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…Behold, a sower went forth to sow…
Caleb Brody stepped into the light of the streetlamp, his calloused hands clasped around a worn leather Bible.
Go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Caleb looked out at the city before him. Were there any chosen among the many people walking the streets of the city tonight? He wondered. He that hath and ear, let him hear. The Lord’s words were vivid in Caleb’s mind. Would his words be heard tonight, or would they go unnoticed?
Seating himself on the street corner under the streetlamp, Caleb opened his Bible, letting the Holy Spirit guide him.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, for whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” His voice seemed to be magnified above the evening din of the city.
Caleb glanced up, catching the gaze of a young woman to his right who was waiting along with a number of other young people to cross the street.
The snow swirled down around her, catching in her long eyelashes and curly brown hair.
She stared at him with large violet eyes, but they didn’t hold the enthrallment that he hoped for, but instead a scornful twinkle.
And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up…
The night was cold as snowflakes swirled to the ground.
“This is going to be so cool!” Amber, Jamie’s best friend, exclaimed as she burst from Leo’s Pizza Joint.
The four teens made their way down Way Side Avenue.
“Way!” Jamie joined her friend’s excitement. “The DC Rockers are totally awesome!”
Mark and Ian held back their own excitement as they followed their girlfriends down the sidewalk.
“I was thinking about coloring and cutting my hair like Aria’s, what do you think?” Amber asked as the small group waited to cross the street.
“I don’t know,” Jamie studied her friend for a moment. Aria, the lead singer of the DC Rockers, had short auburn hair that was spiked with long sweeping side bangs. “You have such pretty hair; do you really want to cut it all off?”
Amber wrapped a strand of long blonde hair around her finger and studied it thoughtfully. “I know, but its so â€” so yesterday!” She said melodramatically.
Jamie shook her head and smiled. Her best friend could be such a drama queen at times.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son…”
Jamie looked to her left to see where the words had come from. A man sat under the streetlight, his head bent over a book on his lap. How peculiar. She thought, watching him read.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son…It seemed almost like a love story…in its own bizarre way. She thought, but then shook her head. It was all so unreal. How could people believe such nonsense?
The man looked up from the book, his blue eyes instantly filling with pain.
Could he tell that she thought his religion ridiculous? She looked away quickly. What should he care? People were entitled to their own thoughts and feelings!
Following her friends, Jamie crossed the street to the theater where the DC Rockers were performing.
“Ready to, parr-taay?” Amber asked as she nudged Jamie with her elbow.
Jamie looked over her shoulder at the man, he had his head bent and his words flowed loudly into the street.
“You bet I am!” Jamie shouted a little too loudly as they entered the Music and Lyrics theater.
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had not root, they withered away.
Shane held tight to his wife’s hand as tears filled his eyes.
The doctor’s words hung heavy on his heart. My sweet Libby. His heart pleaded for her to stay while anther voice somewhere seemed to call for her.
“Incurable…?” Shane’s voice trembled.
I love her. I am not ready to let go of her, not now, not ever!
Shane dared to look at his wife, her face ashen and her eyes filled with tears. Her beautiful blue eyes. She turned to look at him. Her eyes were pleading, full of fear and pain. What could he do? I would do anything for you, Libby; you are all I have.
“When…How long do we have?” Shane’s voice was desperate as he placed his gaze on Dr. Rhodes.
“It could be years, months, weeks…” His voice held no hope for them, no compassion.
Shane looked again at Libby; she sat stiffly in her chair, a single tear present on her cheek. He held tight to her hand, as if it was the only thing keeping her alive.
She’s so beautiful. He thought. She is so young. They had only been married a year…why her?
Shane could not bear to watch is lovely bride die. Her once bright blue eyes were now dull, no longer full of life, and her smiles were no longer sincere but rather a faÃ§ade. She was dying, and all he could do was sit by and watch.
Shane made his way down Stone Street, his heart heavy with grief. Why her? He had asked so many times.
Shane held out his hand to catch the falling snowflakes, but he could not feel them.
“In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.”
