In The Reflection

In The Reflection

Surrounded by a multitude of forgettable people
Drew
Drew
22
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Drunken and intoxicated with a multitude of narcotics, he felt nothing and he was happy because he felt nothing. He was consumed by the feeling of numbness (or lack of feeling). Sinking deep into an old torn couch, he was surrounded by a multitude of forgettable people. This was, at this time, his daily nightlife. He defended, against his own conscience, this habit by claiming first, "The Creator made these plants (filled with harmful chemicals) for a reason; therefore he has the right to pleasure himself this gift." Second: he felt since this is a blessing, he therefore does not need to feel shame in the indulgence of it. Third: he thought this to be the true form of companionship, producing the best of memories. But he could not escape the God-given integrity instilled in him. He knew he was perverting the original purpose, he felt great shame, and he knew all these forgettables, he called friends, were there solely for the purpose of forgetting. He continued on his path, and learned the cultural ability to ignore his conscience. Yet, he could not ignore the pulling of the soul—conviction.

*******

He entered the waters, sure of his decision, though he was deeply encouraged to do so. All of his past clung to his body—his flesh—and covered him like dirt and mud. As the water level grew, as he got deeper and deeper into the pool, his past—his dirt and mud—was washing away. Finally, he came into the arms of a teacher and mentor. His conscience was clear and his heart was ready; he had never felt such anticipation before. Now waist deep in the pool, surrounded by countless peers, the teacher asked, “Why are you doing this?”

*******

He woke up. Thinking he was home, he felt a sensation of peace. He then turned his head to see two half naked bodies lying on the carpet floor, a young woman and a young man. He forgotten their names but at least remembered his location. Where else would he be on a Sunday morning? By now the feeling of peace had been pushed away. He stood up slowly from the couch and scanned the area only to find more bodies scattered across the room. Empty alcohol glasses, half eaten pizza slices, and the faint smell of marijuana filled the room and tables. There was even still an unfinished line of cocaine on the counter. Feeling a little disgusted in regards to the state of the room, he wanted to wash away the dirty night. Dizzy and still incredibly tired, almost tripping over passed out teenagers, he stumbled his way to the door. As he entered, he switched the light—too bright. He then switched it back off and cracked the door to let some light in. He washed his face with some warm water, then cold. Still looking down, he grabbed the towel off the rack. He looked up into the mirror while drying his face. His eyes met his eyes in the reflection. What happened then cannot be described by mere words but nevertheless…

*******

There was no answer at first. The teacher then asked again, “Drew, why are you this?” He looked down at the water and saw the mud and dirt—his past. He wanted so desperately to cover himself in the thickness. He wanted so feverishly to cling to it. But then, for a brief moment, he could see his reflection. It was smiling and calm, and on the shoulder was an unidentifiable hand, a fatherly hand. This small embrace was the final encouragement he needed. He turned to his mentor and answered, “I am doing this because I need to let go.”

*******

Staring into the reflection, his heart—no his soul stirred. Something moved inside him, urging the greatest feeling of conviction. All at once, his heart was storm and his mind, the crashing waves of the sea. Yet he did not feel guilt. He kept thinking he should feel shame, he should feel guilty but none of those emotions came. He broke down and sobbed in the sink. He knew he failed, he knew he rebelled, he knew all he had done had gone against everything he had been taught. By now, he was on his knees with tears crashing to the floor. Then a hand touched grabbed his shoulder. He looked up and no hand was seen in the reflection, but the feeling of conviction was gone. His heart and mind were stilled. But now what of his soul, since that was the part that was deeply affected in the first place?

*******

Everyone was quiet before, but after his answer, their hearts were moved and some broke into tears. The mentor smiled and commented, “Good answer,” The teacher then said, while slowly submerging the young man’s body, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy spirit.”

Cover Image Credit: johnpavlovitz.com

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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You Ain’t Waiting For God To Bring You Your Dinner, You Get Up And Go Cook It

My words often get jumbled and don't make sense, so I figured writing it would help me come across clearly.

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Dear guy friends of mine,

I want you to know how grateful I am for your friendship. Having close guy friends has helped me better understand men and learn how the male species operates. I've been able to ask you so many questions and you've responded with thoughtfulness, kindness, grace, and honesty. I appreciate your willingness to talk to me.

I want to encourage you in something, and with some of you I have tried, but I think I came across as a little crazy. From what I've been told by married women, guys are very afraid of actual crazy. You want your girl to have some crazy (because all women have at least a little bit of crazy), but you don't want her to be, like, crazy. I get that and respect that.

I want to encourage you to ask girls out. It's scary. You're afraid of rejection. I know this because several of you have told me so. I recently spoke with a guy who's been married for a few years and has a baby daughter. He told me that you guys are scared, you don't want to put your heart on the line and have it crushed. That's a good reason not to pursue girls: you'll remain safe and free from hurt if you don't put your feelings out there.

But here's the other side of it: You'll never find that girl if you never search for her. Now, I know that all things happen in God's timing and as imperfect humans, we can't force things to happen outside of God's timeline. However, Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Dallas, Texas said this in a sermon several years ago:

"But something's happened in evangelical circles where if you're single you're supposed to not want to be married, but be content in a spot and that's somehow more glorifying than following God's wiring of you to want a mate. And so in the end what happens is that you walk around like a liar. I mean, poor young ladies! Almost all of them have been told, "As soon as you're content, God will send you a man." So you've got hundreds of thousands of women running around acting content! "I'm content, where is he?" You've got other guys going, "You know, I'm just gonna wait for God to bring me the right one." Well, you ain't waiting for God to bring you your dinner, alright? You get up and go cook it."

Pastor Chandler goes on to say that he's not telling the guys to go on the hunt and prowl. No! He's telling guys that they have a role to play in pursuing a woman to marry. Girls have a role to play, too. Girls can't just hang out with their girlfriends in hopes that they'll lock eyes with Prince Charming while in the grocery store or walking their dog in the park. No, girls need to build up the guys in their lives and respect them by letting the guys be guys and giving them opportunities to be gentlemen. That's what I appreciate about you guys, my guy friends. You are such gentlemen and I love that. Don't be afraid to ask out the girl that you think is sweet, cute, pretty, funny, kind, silly, honest, loyal, and the right amount of crazy. You've got this!

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