Imagine that war has broken out, and you are stuck in the middle of it. People are fighting to the death, and nobody is safe. You are tired and lonely, but somehow in the midst of the pain of the fight, you hear whispers of a place where the war hasn’t reached. You have already made so many mistakes, and failed so many times to break free from this war-torn place, but you decide to make one last effort for freedom. You travel for days and days, and your supplies are low. You’ve already had a number of close calls on your life, and you are about to give up.
Then, just as you’ve decided all is lost, you see a new place in the distance. It seems calm and peaceful, not touched by the blackness that stretches out behind you. It seems to be an island of beauty amidst the disaster. You make a break for it, running as fast as you can toward the speck in the distance. But, as you near the place, you see that there is a space in between-an abyss that has no bottom in sight. You spend what little supplies you have left as you look for a way over or around, but this chasm goes as far as the eye can see. You are exhausted, bitter, and defeated. You traveled so far, and overcame so much, just to see that you cannot possibly make it to this new and unaffected land.
As the sun begins to go down, and you have given up all hope that you can ever experience what this place has to offer. You accept death. With no supplies and no energy, you are unable to muster up enough energy to even lift a finger. Your breathing slows, and your health fades along with the sunset.
But even in that moment, another traveler comes along; one who is strong and broad, with shoulders that look like they could bear the weight of the world. He reaches down and grabs hold of the hands that you cannot possibly lift on your own, and pulls you onto your feet. With a voice that sounds like it’s strong enough to command armies, but soft enough to comfort a child, he urges you to try just one more time.
As you are about to tell him it won’t make any difference, that there’s no way across and that you’ve already tried, your gaze shifts back to that chasm. Seemingly out of thin air, you see that a bridge has appeared. Without hesitation you run towards the bridge, never looking back. As you run, you notice the bridge is disappearing under your feet with each step, which encourages you to run even faster. With your heart pounding, you lunge towards, and land on the soft bank of the other side. Even as you heave for air, you can see that this place is the definition of perfection. It’s so hard to believe that this place of rest can exist in the midst of the turmoil and tragedy going on around it.
After the thrill of the moment and the beauty of the place you’ve entered sets in, you look behind you and realize that the traveler isn’t with you. You strain your eyes into the distance only to find that he’s lying where you had been, broken and beaten on the edge of the chasm, with no bridge left to make it across. As darkness settles in, you realize that he traded his life for yours, that you might make it to your destination. You are overwhelmed by his sacrifice and your new surroundings, but are broken by the exchange that was made. He was strong, healthy, and perfect, and now he is dead in the place you should have been.
But as you try to reason and understand, a light flickers on in front of you that quickly illuminates the hillside. As you squint and shield your eyes, the light only grows stronger. Just when you think you will become completely blind, a voice all too familiar fills your ears, and seems to shake your entire soul. It almost seems like it’s inside of you. Immediately you understand whom it belongs to. It is the same voice that was used by the traveler to tell you to try one more time to cross the divide. He is shining so brightly it’s hard for you to make out his frame, but there’s no mistaking that it’s him. While there’s no way that you can fully comprehend the sacrifice that he made for you, you do understand that something inside of you has changed.
You are stronger.
Even as you realize this, a light of your own starts to flicker and catch flame. In this moment the bridge reappears behind you, and you know while you would like to stay here, you have a mission ahead of you. You must travel back into the darkness as a beacon of light. Armed with this new strength and this light that’s inside of you, you know that you can use it to share with and guide others just like yourself- those that are lost and searching- right back to this place that the traveler led you to.
In the midst of the madness, there is one who has a key to bridge the gap, and you know that He will guide them home with this light that he’s passed on to you. As you walk back into the fray, you are armed with a peace and a calm, a strength of spirit that you know is not your own.
You know that whatever comes against you, even though it surely will, that your source of power and your faith in it will not be shaken. You have experienced a sliver of the glory that awaits, but until you return, you know there’s plenty of work to be done.
The End, Or, Just the Beginning…
Be a Light…
Photo Credit Here: Bridge Photo