Shane glanced over his shoulder, noticing for the first time the young man that sat in the light of the streetlamp. The man was reading aloud from a book in his lap, his tranquil voice was filled with a joy that Shane envied.
Shane found the words so familiar, yet he could not remember where he had heard them before. What book did he read from? What made those words so special?
The man flipped through the pages of his book, not noticing Shane. “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield to them that put their trust in him.”
Of course, it was the Bible. He had grown up going to church Sunday after Sunday, hearing those same words spoken again and again. But why did they seem so new and different tonight? Weren’t they the same words?
Shane wanted to know more, to share it with Libby, maybe then she would heal.
Libby. My sweet darling Libby. Hope rose in his heart. If the words spoke truth then Libby would live!
Shane headed for the downtown Christian bookstore to purchase a Bible, his heart singing a new praise as hope rose in him.
Shane stared at his wife from across the room. She had been released by the hospital to spend her last days at home. Last days. The words chilled his heart. We prayed…why haven’t you answered? He questioned, his heart filling with anger.
Seeing her now curled up on the couch with an afghan draped over her thin legs, Shane could not hold back his tears.
Her head was bent over her Bible as she read it silently. As the days passed Shane had lost hope, but Libby blossomed with it spiritually.
She’s so beautiful. He thought. Though her skin was pale still, her eyes were bright and full of life again. She smiled her “from the heart” smile again. I love you so very much, Libby. A pink and blue scarf covered her head, taking the place of her lovely blonde curls.
Looking up, Libby smiled as she noticed him staring at her. “What?” She asked, tilting her head slightly to the left.
He shook his head. “Nothing,” he smiled and made his way across the room to sit next to his lovely wife, “I was just thinking how beautiful you areâ€”now more then ever.” He peered into her loving eyes. “I just donâ€˜t get it.”
Subconsciously she raised her hand to her head; the softness of the silk scarf was all she could feel with her fingertips.
“I feel so much better then before too, even though…” Her voice trailed off.
“I love you so much,” His voice trembled as he tried to hold back a sob. Bringing his hand up to stroke the silk scarf, he leaned forward and pressed his forehead to hers.
“God’s calling me home, darling, it’ll be alright.” She whispered. “I know that it is hard for you, but you will be comforted.”
She turned her eyes to the Bible in her lap and read aloud. “…The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost…” She looked back to her husband, a smile stretching across her face. “See? He is our comforter, in times of sorrow He is there.” She paused for a moment, as if considering her words carefully. “But me going is not a time of sorrow, but a time to rejoice!” She raised her voice as loud as she could.
He’s taking you from me! I had asked, but he did not answer. Why should I rejoice when he never gave you another chance?
“Grieve, but not for me, but for those who don’t have such a happy ending.”
But her words fell on deaf ears; Shane’s heart was already hardened.
As the clock struck midnight Libby’s hand went limp in Shane’s grasp, and when he looked up at her all he could see was sweet bliss on her lovely face. She was gone from him forever.
His body shook with sobs. He would never love again. Never.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.
Alana made her way through the cafeteria, trying to dodge the spitballs that the football jocks were shooting at the geeks from across the room.
“So, have you heard the 411?” Alana’s best friend, Tess Peterson asked the second Alana seated herself at the table.
But Tess didn’t wait for Alana’s answer before she blurted, “Jordan Peterson is having a party this weekend.”
“Awesome.” Alana said as she reached into her handbag for her iPod.
“Everyone’s invited…” Tess’ voice trailed off as she glanced over at the geeks in the corner of the cafeteria. “Well, not everyone.”
The two of them burst into laughter.
Alana made her way down Thorn Street; the night was cold and snowy. If only I had my own car. She breathed into the cold night air as she came to a stop at the crosswalk.
She had to sneak out of the house to get by her parents who had objected to her going to Tess’s party. Why do they have to be so unfair? Kicking at a lump of dry grass that had grown up through a crack in the concrete of the sidewalk, Alana waited impatiently to cross the street.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…”
Alana looked up with surprise. Where did those words come from? She looked to her left to see a man sitting in the streetlight. What was he doing?
