in an angry cacophony of mini explosions. Each one angry that its' journey must come to an end. At least that how it seems to me right now, but maybe that's because I'm angry. Not just angry, but bitter, lonely, and scared.

That's how my life seems right now. It's as if my life has fractured into thousands of little 'raindrops' and each one is free falling to it's own end with an angry mini explosion. The last of those drops is about to fall. I will no longer be angry, bitter, or scared for tonight a bottle of pills will see to it that final drop falls and ends in one last angry explosion that will finally release me from all the pain and misery.

I grab the pen and paper I have brought with me so I can write a goodbye note to my family to tell them I love them, but explaining how miserable I am. However, no words seem appropriate. How should I tell my wife and children that I don't consider my life worth living? I'm thinking, debating if maybe it would be best to not leave a note.

As I sit thinking I notice that as each drop of rain hits the windshield it isn't very long before the windshield wiper brushes it aside as if it was never there. I wonder if that's what will happen with me. After the last drop of my existence finally splatters against the windshield of life will it be long before I'm brushed aside as if I was never there? I can't seem to figure out what to tell my family, so it's time to create that last cloudburst of my life. I've got the bottle and I'm opening it.


The voice is mine. Yet, somehow I'm startled. I didn't expect that. Those words came out with all the harsh anger and exquisite pain I am feeling. Of course nothing is happening. God isn't speaking to me. Heaven hasn't opened with a beam of light shining directly on me.

So here I am with an open bottle of pills, a water bottle to wash them down and no God to care anything about me. The first handful of pills shakes out of my hand as a chill overtakes my body and causes me to tremble. It's not stopping. I keep shaking. It feels like someone is pouring cold water over my head. I look up thinking the roof of my car has somehow sprung a leak. But there's no leak, no water, I'm not actually wet.

What's happening? Somehow with each tremble little bits of my pain, bitterness, and anger are leaving me. As I finally quit trembling I begin to sob. For the first time in a long time my tears are not tears on anguish, but of happiness.

I'm staring at the windshield again as I try to regain my composure. Something different catches my eye this time. The windshield wiper may be brushing all the raindrops aside, but it also brushes them together into a single stream that flows over the side of the car. The streams of rain flow through the streets, the sewers and wherever else, but they don't cease to exist. They may flow back into a life giving river or ocean. They may evaporate and help form another cloud only to start the process of falling to earth all over again, but I see now that even though that original cloud may have come apart in the form of raindrops it wasn't the end. It was just a new beginning.

The raindrops splatter against my windshield in an exclamation of joy. Each one thrilled that it will no longer be one lonely drop of water falling by itself, but it will now get to start over as part of the stream.
Maybe just like the rain I can have a new beginning. I must admit I'm a little apprehensive, but I've gotta give it a try. After all, I asked God to let me know if he was real and it seems to me he did.

* This story is based on a real life experience.  As it is a story I did take a little artistic license, but the fact is I was once depressed to the point of suicide.  In my moment of desperation God answered the call of a very angry man.
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Paying for Grace

2:54 AM
Rick had always been a gambling man.  As gamblers go he was one of the best.  He always seemed to be able to come out on top.  At least until recently.

Rick placed a huge bet on the most sure thing of all the sure things he had ever bet on in his life.  Due to circumstances well beyond his control the sure thing suddenly wasn't.  What was supposed to be the biggest payout he had ever collected turned instantly into a debt that he could never repay.  A debt that without repayment would equal his death.

Rick spent the next few days in mental agony.  Knowing that at any time someone would be showing up to collect.  Finally it happened.  Rick was walking to his car one morning when the man he had been fearing walked up to him.

"Where's my money Rick?"

"I don't have it Mike."

"You know the penalty for non-payment is death, right?"

"I do, but this is a debt I can't ever hope to possibly repay."

Rick prepared for his death as he watched Mikes hand reach into his pocket.  But before Mike could pull out the weapon that would have surely spelled Rick's demise a stranger walked up.  The stranger stepped right up to Mike.

