The Scarlet Card

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Everything was so heavy. I was being weighed down by the one thing that no one can escape-life. I needed something more, wanted something deeper than the life I was stuck in. I was doing certain things, not because I sincerely wanted to, but because it was expected, because it was the right thing to do. I was being a certain person, not because that was who I wanted to be, but because that was who I was taught to be, who I grew up as. I was a doll. I looked like I should on the outside, but on the inside there was nothing that was expected. On the inside there were grudges, jealousy, insecurity, and secret sins that I could not let anybody see. I felt nothing that everyone said I should. I took on everyone else’s burdens, but there is no one to take mine. And who would want to anyway?

That was what was running through my head as the man spoke. In room full of hundreds of other teenagers, I knew the man was speaking directly to me as he told of someone who would not only listen to and care about my burdens, but welcomed them. Not only would He welcome them, He would take them away. This is exactly what I need, but there is no way this can be real. People have told me all of my life that He cares, but will He actually show me He cares? That is not going to happen. All of these doubts were dragging me down, and I was trying my hardest to believe that there was more than I had found so far in my life. I was trying my hardest to believe as the speaker said that the red card in my hand symbolized all the struggles, all the burdens, all the sins in my life. The speaker challenged me- all of us- to just let it go. He wants it, all I have to do is let Him take it. Is it really that easy? I did what I was expected to do, I bowed my head, closed my eyes, and spoke to the One who was supposed to take it all away,

just like I had done every Sunday of forever.

Then it happened. Something was different this time. I felt Him listening, not because it was the first time He listened, but because it was the first time I did. My thoughts went completely blank. The traditional phrases and thoughts flew from my mind; it was just Him and me. I got chills and suddenly I knew what I had to do. I was sure with every fiber of my being that this was exactly the right thing for me. I stood up and walked on shaky legs down the aisle toward the front of the auditorium where the trashcans were waiting. My feet kept moving as if someone was moving them for me, until I finally reached the trashcan right below the stage. I looked down at the scarlet card trembling in my clammy fingertips, and knew that this was the end of a life I was fine with. But I did not want to be fine; I wanted more than that. Finally I loosened my grip on that hated scarlet card- the symbol of everything that had ever brought me down- until it fell from my hand, and I felt the sweet release. It was instantaneous and completely unexpected. I was free. I felt humble, and powerful, and as light as a feather; every feeling that comes with complete and irrevocable freedom planted deep within. I looked down in the trashcan and saw a sea of scarlet, and I could not find my card. But why did I need to? It was gone and I did not want it back. It did not matter anymore. I felt a release that reached the core of my being and I knew that my life would never be the same; and I loved it. This was the “more” I was looking for; the One who took everything away gave me more than I could have ever imagined.





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