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The Man Who Once Was

by LaNaye Perkins  
4/27/2008 / Short Stories

I can't believe this. What happened? How could you let them believe these lies? I have loved these people like my own family. How could they turn on me so quickly?

The man weeps as he nurses his wounds. He staggers from the shock of his betrayal. Crying out to God, he asks why God would let such devastation happen. Self-pity creeps in, and Bitterness stands ready at the man's heart. Patiently, it waits for the right moment to slip in. Weeks pass as the man relives the injustice countless times. Then, one day

I hate them. I will never let any of them close to me again. They'll see, I will make them all pay!

A smile creeps across the demon's lips as he slips inside the man's heart.

No one will ever get my affection again unless they earn it. I won't let anyone get a free handout of my love ever again. I will make them pay!

The man no longer shows his family love. The distance grows between the man and his children. They grow weary of seeking approval from someone who dangles affection just out of reach. Time passes and the man's life becomes more empty.

I don't need anyone. I can take care of myself. Survival of the fittest, I say! No free rides here, I will make them pay!

Bitterness and Self-pity share a smile of satisfaction and continue to weave their fabric of lies through the mind of the man. His blindness to truth is nearly complete.

Those closest to him start to lose hope of ever seeing the true man who once lived in the shell before them. He was the father who once played, the husband who once loved, the man who loved God and prayed. All evidence of the man who once was, is almost gone.

Useless kids! They just use you and leave you behind. They are dead to me, see if I care! I will make them pay!

Years of bitterness have left angry lines in the man's face. His children have grown and moved away. He stops talking to them and never meets his grandchildren. The children finally stop trying to reach the man.

Go ahead and go. Who needs you anyway? Go ahead and leave. You won't get a dime from me. You'll see, I will make you pay!

He glares through the window as his wife, the last to leave him, drives slowly away. He sees her tears but refuses to yield. He never considers that he may be the one who is wrong.

Weeks pass, and the man is alone. Depression and Despair come boldly into the man's heart. The demons rejoice and the man bends low with the weight of his life.

Across town a woman and her children once again join hands in prayer. They lift up the man one more time in fervent prayers. They reach out in love through many tears for the man they once knew. For years they have prayed for the man. Then suddenly, across town a miracle happens and the power of heaven is unleashed.

Bright light fills the bedroom of the man as he sleeps. Without a word the Lord himself stands by the bed of the man. Tears flow freely down His face as he leans forward and touches the man on the forehead and heart.

The man's dreams fill with the truth of his own actions. As the chapters of his life unfold in his dreams, the Lord defeats Bitterness, Self-pity, Depression and Despair with the sword of truth. They evaporate in sulfurous smoke and shrieks of defeat.

The man wakes from the nightmare of what he has done. He sobs uncontrollably as he slips to the floor beside his bed. The man prays and begs God to forgive. Years of deception fall away, and the man sees clearly again.

Lord thank you for showing me the truth. I was such a fool and I was so deceived, it was I who paid!

The man goes to the home where his wife had gone. His children and their families are there. With pleading in his eyes and tears soaking his face, he reaches out. Hearts rejoice and the Heavenly host begin to sing as the man who once was, returns.

From the beginning the Lord let me know I was to share whatever He inspired me to write. Now, over a decade later, I'm still sharing what He's given.
-LaNaye Perkins

Article Source: WRITERS

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