"I would like to pay Rick's debt."

Rick had never met the stranger offering to pay his debt.  His mind was reeling.  Before he knew it this total stranger had paid his debt and turned around to talk to him.

After a short conversation Rick found that his benefactor was a man named Sam.  What was really strange about the situation is that Sam seemed to want nothing in return for his actions.  He told Rick he simply payed his debt because he loved him.  Rick couldn't understand how someone who didn't know him could love him enough to pay his debt.

Despite Sam's insistence that he wanted nothing in return for what he had done Rick couldn't let it go.  Rick found Sam's address and determined that he would do everything he possibly could to pay Sam back.  He knew he had never done anything in his life to be worthy of what had been done for him, but he was determined to do enough to make himself worthy now.

So, for the next several years it was a common occurence to find Rick outside Sam's house mowing, trimming, raking leaves, leaving money, or whatever else he could think of to do for Sam.  Rick kept track of every one of them.  As he completed each task he felt he was one step closer to earning the sacrifice that had been made for him.  The more he did, even when he didn't really want to, the more he felt like he was worthy.

Many years later Rick knocked on Sam's door.  When Sam answered Rick had a question.

"Hey Sam.  I've gotta ask you something.  Have I done enough things for you to be worthy of what you did for me?  Has it been enough to pay you back for the kindness you showed to me?"

"No Rick, it isn't."

Dejected Rick asked another question.

"How many more things must I do for you to make what you did for me worth it?"

"You have never understood Rick.  I did what I did for you because I love you.  I never expected or wanted you to pay me back.  All those things you think you did for me you really did for yourself.  They were to make you feel better.  They were to make you feel like you were worthy.  I already thought you were.  I would have been happy just to have a relationship with you.  Just to be your friend.  But you were always so busy trying to do things "for me" that you never took the time to get to know me.  Don't you see you took what was meant as an act of love and mercy and made it into something far less?  By trying to earn it you threw that love and mercy back in my face.  You rejected them.  You were trying to purchase something from me which I tried to give to you freely."

Rick's voice cracked and threatened not to work altogether as uncontrollable sobs shook his body.

"Sam, is it too late?  After all these years of being so blind and trampling all over the grace you offered me can we still have that relationship?  Can I still be your friend?"

"Of course you can still be my friend.  Come on in.  It's never too late. You are always welcome here."

Ricks tears changed from being those of remorse to ones of joy as the grace and mercy he had never understood or allowed himself to accept previously finally began to wash over him.
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The Assembly of Bob

2:56 AM
Sam had hit rock bottom. His dependency on drugs had led him to do vile and disgusting things just for his next fix. He knew if something didn't change soon he would die. Yet, despite this knowledge he never seemed to be able to change.

One day a man simply calling himself Bob walked into his life out of the blue. Bob took it upon himself to help Sam break his addiction. At a great personal sacrifice of time and effort Bob's stern love and unending compassion won the day. Sam acheived his desire of freedom from the bondage that had held him for so long. Bob gave Sam a business card with his name and phone number and told him to call him anytime.

Bob had made such a wonderful impression of Sam that he decided he would spend his life trying live like Bob and be an example of that kind of love to those around him. Sam mentioned this new desire to his friend, Will. Will told him that he too had been helped out of an awful situation by Bob, and he was part of a club that got together once a week to honor Bob and help others learn to be like him.

Sam was excited about the club and anxiously attended his first meeting that very weekend. During the meeting someone known as "The Expert" gave a speech about Bob. He was called "The Expert" because he had went to a special school that taught him all about Bob. The speech talked of Bob's greatness and how those listening could become like him. During the speech 'The Expert' referred to a book called "The Book of Bob" several times. He quoted specific passages from the book. After the speech was over Sam asked someone about the book of Bob. He was given a free copy and told that the most important thing he could do as a new devotee was to read this book as much as possible. He was told that it was essential that he attended the meetings at The Assembly of Bob every weekend so 'The Expert' could tell him how to interpret the things he read. Sam was thrilled and ready to start applying the things he learned.

