The Light of God | Teen Ink

The Light of God MAG

By Anonymous

     Around his twelfth birthday, Ronald became aware of the simple fact that God lived in the third light from the left in his church.

It was obvious enough that Ronald was surprised no one else realized it, but since his mother never mentioned it, he said nothing. He was used to noticing things that others didn’t. It was just life.

Before discovering the whereabouts of God, Ronald had considered church a momentary setback to an interesting Sunday afternoon. Afterwards, however, in his spare time after school, and on the weekends, he would walk down to the church and sit, legs swinging, listening to the services and watching God’s light.

Once the priest stopped talking and the service ended, either the deacon or the priest would lead him out. He never complained, and it seemed like they were accustomed to his presence. Sometimes the deacon would even offer Ronald some hard candy.

When they led him out, though, Ronald often hid in the bushes near a window and peered in to watch the light. It was okay with his mother, as long as he was home by the time she came back from the night shift at the plant.

One day, when the light’s glare was beginning to hurt his eyes, Ronald watched the shadows that the light cast. The long black stripes of pillars outside the entrance led out into the failing light. Ronald noticed that while the light seemed strong inside the church, it must have been flickering, because outside the shadows were dancing.

The priest was standing near the pillars, the shadows falling across his face. Across from him stood two tall men, younger than Ronald’s father, but still adults. The priest was almost yelling, gesturing in agitation.

“Absolutely not! Not only will I not perform the ceremony, I will not allow this perversion of one of the church’s most sacred sacraments to take place within this establishment!” One of the men tried to say something, but the priest cut him off, yelling for them to leave.

When the men left, Ronald turned to watch the light again. In the darkness, the light seemed to shine more brightly than ever, but outside the shadows remained unchanged.

Ronald remembered the priest. He was still standing where he’d been, mumbling to himself and reading the Bible. Every once in a while, he would stop to drink the sacramental wine.

They’d never let Ronald try anything from that bottle, which they called the Blood of the Lord, but it was, he figured, probably to keep himself thinking about God. The priest talked a lot during services about keeping God inside you all the time. Ronald thought this seemed silly, of course, because God lived in the light, but there were still plenty of things in the world that he didn’t understand.

Ronald watched the light for another few minutes, then walked home, trying to walk only on the curb the way the older kids did. Soon, he figured, he’d be able to, and that day would mark one step closer to the mystical world of adulthood.

The next day was Sunday, so Ronald went to Mass with his mother. He spent his time watching the light, of course, but he still managed to listen to the priest. He talked for a while about how the violent people across the Atlantic Ocean were wrong in not being more accepting of others, like the good Lord was.

On the way out Ronald noticed that the two men from the night before were sitting near the front, praying. The priest seemed to have noticed them, but he didn’t say hello. Instead, he went to talk to the deacon.

His mother got in the car and Ronald, knowing that there wouldn’t be another sermon for a few hours, went to his bush to watch the light. Forty-five minutes later, Ronald was taking a break from looking at the light because his eyes were playing tricks on him. The light seemed slightly duller than usual. While he waited for his eyes to stop making mistakes, he watched the pillars.

For some reason, those two men were still there. Although the light was beginning to fail, he could see their faces, and they didn’t seem sad like the last time. They were animated, talking to each other and smiling. For a minute, Ronald watched, then realized that he wasn’t the only one watching. In a pillar’s shadow, the deacon was also watching. Light glinted off his eyes, but his face was hidden. The deacon moved forward and said something. The two men turned to meet him, one of them waving slightly. They looked happy; Ronald guessed that the deacon had said something nice.

There was no warning for what happened next. One minute the deacon was laughing and smiling, the next, he’d pulled something out of his robe and hit one of the men with it. He hit the other one, too; both fell into the darkness of the pillar’s shadow and Ronald couldn’t see them anymore.

Ronald was confused. Was this really the same man who would smile at him and offer him candies? He turned back to the window. The light would calm him. He peered in the window and gasped in horror. God’s light was barely brighter than any other in the room. If he hadn’t known better, he would have been unable to distinguish its holy glow from those of the ordinary lights.

Panting in near panic, Ronald rushed from his bush toward the door, hoping against all likelihood that the light would be brighter inside. He tried to be quiet passing through the front doors, but he must have made a sound because the deacon looked up. There was a splash of blood across the front of his white robe. The deacon stared at him for a moment, his eyes dark.

