“Are you there God? It’s me.” God was there and He was listening to her prayers. He was listening to all the prayers coming up to Him.
Misery came in and lamented rather gleefully on all that he had caused to go wrong in the last few weeks. War was in conflict with yet everyone and everything. He refused any sort of civility. Impatience was irritated that time was being wasted. Cruelty and Hatred were brutal to everyone they met. Unfaithful showed no consistency or regard for those around him. Self-Indulgence had no constraint or stability which led to indiscipline. Arrogance perched himself on an old chair as if it were a throne, sneering and looking down on everyone in the group. Evil relished in corrupting others with suffering, misfortune, indecency, and dishonesty.
This group met with one another under an old abandoned house. It was there they decided who they would prod to cause as much strife in the world as they could. Misery was the first to speak and while clearing his throat, which sounded like a foghorn, he steadied himself at the podium.
“I’ve prompted so many people into being miserable that I’ve lost count. It was easy to do with a family that lost all they had because of the father’s gambling addiction. The best part was that he also lost his job and now the family has nowhere to live.”
The group nodded in approval. Unfaithful was the next to speak. He wavered up to the stage and stood on a discarded wooden platform.
“I prodded a young man to question his faith in God. He had stopped going to church regularly and became disinterested in reading his Bible. He has slowly but surely slipped into some of his old ways before he became a believer of the One Whose Name we do not speak.”
“Speaking of church,” interrupted Impatience, tapping his slender pointy feet rapidly. “You’ll never believe where I scored.”
“Where?” the others asked.
“ I had quite the time at a fairly large church. They were preparing for their Christmas Pageant and I went right to work. I started with the director of the play. He was ripe for provoking. He yelled and pounded his fists like a maniac when the sopranos did not hit the right notes, the Wise Men did not come in on cue, and one of the live sheep pooped all over the stage. It was glorious.”
They all looked at one another and chortled. Hatred and Cruelty chimed in next and decided to combine their efforts.
“We extended our influence to the large masses of people around the world where leaders of countries oppress their citizens and control every decision. The people are treated with contempt and punished for the slightest offenses.”
The malevolent group cheered at Hatred and Cruelty’s efforts.
The last to speak was Evil and with his raspy voice that sounded like the hissing of a snake, he raised a long pointed finger to his puckered lips as a loud shhh oozed from his throat, hushing everyone while he relayed his story.
“I did my fair share of persuasion as well on humanity. I am pleased to announce that I initiated a virus that has swept the world very quickly. It has taken the lives of the old as well as the young, the rich as well as the poor, and no race of people have been exempted from it. It has caught the world off guard and has caused pandemonium on all the nations. Businesses have closed and people have lost their jobs. Self-Indulgence, I would personally like to thank you for prompting people to clear out the stores of essential items so that the elderly and poor have nothing to buy. Thank you for persuading the youth that feel entitled to travel for their spring break to show no concern about spreading the virus. Arrogance, a big shout out to you for working so closely with the leaders, politicians, and the entertainment industry. Their arrogance is relentless. War, I know this is not as aggressive as you would have liked, but it still has the same effect as wars of violence. You see the end result we seek is death.”
The spiteful ensemble, who had listened to Evil with glee, saluted him with wild abandonment and gave Evil their highest praise.
The almighty and powerful Elohim had been listening to this group for quite some time. He looked down with an eternal love on the ones this group was attacking. He was moved deeply when the sweet prayers of little ones and big ones were sent up to him.
“Are you there God? It’s me.”
The small girl, huddled in a tight ball, clasped her cold hands together in the lightweight tent housing her family. Shivering in the freezing temperatures and trying to ignore the pain in her stomach from hunger, she held on to a hope that she couldn’t explain.
“Help my family to love each other again. I am so scared and sad. There is so much shouting and angry words that I have to cover my ears. Help us to love each other again and help us to find a home. Thank you God for your Son Jesus. I love you!”
Wiping a tear from his eye as he heard the prayer of the little one, Elohim made his presence known to the sweet girl. As the child finished her prayer and felt God’s light, Misery could no longer be in her presence.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
“Are you there God? It’s me.”
Sitting in his parked car in the back lot of his church, the young man listened to the humming of the engine for hours. As more tears began streaming down his swollen face, he laid his head against the steering wheel. Pain pierced his heart like sharp knives as the loss of his parents in a car accident, stormed his thoughts.
“Help me to have faith even in the things that are hard to understand. Help me to have faith when things are dimmed and especially dark. Help me to know that you will never leave me or forget me. Help me to know that you love me. Thank you for your faithfulness, even when I can’t see it.”
Upon hearing the young man’s prayer Elohim’s faithfulness was felt and Unfaithful disappeared.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
Kneeling down on the hardwood floor of his small bedroom, the choir director prayed.
“Are you there God? It’s me.”
Pictures of the hurt and dejected faces of the people from practice swirled in his head, as shame crept in and resided in his conscience.
“I am humbled and ask for your forgiveness for my temper tantrum. Help me to have the patience with others that you have with me. Thank you for your loving kindness. In Jesus’ name I pray.”
Touched by the sincerity and meekness of his prayer, the Father smiled on his humble servant. While the choir director’s head was bowed in deep humility, Impatience made a hasty retreat.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
Like rumbling thunder, Elohim heard the unified prayers of all the citizens who trust, believe, and love him in nations where their leaders are oppressive. Prayers of thanksgiving were sent to the Lord of all creation. Many who had experienced imprisonment, fines, physical brutality, and even death clung to the faith they knew would sustain them. They prayed prayers asking for forgiveness for their oppressors and prayers for their salvation. Hatred and Cruelty discovered that their power was not as potent to a people whose focus is solely and completely on the One Whose Name they do not speak.
I have said these things to you that you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:23
Elohim listened with the most profound love of all the prayers around the world of those who were praying for this virus to end. He was moved deeply by the ones who had been infected, saddened by those who had succumbed and protective of the ones concerned about contracting it. Self-Indulgence slunk off when the hard working people and businesses restocked the needs of the people and the children of Elohim worked to make sure that those in need would be taken care of. Arrogance slowly disappeared as the leaders, politicians, and entertainers realized that they didn’t have the answers.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His
mercy. Titus 3:4-5
And Evil as well as War was reminded by Elohim himself that if death was the end goal, then they were too late, for death was defeated on a cross 2,000 years ago.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
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Hi Angela, I enjoyed reading this story, especially how you characterized all of the different players. The reference to pandemic and war felt so very real to me with what is happening right now. Looking forward to your next piece!
Thank you J.C.
I loved, Loved, loved this story and the way it was written. I felt it and learned from it! I can't honestly think of one thing I would change! GREAT JOB!!!
Thank you so much Suni for the wonderful compliment! I enjoyed writing it.
Angela, I appreciate this story so much. It reminded me of the Screwtape Letters. Believers think that they are untouchable, sometimes, when they are the ones getting the most attention. I also appreciate that you used “Elohim”, it’s one of my favorite names for G-d (being Messianic, I also use the name Hashem) Good job!
Thank you so much Hannah!
Thank you Bonnie. I am still in the process of editing my story. Thank you for your critique.
I liked your allegory. Stories of the importance of prayer is long overdue. I liked how the characters are names of attitudes. From a writing standpoint, I would have preferred more variation in the structure of the sentences. A lot of sentences seemed to start with nouns (not counting names). From a Christian standpoint, I would have preferred to see the name of Jesus mentioned. And that praise and/or thanksgiving would have been offered up with the prayers. God created us for praise. (Psalm 108:18) Also, Phillipians 4:6. Keep writing.