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Despair to Joy

Updated on September 13, 2017

End of a tiresome day

He had labored hard that day, and now glad this day’s laboring is finished, he prepares himself for a quiet, peaceful evening at home—a relaxation before turning in for the night. Little did he know, however, what was in store for him through this brief moment of leisure.

His evening meal finished, he pulls a book from the scores he had shelved in his library, discovering it is one he hadn’t looked at in a long time. Nevertheless he reclines in a favorite chair and launches off on an excursion through literature. The only evidence of light in the room was the one shining over his shoulder illuminating the pages of that book, to the similarity of a three-dimensional movie. Very quiet too it was; the only sound he hears is the ringing of the words in his ears as he read them.

Pressed with guilt

As he read, his face sprouted smiles, but then turned to frowns; the words of that book discerning the thoughts and intents of his own heart. Reflecting upon the words “everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil,” His own past, too, spewed out before him. Guilt pressed upon him as he saw it all:

… Tempted when she strolled past him, he desired her … corrupt thoughts swelled his mind yielding to the lure of those magazines at the corner drug store …

He greatly distressed his neighbor when he publicized a rumor … he irritated by another, his temper boiled over … his mouth blossomed (foul) unwholesome words …

Finding that wallet stuffed with a large sum of money, looking about, seeing no one else around he stuffed it in his own pocket and walked away with glee at his find …

Hope revived

Reading on, he realized afresh the truthfulness of those words ringing in his ear, “How true,” he confessed.

Turning again to the book, he reads, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”

“What a hypocrite!” he gasps, “All those Sunday mornings in church,” he reflects again. He had led a corrupt life indeed—even in his own “goodness"—and nothing he could do to correct it. In hopeless despair tears flood his eyes.

Suddenly startled at hearing a rapping on the front door, he rose from his recliner. Wiping his eyes, he welcomes his guest. Hope revived his soul. All was not lost; a new surge of life sprang into his being bringing him joy and gladness the moment he responded to the knock at the door.

© 2015 Charles Newcombe

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