It wasn't long and Sam was heavily involved in 'The Assembly of Bob'. He gave money every week so the club could continue. He started attending extra-instruction classes before the speeches each time he attended. There were club meetings one weeknight each week, and it overall it seemed that "The Assembly of Bob' kept him very busy. But that was alright, because The Expert constantly reminded those who were part of the club that service and devotion to Bob meant supporting the club through attendance, giving money, fellowship, and following the rules. The Expert never said these things blatantly, but it was easy enough to read between the lines and see that these things were the most important aspects to a life devoted to Bob. Sam had even went so far as to have Bob T-shirts and bumper stickers. Sam only listened to Bob music. Everyone always told Sam what a great Bob follower he was because he only surrounded himself with things that were Bob oriented. He rarely even spoke to anyone that wasn't a fellow follower of Bob.

Several years later at one of the weekend speeches The Expert asked Sam if he would tell others there the story of what transpired that had made him become a devotee of Bob. Sam was glad to tell his story. During his story something began to ever so gently tug at Sam. Something didn't feel right. It wasn't until that afternoon at home that Sam began to realize something. When Bob had first helped him he had wanted to devote his life to helping others in the same way. While he had become heavily involved in The Assembly of Bob and really enjoyed it and the company of the others who were also part of the club Sam realized that he was actually doing very little helping others. He wasn't doing anything for those around him. Sam's life had become devoted to a club professing to follow Bob, but actually did very little to actually emulate the life Bob lived on a daily basis. Sam was horrified to realize that he was serving a club and not Bob.

Sam found the business card that Bob had given him all those years ago and picked up the phone. As Sam began to dial the numbers he hesitated. He was scared. He wasn't sure it was OK for him to contact Bob without going through The Expert. The Expert had always taught him how to responsd to all things Bob. Talking to Bob without help was very frightening indeed.

It was a couple of more days before Sam finally got up the courage to dial the number and talk to Bob, though he had picked up the phone and began dialing more times than he cared to count. Finally he made it through. The phone rang and Bob answered.

After a few pleasantries were exchanged Bob patiently listened as Sam explained how he attempted to get to know him for the last several years. Bob's heart was broken as he listened to Sam explain how he spent all those years trying to find him in impersonal rules, regulations, and rituals.

After a loving and heartfelt talk Sam realized that all he had to do to have a relationship with Bob was to go to Bob. Bob showed him that the only way to have a real relationship is personally. It's a one on one thing with no middleman. A middleman only keeps real personal interaction from happening. Sam delighted to know Bob was always there, and the lines of communication are never closed. Over time Sam has learned to have a genuine relationship with Bob free from The Expert and all the bondage brought about trying to live up to someone else's expectations other than Bob's. In the end Sam found that the real expert on Bob was Bob and Sam has gotten to know him very well.
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Religion of Isolation

1:54 AM
In the world, but not of it is what I was always taught.
But do we really live it or even give it a second thought.

We spend lots of time in our churches and leave the world outside.
Filled with lots of people for whom our Savior died.

We send our kids to Christian schools to attain spiritual fitness.
Removing from the public schools those who could be a witness.

Our own music and movies, call it Christian entertainment.
All carefully designed for the maximum in containment.

Removing ourselves from the world, we live in a state of segregation.
How then do we actually question where God has gone in this nation?

We have hid him behind the walls of our buildings and our schools.
Thinking the world sees us as holy when all they see are fools.

We're definitely not of this world, that will never be claimed.
But neither are we in this world, and for that we should be ashamed.
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The Professor

10:08 PM
William Rutherford had taught World History since graduating from college three decades ago.  History was his passion.

