Reason #201: Guest Post– “At First Glance”

At First Glance

The flowers adorning her pale cotton church dress shown through the clear water of the sacrament cup.  At first glance, one could not tell if the small plastic vessel was empty or full. It was empty.

The puffy white clouds moved by the wind’s hand above the tall, newly-built, brick ward. The steeple pointed to a heaven, but not to Christ. At first glance, one could not tell if the cross-less church was empty or full. It was empty.

The beautiful gold-bound journal sat upon the desk, its pages waiting for the dressing of words that would be strung together to give testimony.  At first glance, one could not tell if the journal was empty or full. It was empty.

The blue leather-bound holy scriptures looked down from the high shelf. Within their binding, a story existed of a god who once was a man. This man, gaining perfection through obedience, became deity so families could live together — forever.  At first glance, one could not tell if this plan of salvation was empty or full. It was empty.

The man, known as the son, came to point the way. He entered the world as a spirit-child. He the very brother of Satan, born in Jerusalem, and husband of three wives, died upon the cross to “atone” for (only) some sins. At first glance, one could not tell if this savior was empty or full. He was empty.

The imperfect girl yearned to know a god that would enable her to be more than she could ever be on her own: whole, purified, and accepted. As she sat in the cross-less church, holding her tiny sacrament cup of water, she became increasingly aware of her doubts.  So after years of attending, the young woman rose mid-service, walked away and never returned. At first glance, one could not tell if her life was empty or full. It was empty.

Years later a book was given to the empty girl. It was a little orange New Testament. Though reluctant, she read. She sat on park benches, and read. She sat on trains, and read. She curled up in every available nook and cranny and read, and when Jesus died upon the cross, she wept. When He rose from the grave, she rejoiced. She turned over every page of that book, and when she came to the story’s end, she closed its cover and felt complete.

Later, when the girl was asked, “why won’t you ever return to the empty church,” she replied, “Many years ago I partook in a watered-down sacrament, and now I am covered by the very blood of Christ. Many years ago I dwelt in a place where the cross was an avoided symbol now “it is the power for all who believe.” Many years ago I served a savior who was not God but a mere man, and now the One and Only True God lives within me. The salvation of my yesterday depended upon striving, not the complete sacrificial work of the Lamb.”

Today, when the world looks upon the heart of that girl, at first glance, they wonder if her heart is empty or full, let me reassure you; it is very full.

— Ann Margaret Zubyk

2 Comments

  1. Vicki
    Aug 27, 2017

    Beautiful! So beautifully written. My heart is also full.

  2. Mike Thaman
    Aug 27, 2017

    Powerfully written !

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