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The Hope He Found
They rode back in silence.” So how did the interview go” she finally managed.
“Ugh, I don’t even want to think about it “Brian replied bitterly.” I don’t think that I got in”.
“Don’t worry, everything will be fine” suggested Brian’s mom. “With grades like yours they’ll be crazy if they don’t accept you” Her efforts to encourage him were in vein.
“I don’t even care anymore” was all Brian had to say as they rode back the rest of the way in silence.
When they finally arrived home from RIT Brian carelessly burst into the house, barely muttering a hello to his father and stomped up to his room to change, nearly tripping over the piles of boxes lining the hall way. The family was preparing for some big changes. Along with his parent’s recent plans to get a divorce, his grandpa was probably going to move in with Brian, Elise and his mother. He didn’t want grandpa to move in with them. It would only remind him of the accident that had happened at his house years ago, when grandma was still alive. Brian’s mind wandered to the time he and Elise had slept over. He had found a thermometer and accidentally broke it, the mercury spilling everywhere. He ran away, scared that he would get into trouble. Elise had found them though, and played with the metallic balls for a while. Deep inside, Brian knew that his little sister’s cancer was entirely his fault. He would never forgive himself. Every time he looked at her bald head and frail body he grew more and more guilty. Shrugging off the thought, he quickly finished changing and ran out of the house. He didn’t even take the time to calmly close the door but slammed it as he walked away. His parent’s frequent arguments and plans for a divorce left him feeling so empty and alone. “ Ill never forgive them for doing this to me” he decided as he started waking down his street.
Although it was already March, a chilly wind swept over Brian’s body as he walked. He felt cold both inside and out. Suddenly he noticed something he had never seen before. It was a small stretch of land, far from the other houses, guarded only by a crooked fence and a few haggard trees. The thorns looked uninviting and he was about to turn around when a bright flash of color from within the woods caught his eye. Curiosity took hold of him as Brian swung under the peeling fence and they attacked. The millions of thorns reached out their tiny hands to grab hold of Brian’s body and clothes. He ripped out of their domain and breaking free, staggered past the last couple of trees. Finally he stumbled into the most glorious array of color he had ever seen. Brian blinked to make sure it wasn’t a fantasy. He was stunned by the beauty of the Orchard. The bright pink cherry blossoms were in full bloom and stood fluorescent against the pure white snow. Seeing all this beauty made him feel the depth of his pain even more. He could feel the tears swelling up on his eyes as he made his way towards a bench. It was then that he heard a curious shuffling in the snow and soon afterwards a mans strong yet gentle voice called out
“Are you alright young man? This broke the ice and the tears streamed down Brian’s face.
“My life is so unfair” He blurted out. “Why is all this garbage happening to me, I mean, I feel as if my entire world is being turned upside down.”
“Let me tell you a true story” replied the stranger, and with a soft smile of understanding went on. “When I was about your age, my father left out family. After that my mom turned into an alcoholic so I dealt with the harshness of this world my own way. I started drinking to forget all my worries and shooting up drugs. I’ve probably stolen thousands of dollars worth of stuff and gambled it all away”. The man smiled ever so slightly as he remembered his past. Brian listened intently, trying to decide whether this guy was safe to be around. He sure didn’t look like a murderer with bright blue eyes and a strong frame. “I was about to commit suicide” the man went on “when a women told me something that changed my life” Now Brian sat up more erect and listened closely, curious as to what the secret to the man’s joy was. His eyes twinkled as he went on “she told me about the loving God who wanted to grand me a future and a hope.”
“Wait!” Brian couldn’t help but blurt out “Loving?” “If God is so loving then why is my sister dying from cancer?”
“Well, the man said carefully, Jesus died for everyone because he loves everyone. We can either choose to come to Him and ask for forgiveness, and then we will receive joy and peace and Eternal life. Or we can face the harshness of this world with others who haven’t turned to God. But we must remember that the rain falls on the just and the unjust.”
“Well”, Brian said carefully “I’m not as messed up as you were. I mean I a pretty good kid. I’m not a druggie and I’ve only been drunk once. My family even goes to church every week”
“Well son, going to church doesn’t make us a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage makes us a car. The truth is, we’re all messed up, were all equal sinners. But Jesus loves us all so that when we come to Him, His Blood could wash us clean from all sin. Trusting in Him is the only way to get rid of your guilt and receive Salvation.”
“I’m not too sure of the whole religion thing” Brian replied as he looked up at the milky sky and back down at the man.
“I wanted to share with you the hope that I have found in God. It’s my faith and my life. You should check it out in the Bible” the man suggested with a smile that Brian could feel radiating into his heart.
“I think I will” Brian decided, already making plans to find a Bible somewhere in his attic. The words that this man had spoken to him were so intriguing and full of life. They were filled with more hope than he had ever heard. “I better get going now” Brian suddenly realized that his parents were probably worried about him.
“God bless you son” the man gave his final word, and with that Brian walked off home