As the little community college William taught at began to grow there were too many students that needed a course in World History for simply one teacher.  So, the college hired a new teacher.  William liked Jim a lot, but over the last few years he began to get a little jealous of Jim.  It seems Jim was a lot younger, and from what he heard a lot more charismatic. Students tried hard to be the first to sign up for Jim's World History class.  William had been relegated to the second choice.  Those who ended up in Williams class were disappointed.

As the new semester approached William began to brainstorm.  He wanted to find a way to make his class the premiere World History class.  He couldn't make himself any younger.  He didn't have Jim's personality.  It simply wasn't him.  Finally an idea came to him.  At first he had some misgivings about his idea.  The more he thought about it though the more attractive it became.  After all, the World History department had always been his, and he was tired of losing it to this newcomer.

During the first couple of weeks of the new semester Williams class was delighted to find that his class had changed.  To start 50% of their grade was based on nothing more than attendance.  If they never missed a class they were already assured of at least a 50% in his course.  Any student that could convince someone else to join his class received another 10%.

William also started using movies, video clips, and any other form of entertainment he could find to teach parts of his class.  Often times he found that parts of the movies and videos weren't exactly true to the historical facts.  However, he could pass them off well enough that no one really questioned it.  Most were even fooled.

It wasn't long before William began to hear that the students in Jim's class wish they had taken his class instead.

Over the next couple of years William's class became not only the most popular of the two World History Classes, but the most popular class on campus.  It seems all the students loved the fact that he made the class so easy.  They enjoyed the fact that his class was more about entertainment that any real learning or work.  It was an easy grade and a good time.

Ocassionally William would have a twinge of guilt over the way he was running his class.  He knew his students were learning a very watered down version of the truth.  In fact, he sometimes wondered if his class could really be called World History anymore.  Many of the teachings were at the very least questionable, and some of them blatantly false.  There was very little full truths in his class anymore.

William could always assuage his guilt and questions though by the realization that every seat in his class was always full.  He was idolized by all the students.  William was number 1 and his job was secure. Surely a distorted watered down version of the truth was better than no truth at all, right?
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The Neighbor

12:19 AM
I don't know your name and I doubt we will ever meet.
I always see you at your church. I live across the street.

I sit out on my front porch and wave at the passers by.
You never wave back.  Maybe the sun is just in your eyes.

I shout a hello to your family as the church doors you walk in.
I hear a muttered statement about missing church and sin.

If the doors are open I see you there for every event that's held.
Services, potlucks, and picnics.  Oh, the food that I've smelled.

I can hear the instruments and voices as you praise your God.
While I enjoy the music I must admit that I find one thing odd.

I sometimes hear your pastor preach about spreading the word.
I scratch my head and wonder if any of you really heard.

Cause I don't know your name and I doubt we will ever meet.
I always see you at your church, but none of you see me.
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Prayer Of The Modern Churchgoer

9:14 PM
God, I sit in a pew every Sunday without fail
For I'm afraid if I don't I will end up in hell.

I give my tithes and offerings.  I never miss
Because I'm waiting for you to make me rich.

I read my Bible for at least an hour each day.
So I can be arrogant with others in all that I say.

I pray every day for around thirty minutes or so.
'Cause there's lots I need and I want you to know.

I do things for my church even when  tired and sore.
Because one day I want to be voted onto the board.

I also do them so everyone will think I'm a beacon.

If I neglect my family, I just wanna be a deacon.

I'm just a simple usher and that is OK I guess.
But I'm a  good person, and I deserve your best.

If there is anything you need tell one of the pastors.
I'm too busy. It's their calling.  They can get to it faster.

I'm so happy to have found the religion of Christianity.
Because I can make following you all about me.

Yes, this is somewhat tongue in cheek.  But I think there is a lot of truth here.  Far too much to ignore.
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About Me

Kentucky, United States
I love to write. Whether it's short stories, poems, or something else altogether I hope you will enjoy them. If you feel so inclined I would love to have you leave a comment on the things you read.

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