Blinded By the Light
The last entry from my upcoming booklet, “Our Darkness, His Light”.
(This Beautiful Image from this site by Brian Doc Reed.)
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
Simon heard a noise and the door to his house burst open. He sat upright on his pallet, his eyes still filled with sleep, as the bright sunlight gushed into the room. A figure stood in the doorway, eclipsing the sunlight.
The figure remained silent, silhouetted against the bright light and he stepped into the room. Motes of dust swirled in the air, as the man stepped up to the pallet and looked down at Simon.
Simon stood slowly and squinted at the man’s face. The man was dressed in rich, royal robes with gold chains around his neck and he wore a hat with jewels on it. His face was very severe, dark, with glistening eyes and a jet black beard. A finger covered with jeweled rings pointed in accusation and he was pushed roughly in the chest back against the stone wall of his bedroom.
“Are you Simon, the Christian?” The man’s harsh voice echoed in the room.
Simon stumbled against the wall and then regained his composure. “I am Simon, he who follows Christ. Yes. Who are you?”
The man turned and glanced toward the outer doorway and Simon saw two soliders standing in the bright sunlight outside. “I have come to take you away. You are a follower of that blasphemer Christ and if you do not denounce him, you will be put to death.”
Simon swallowed nervously and stepped beyond the man to the small table in his room. From a gourd he poured a cup of water and sipped the water as he glanced towards the doorway. Two Judean soldier stood outside his doorway. Already a small crowd was gathering in the morning sunlight. He turned and the man who had acosted him was facing the doorway, the bright sunlight glistening from his jewlery and gold chains.
“Just who are you?”
“I am Saul of Tarsus. It is my job to root out this evil cult, which is growing in this community, in this nation.”
The wooden cup fell from Simon’s hand and clattered on the table top, splashing water across the room. Small droplets of it landed on Saul’s face and glistened in the sunlight.
“You were responsible for Steven’s death, weren’t you?”
Saul wiped the droplets from his face and glanced at his hand. “Yes. I was responsible for the death of that blasphemer. You too will suffer a similar fate. You must denounce this Jesus Christ. You must denounce that you were ever involved in his teaching and his miracles. If you do so publicly, then I will spare your life.”
Simon looked around the small room in which he had lived for the last few years. He had never married. He had spent his days teaching and spreading the news of Jesus Christ, just as his master had instructed him to do on the day of his departure into the heavens. He had very few earthly possessions. The room was empty and bare, testimony to a life lived without material possessions. But his heart was filled with the riches and the treasures of souls saved for Jesus Christ. Those things could never be taken from him. He turned back to Saul.
“Saul of Tarsus, I must tell you that I was once blind and known as Simeon. I lived the life of a beggar, a slave to darkness. And one day Jesus Christ touched my eyes and healed me and I not only could see again physically, but my soul and my heart could see the truth. The truth is that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that truth has set me free. I can never denounce him. I can never denounce the miracle that he performed in my life. If Jesus Christ could pay for the truth with his own life, then I can do no less. I will not denounce. If I must be put to death at your hands, then so be it. For I know that just as my Savior and Lord rose again from the dead, I will live again with Him in eternity.”
Saul’s teeth gritted and he grimmiced in an angry glare as he looked at Simeon.
“You Christian’s are all alike. You’re so puny and weak. And every one of you refuses to denounce this self professed messiah, who’s leading you into the very pits of hell. I grow so weary of your presence here. I grow so weary of your smiling faces and your unyeilding devotion to this Jesus of Nazareth. If I have to, I will chase every one of you to the very ends of the earth, until I’ve wiped you out. I shall have mercy on you today, Simon. I shall have mercy because I am a busy man today. I’m about to leave on a long journey to Damascus. When I arrive, there are a group of Christian’s who will die at my hands. But I will return for you. I shall come back to this house and you shall suffer at my hands.”
Simon looked towards the outer doorway and the sunlight was full and warm on his face. “Then I shall wait for you Saul. I shall be here doing what God has commissioned me to do. But I warn you Saul. You are fighting forces far beyond your understanding. You will have to face Jesus one day, face to face, and you will have to account for these murders and atrosities. And when you do, you will see the truth, even as I have. And the truth will either make you free or will enslave you into eternal darkness. And it is in our darkness we find His light.”
Simon turned to face Saul again and Saul’s eyes were bright in the morning sunlight. “Saul of Tarsus, one day you will meet Jesus and you will be blinded by his light. Until that day, I await your return.”
Saul glared at him one last time and extended a clinched fist. “I would like to meet this Jesus of yours. And when I do, I would give him a piece of my mind. There is no man, no God so powerful that he could change my mind and change my course. Simon, I will return and when I do, you will die.”
Saul brushed past him and paused in the doorway. As he turned the light glistened once more on the fine droplets of water on his face, reflecting from the gold around his neck and the jewels on his hands. “I am not blind Simon. You are the one who has been blinded by this untruth. When I return from Damascus, I will show you the truth.”
Simon watched as Saul disappeared into the bright morning sunlight. He sat on his pallet and gazed into the rays of the morning sun. “Oh master and savior, I know not what you have in mind for me. But please, today, soften Saul’s heart and let him meet you face to face.”
And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Acts 8:1-3