Ronald held his gaze, then turned and fled into the church, shoving aside the double doors with desperation. He passed through the narthex quickly and entered the sanctuary, his eyes already searching for the light. To his dismay he still couldn’t tell God’s light from the others. He fell to his knees and began to sob uncontrollably.

He didn’t hear the priest approach until he was in front of him. Tears gushing, Ronald looked up at him miserably.

“What’s wrong, my son?” the priest asked kindly, putting his hand on Ronald’s shoulder. “Why are you here this late?”

Ronald couldn’t find any words through his sorrow. Behind him, the door to the church opened to admit the deacon. Ronald turned. The deacon’s eyes fell on him, then flicked to the priest. The blood on the deacon’s robe stood out in the glow of the church.

The hand on Ronald’s shoulder tightened. Ronald twisted to see the priest’s face. His eyes were cold and considering. The priest’s other hand came down slowly.

Above the priest’s head, God’s light flickered and died.

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This article has 11 comments.

i love this !

Sparaxis GOLD said...
on Feb. 1 2017 at 5:49 pm
Sparaxis GOLD, Saint Marys, Georgia
13 articles 1 photo 307 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you keep on picking on me, I'll mess up again. This time, on PURPOSE."

I know! We're in what I call the Age of Corruption. But then again, there are prophecies about it. ):

Sparaxis GOLD said...
on Dec. 15 2016 at 11:34 am
Sparaxis GOLD, Saint Marys, Georgia
13 articles 1 photo 307 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you keep on picking on me, I'll mess up again. This time, on PURPOSE."

Woah. I agree with you on the meaning of the story. It's scary to think that corruption is spreading in the modern world.

on Nov. 23 2014 at 8:32 am
French_Gold SILVER, Waynesville, Georgia
9 articles 0 photos 70 comments

Favorite Quote:
There's plenty of sense in nonsense, if you wish to look for it.
-Cassandra Clare

I'm sad to say that the light of God is leaving a lot of churches. You did a great job with this subject. It's simple and complex. One of the best pieces on this site.

BenjaminE said...
on Apr. 7 2013 at 6:12 pm
Murder?  The story doesn't say anything about anyone dying. 

on Mar. 16 2013 at 5:56 pm
Jacelyn PLATINUM, Ft. Irwin, California
23 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else.

I'm truly in awe of this story. I sat reading it on the edge of my seat, waiting to know why the light was fading. Eventually, I sat back with my hand on my chest in awe. Hats off to you, my friend!

on Nov. 26 2012 at 7:56 pm
sssalamanders BRONZE, Sanford, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass; It's about learning how to dance in the rain. -Anonymous

LOVE LOVE LOVE this story! I think it's amazing how you showed the Holy Spirit leaving the church as the events unfolded. I had my mouth open by the end!

on Feb. 10 2010 at 8:54 pm
fiveinside GOLD, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
14 articles 2 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't tell me the sky's the limit if there are footprints on the moon." ~unknown

quite honestly, I think this is one of the best fiction pieces in teen ink. the voice is perfect, everything flows, and it's just RIGHT. kind of hard to explain, but it's really good :)

on Feb. 12 2009 at 10:12 pm
I really like this! It's sad, but told so realisticly that it holds the reader's attention. The changing of the glow of the light is really good, because it helps the reader see that things are getting worse. Keep up the good work!

on Jan. 19 2009 at 9:32 pm
I liked how you used a very child-like, calm and slightly vague voice to tell the story; I thought this made the sad ending and difficult topic stand out even more. I also really liked the first line. It was unusual and made me want to keep reading. However, I wasn't so fond of the ending because it seemed a little exaggerated. It could possibly happen, but because it’s a little over-done, it detracts from the story. Yes, there are corrupt and prejudiced priests and so forth, but the whole murder scene seemed to happen too easily and to be put there purely to make the point that situations like this can’t be what God wants, not because it is logical and likely to happen. If I was writing this story, I would try to use and ending that isn’t so blatant and meant-to-shock and instead use something that leaves the reader thinking about the message of the story, not skeptically wondering if a priest would murder two people in cold blood and then possibly murder the child witness. In general, I liked the idea and voice of this story, but felt that the ending could use some more work. If you redid the ending, I think this would be a really meaningful and well written story.

soaren said...
on Aug. 30 2008 at 5:54 pm
that makes me so sad, especially because it is so possible that that could happen. especially in these days