face in hands 2

The story below is what we might call a representational story. The man, Peter, represents some of the men my friends have come across through their work of ministry.

A swift upper cut sent Peter to his knees, while a kick to the gut leveled him to the ground. He tried desperately to breathe, but his mouth was so full of dirt that he couldn’t inhale properly.

“Get up and do something!” said the voice behind him.

Not having the strength to move, he remained on the ground.

“Then be destroyed,” the voice said, ruthlessly.

Peter yelled out when a hard thud came down on his back, almost breaking his spine. He felt a cold ripple of fear surge throughout his belly, and tears squeezed through his tightly closed eyes.

“I-I give up!” Peter cried out. “I give up…”

The sound of thunder exploded behind him as he lay almost lifeless on the ground.

“This…is your response? You give up?”

Peter could hear the sound of a chuckle, mocking him. He cringed, his eyes still tightly shut.

“You’re really going to let me kick the life out of you? You lose your job…your wife leaves you…you feel alone, defeated, depleted! And you want me to feel sorry for you?”

Peter heard a loud, hearty laugh behind him. He wanted to get up, but he was so ashamed of himself, he couldn’t even show his face.

“Peter…” his name was now said without an ounce of ridicule. And not only did he hear the empathy in the voice, he could feel it as well.

“I’m not your enemy. Misfortune does not exist to torment you…how else will you find endurance if not through inconvenience? But know this: I’m not some story with a happy ending. I’m not some zone where you hope to find comfort…I am Life.”

Upon hearing this, Peter’s fear slowly ebbed a bit and was replaced with hope. He then felt a hand grip his arm to help him to his feet.

“You will find love again, don’t worry. You’ll regain your humor, and you will find peace, but one thing is for certain…you will always find me.”

Peter dusted the dirt from his clothes and wiped the blood away from his lip. He had given up on Life’s setbacks way too many times, and given up on himself just as much. Drinking and drugs hadn’t taken him away from his problems, they were only helping him destroy his own body. No more. Giving up was only making things worse, he frowned with a sickening realization.

“Now, my friend, what will you do when I come calling? Will you cower? Or will you…?”

Instead of finishing the question, Life simply came calling.

Peter pulled his cell from his pocket and listened to the speaker on the other end. His back nearly weakened with the news he heard, but he resisted the temptation and stood strong. His stomach wanted to turn sour with grief, but he closed his eyes and willed his attention off of himself.

Gritting his teeth, he took a deep breath then spoke calmly to the person on the other end.

“Just sit tight, son. I’ll be right there.”

Instead of heading to the nearest bar, Peter limped to his car with the intention of going to the bank to withdraw whatever he needed to bail his son out of jail. On his way to the car he looked up to the skies as if to say… Does that answer your question?

Shae, 42
Frayser, TN

Why are folk sharing their stories of change here? Take a look here and perhaps you have a story to share as well…

To read more stories of change visit here.