The Stranger
When I looked into the stranger’s weary eyes, I could sense the insufferable anguish that surged violently through his pulsing veins. With just one glance, I saw the chaotic stream of cryptic thoughts that streamed rapidly behind his solemn eyes. I was debating whether or not I should pass the stranger by, until I saw his shoulders buckle under the immense weight of his crippling burdens, unforgotten tragedies, and ominous nightmares.
My heart shattered into a million piercing shards the instant I realized that the stranger’s sorrow-filled eyes mirrored those of my own and immediately, I sensed the stranger’s extreme struggle, and unwavering determination to pull himself out from underneath the broken, shattered, devastating disarray of rubble that made up his life. Then abruptly, I felt a strong, firm tug on my heart telling me to open my mouth and offer the stranger the words of hope that I had never received.
So, I slowly began to make my way towards the stranger, as I approached him, his tormented eyes met mine sending tingling sensations up the nip of my neck. Once I gathered up my courage, I forced my lips to 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. Minutes passed without a word, I stood there, frozen with anxiety and strange curiosity, my eyes constantly fixed on the stranger’s perplexing expression.
I was trying to rip myself away from his gaze and force my legs to take me away, when the ground beneath my feet began to shake and dissolve, and the walls started to crumble into smaller and smaller unrecognizable fragments, until everything had completely vanished. The stranger and I plummeted down into a dark abyss of painful memories, words of hatred, and agonizing moments.
I closed my eyes, and let out a bloodcurdling screech, as my mind quickly filled with the wish of escape. I was unbelievably grateful when my wish was granted a second later by a rush of cool, crisp, air. When I thought it was safe, I forced my eyes open, one at a time. I was shocked to see that I was sitting in a quaint, simple church with old wooden pews and a large cross standing proudly in the front of the sanctuary.
Slowly, the stranger turned his head towards me and gently brushed is thick, untamed bangs from his gleaming eyes. He just looked at me, taking in my expression, until he began to tell me that the small church was the only peaceful place for him. The stranger then reached into the pocket of his tattered, soiled jeans and pulled out a small, worn bible with an intricate cross carved into the faded leather. I studied the bible curiously for a moment before I looked up and met his gaze.
He looked at me with tears welling up in his eyes, and his bible pressed against his chest. Then with tears running down his cheeks he said, “This is how I know I’m not alone.” The two of us sat in silence, until I worked up the courage to tell the stranger that I didn’t believe in God. To my surprise he simply studied my face for a few moments before he opened his mouth, allowing words of miracles, grace, salvation, mercy, and forgiveness spill from his pale red lips. The stranger’s words tumbled from his mouth and soared gracefully around the room, creating picturesque images of God’s holy sacrifice and his everlasting love. The message that surrounded me ignited a flame of hope deep within me.
My heart pounded hungrily against my ribs 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 within my throat, and in unison my heart and my voice confessed aloud my belief in God.
Then, without delay, the Spirit fell upon me, enveloping me in its holy presence, and immediately I felt my sinful nature flee my body. Tenderly, the Spirit healed my brokenness and stitched my wounds, and for the first time in my life I was whole, blameless, and loved unconditionally.
After receiving the gift of eternal life, I looked up and thanked the stranger, he replied softly, “Please, don’t thank me, thank my Father.” Then, before I could utter a single word, the stranger ascended into the heavens, escorted by rays of shimmering light.
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