Listening closer Alana realized he read aloud from the Bible. Why?
…Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…it sounded like poetry. Alana had never noticed before, even when Josiah Davis so frequently quoted scriptures, how wonderful the words sounded. It stirred something inside of her, she felt drawn to the words, and a desperate need to go to the only person she knew who would understand, Josiah Davis.
Changing her direction, Alana made her way down the street, her pace quickening to the beat of her heart. I want to know you, Lord! The rhythm of her heart seemed to yell.
Taking a sip of her diet coke, Alana glanced over her shoulder as an uproar of laughter came from the football jocks. She followed their gaze to the far corner of the cafeteria to see one of the geek’s face covered in a slice of key lime pie. To her horror, Alana recognized the young man as Josiah Davis.
Why are they so mean? Alana thought as she looked back to the football jocks. Why do they find enjoyment in terrorizing people just because they aren’t popular?
Part of Alana wanted to scream and yell at all who laughed, but a part of her just wanted to go along with the others, to fit in.
Why do I find it so hard? She had felt so great last night as Josiah explained God’s word so clearly to her. He had helped her to understand it all. And by the end of the conversation she was crying and asking Jesus into her heart.
Now as she sat at the table staring at Josiah, Alana found herself doing nothing for kindhearted Josiah Davis, when he had done so much for her.
Later, after lunch, Alana met Josiah in the hallway as Tess and her made their way to math class.
“Hi,” he said and smiled broadly.
Alana glanced at Tess who stood next to her. “Um, hi,” she said hesitantly.
Tess just stood staring at Alana, her eyes puzzled.
“Why are you talking to him?” Tess mouthed.
Josiah only ignored Tess and kept his eyes on Alana. “I thought you might like this,” he said as he reached into his book bag. “I didn’t know if you had one or not, but…” He held out a leather bound Bible.
Alana didn’t reach for it, but glanced at Tess, not sure what to do. She wanted so badly to be popular, to be a part of the cheerleader’s squad, but she knew Tess would never allow it if she was friends with Josiah Davis and proclaimed her newly found faith.
Despite her heart’s yearning to take the Bible, Alana laughed loudly and walked past Josiah.
The young man stood in the hallway, deeply hurt. The sound of muffled laughter and whispers could be heard throughout the hallway.
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit…
Brian held tight to Vanessa’s hands, his heart pounding wildly in his chest as he stared into her beautiful green eyes.
“I love you so much, Vanessa.”
Vanessa looked up at him, her own heart pounding fiercely. “I love you too, Brian.” Was this it…was he going to…
“I love you darling, more then words can speak.” Brian searched Vanessa’s eyes. “Will you marry me?” Vanessa’s eyes quickly filled with tears as he uttered the four words she had longed to hear for so long.
“Yes!” She yelled, throwing her arms around his neck. “Yes!”
It was all that he could do to keep back his own tears as he held tight to Vanessa.
Snow was swirling around them as they made their way, hand in hand, down Good Street, their hearts beating rapidly with excitement.
Every now and then they would glance at each other and whisper I love you, but mostly they walked in silence.
“…Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Stopping suddenly, the couple turned to look at the man they had just passed. He sat under the streetlight, his head bent over a book in his lap as he read aloud.
The sound of the pages fluttering in the wind, and then the man’s voice, “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Again, the wind turned the pages, and again the man began to read to where the pages had been turned. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” Again the wind turned the pages, and again the man read from where the pages fell. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…”
Vanessa felt Brian squeeze her hand tenderly, looking up she found tears streaming down his face.
Brian looked down to see Vanessa staring up at him, her face streaked with tears.
Both their hearts sang to another beat as they made their way to the Streetlight Messenger.
As they neared, the man lifted is weary eyes to them.
“We would like to know more,” Was all they said, but it was enough to bring tears to Caleb’s eyes.
“Blessed is he that is chosen! For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Unlike the others that had heard Caleb’s words that night, Brian and Vanessa heard God’s Word with good and honest hearts. And with patience and understanding, they continued to grow.
Because it doesn’t end here for those chosen of God