When I looked into his weary eyes I could feel the insufferable pain that rushed through the stranger’s pulsing veins. With just one glance I could see the chaotic stream of cryptic thoughts that surged violently behind his solemn eyes. My heart broke for this stranger as I saw his tired shoulders buckle under the weight of his unforgettable memories of abandonment, sorrow, and deceit. My soul could sense his extreme struggle, and his efforts to pull himself from the broken, shattered, devastating disarray of rubble. I felt a strong, firm tug on my heart and I slowly opened my mouth, hoping to ease his pain with a word of hope.

            I walked towards the stranger, and the boy’s tormented eyes met mine, I forced my lips open and spilled out a hurried statement of “You are not alone, I promise.” My heart raced faster and more intense with each second I waited for his response, and then the ground beneath my feet began to creak and groan until the room started to crumble into smaller and smaller unrecognizable fragments until we plummeted down into a dark abyss, that was filled only with the stranger’s most agonizing memories. I closed my eyes and hoped it would all disappear, and a split second later my wish was granted by a rush of cool crisp air. When I opened my eyes we were inside a quaint, simple church with old wooden pews and a large cross standing proud in the front of the sanctuary.

            Slowly the boy turned his head towards me and gently brushed his thick, untamed bangs from his now kind and gleaming eyes, he was still for a moment before telling me that the modest church was the only place he felt at home. Then the boy reached into the pocket of his tattered, soiled jeans and pulled a worn photograph of a man hanging on a cross, on the man’s head was a crown of entangled thorns. After a moment of studying the picture I looked up and met the boy’s gaze, he looked at me with tears welling up in his eyes, and after a second he shook the faded photograph and said, “This is how I know I’m not alone.”

            After that we were silent for a moment until I worked up the courage to tell him I didn’t believe in God. He took a minute to study my face before he opened his mouth and allowed words of miracles, grace, salvation, mercy, and forgiveness spill from his red lips. The words tumbled from his mouth and soared gracefully around the room, creating images of God’s holy sacrifice and his everlasting love. The message pierced my very soul; I was in complete and utter awe.

            My heart pounded hungrily inside of my chest as my mind pleaded for its chance to obtain the unfathomable gift that was laid before me. My lips had barely enough time to part before my voice came blaring out from deep in my throat, and in unison my heart and voice confessed aloud my belief in God, and the spirit fell upon me. I could feel my sinful nature flee my body. Immediately, the spirit healed my brokenness and stitched my wounds, for the first time in my life I was whole. After this life changing moment, I looked up and thanked the stranger, but all he said was, “Please, do not thank me, thank my Father.”

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