Follow The Light

Submitted into Contest #149 in response to: Start your story with the flickering of a light.... view prompt

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Christian Historical Fiction Inspirational

As he opened his eyes, Lazarus was greeted by a flickering light. But unlike any other light he had seen before, it was brilliant as a thousand suns, but at the same time, calm and comforting. The source of the light seemed to draw him, beckoning him to come closer. The glimmer seemed to reflect off of unseen surfaces and it filled the air, pierced his skin, and filled him with energy. As the light strengthened him, a beautiful song began to echo throughout the realm, but where it originated from, he had no idea. Wonderingly, Lazarus asked himself, is this Shamayim or Shoal? Either way, he didn’t care, for it was infinitely better than what he had suffered in his past life.

It was three years ago, when Lazarus’ nightmare began. It was typical spring day in Bethany. His sisters, Martha and Mary were busy preparing dinner, when Jesus came to visit. It had always been a joy when he came calling. Jesus told stories, Martha carefully listened to him, and Mary doted on his every need. But when it was time for Jesus to leave, he pulled him to the side and said, “Lazarus, my brother, the Lord is going to test you. Be strong and know I will be there for you when the time is right.” Three days later, a red blotch appeared on his arm, later to be followed by several others. It was then he was marked as a leper.

The life Lazarus once knew was thrown to the wayside. Declared an outcast, he no longer was he able to stay with his sisters, nor approach anyone. For days at a time, the only words that passed his lips were, “Stay away. I’m a leper.” People fled from his presence, not even daring to let his shadow cross their paths. Lazarus had become an exile, living among his own people, constantly reminded of what his life once was. His daily routine degenerated from a life of posterity, to one of begging. Hunger was his constant companion, for it greeted him each morning and was his bed partner when he fell asleep. If not for the scraps of food Lazarus foraged from the streets and back doors of the rich, he would have starved to death. Had he known the suffering he would have to endure watching his fingers and toes slowly die and rot away, Lazarus might have let starvation take its course. But he didn’t and in the end, he died on the streets, alone, and shunned by all.

I’m dead, he thought. But where am I, in Shamayim or Sheol?

As he pondered this question, a new realization came to him. The pain he had borne for so long had disappeared. When he stretched out his arms and counted his fingers, he began to cry for joy, for his fingers, as well as his toes have been restored. All the sores he had borne had vanished. There was no question about it. He was in Shamayim.

Taking comfort in this revelation, Lazarus began to walk, but as soon as he stepped forward, he felt as if he was walking on air. Bewildered, he asked, “What is the meaning of this?” And as if answering his question, a path appeared before him, guiding him towards the light. Lazarus took a second step, then a third, and before he knew it, he was walking towards the light.

As he continued down the path, Lazarus discovered time in this realm had no meaning. Whether five minutes had passed or five years, he couldn’t tell the difference and didn’t care. All that mattered was the feeling of love and peace that he felt. It seems to radiate from all corners of this realm, overwhelming him, leaving him with a sense of peace, and for the first time in his life, he was truly happy. Praise and thanks be to God, was all he could think, and it was enough.

 As Lazarus continued down the path, he began to sense he wasn’t alone.

Others were near me, he thought. They’re so close, it seems if I stretched out my arm, I could touch them. It’s so strange. I can almost hear their thoughts as if we’re all one but separate at the same time. Lazarus smiled. It seems the mysterious and inexplicable are commonplace here, but I’m sure all will be explained in time.

As Lazarus looked down the path, he saw a man walking towards him. The man was ageless, he thought. He could have been twenty or two-hundred years old. When they reached each other, he said, “Peace be with you, Lazarus. I am Abraham.”

Finding himself face to face with the father of faith, Lazarus tried to drop to his knees, but Abraham stopped him. “Don’t. I am not worthy of praise in this realm. Only God, our father, deserves such honors.” Then he said, “You may not like what I have to say to you.” As Lazarus questionably, looked at him, Abraham continued. “You must go back to the land of the living, where you will become a testimony of God’s great power and because of this, many hearts will become open to God’s love. The suffering you received in your past life will prepare you for the pain you will receive in the new life. Be strong, Lazarus, and have faith in God.”

Like dust in the wind, the vision of Abraham vanished, then the world around him darkened until he was surrounded in total blackness. A moment later, Lazarus opened his eyes and he found himself lying in a box. As he tried to move, he discovered he couldn’t, for he was bound in a burial shroud. Struggling against his bindings, he crawled out of the box and fell to the floor. After he wrestled with the shroud, he was finally able to free his hands and remove his face cloth. Light coming from the entrance stung his eyes, but they quickly adjusted. He was ready to tear off the shroud, but then he realized he was naked underneath it. So be it. The shroud it is.

But before stepping out into the world of the living, he thought to himself, “Was this only a dream? Did I go to heaven, then return from the dead?” The shroud encasing him seemed to answer the death part of the question. But what about the heaven part? The pain had not returned. Then he began examining himself. All his limbs, fingers and toes were intact. The numbness in his fingertips were gone. He inspected his face, nose, ears, and even hair. All was perfect. Slowly, he reached down to touch his penis fearing what he might discover. Tears of joy streamed from his eyes when he found himself completely healed. Praise be to God, he exclaimed. Still wrapped in his burial shroud, Lazarus hobbled out of the tomb, to the waiting crowd. 

June 09, 2022 18:49

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2 comments

Orchid Krizan
03:13 Jun 17, 2022

I LOVE THIS STORY!! I’m also a Christian and write stories like these, but I am to scared to put them out on this webpage. You’ve given me the encouragement I need! Thanks!

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Howard Seeley
03:32 Jun 17, 2022

I'm glad you like it. Don't be afraid to put them out there. Many people won't comment on them, but it doesn't matter. You don't need to touch everyone's heart, just the ones who are searching. Looking forward to reading your first story. Also, you might like reading my story, THE STONING.

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