Category Archives: Stories

Messengers

I walk silently down the passageway. It feels hushed, yet I am surrounded by the screaming voices of hundreds, maybe thousands of messengers vying for my attention. In the midst of this silent noise, I slow down, trying to take it all in. The passage and everything in it seems so clean, almost sterilized, except for the messengers. They vary in age, and the older they are, the more worn out and filthy they seem. Covered in dirt and smudges of lord knows what, their thin coverings are often worn or torn around the edges. Some of them barely seem able to stand up straight, but there are so many packed together along the passage that they stay vertical with no room to fall.

Some of the messengers speak with the voices of old friends, who I have visited time and again, yet long to spend another late night and give up another secret. Others are only vaguely familiar, we may have spoken once or twice, but they never made much of an impression. Still others are completely new and foreign. It seems strange that some that are old can seem completely knew to my virgin ears.

What do they say? Well, they all say the same thing, really: Pick me. Choose me. Give me a chance. I have something wonderful, something mysterious, something new to show you. I’ll give you an adventure you could never have dreamed of. I’ll change the way you see the world. I’ll express the deepest joys and longings of your heart in ways you never thought possible. Just give me a chance.

Despite my love of these adventures and deep desire to learn everything they have to tell me, I come here rarely. I have to be the right mood to face these insistent little messengers. Sometimes it breaks my heart to realize I may never know all the secrets they have to divulge. Today, I feel up to the adventure. The monotony of life is slowly drowning me, and this long, quietly noisy passage is my only escape. I walk even more slowly, stopping to speak with a messenger here and there, trying to wrap my mind around which one to choose.

I really am not sure I could tell you what dictates the final decision. It might be just one or two perfect words the strike my fancy. It might be a voice that sounds so close to my own, or to someone I love. It might be that this messenger happens to be a friend of a friend, and that friend thought we might get along. I might just like the look of it. Somehow, finally, through the confusion and the sea of quiet voices, I choose just one from the crowd.

I step out of the silent roar of the library, slipping the book that I had chosen so carefully into my bag. The murmur of traffic and voices of children across the street sooth my tired mind as I begin my walk home.

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Proof

I was a realist. I could admit that I’d been wrong. And I’d been wrong. We’d all been wrong. Granted, Jesus had been a great teacher, a prophet, a man of God, but the Messiah? No, that couldn’t be true. He’d died, hadn’t He? Of course, there were rumors. People said they’d seen Him. They said He was alive again. “Fine,” I said, “if He’s alive, prove it. I won’t be made a fool of. Until I’ve seen Him, touched Him, put my hands into the very wounds in His hands and side, nothing will make me believe that Jesus of Nazareth is alive.”

That was where I left it. I knew how to take defeat, and I was determined to move on. Then, one day I was with the ten in Jerusalem when, without the door opening, Jesus Himself appeared in our midst. Looking around at us with the same love in His eyes as ever, He said in His gentle way, “Peace to you.”

After greeting the group, He looked straight at me with that deep, penetrating gaze. It only took a moment for my eyes to be searching the room for something, anything to focus on besides His face. “Thomas,” He said quietly, “put your finger here.” He held out His arm, the sleeve falling back to reveal the scar left by the nail. I looked at it in awe, unable to speak. Without raising His voice, Jesus said sternly, “put your hand here, into My side.” He was still watching me with the same steadiness. “My Lord and my God!” I whispered brokenly.

“Thomas,” He said, “You believe only because you have seen Me. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.” *

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of wanting “proof.” The world has elevated science above almost everything else, leaving people with the impression that if they can prove something logically or scientifically, it must be true. Not only that, but they’re a better person because they required the prove, because they needed the evidence to believe. Nobody wants to be seen as a pushover, so rather than accepting anything as true, they reject it until they can prove it for themselves. Although we do need to test everything, relying on our own knowledge for anything is one of the most fatal mistakes humans can make.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the “evidence of things not seen.” That’s our evidence. What greater proof could we need of His existence and His love for us than the very fact that we’re alive? Did you wake up this morning? Did you eat at least one good meal today? Did you sleep in a warm bed last night? Do you have family and friends who love you? That’s our proof. Everything about this beautiful planet is designed so perfectly to support human life that anyone looking at it with an open mind can come to no other conclusion than that there must have been a Creator. The proof of God’s existence is inescapable.

I have not seen Him, yet I believe. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ, the adopted Son of a carpenter from Galilee, lived a sinless life, performed all the miracles recorded in Scripture and more, was crucified on Calvary, and rose from the dead on the third day. Not only do I see the proof of this in the world around me, but I have experienced it. I’ve seen the change in my life: the move from sinful desires to the wish to truly love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. No, I’m not perfect, but I’m forgiven, and I believe

*adapted from John 20