Welcome Reader Friends! Today we have another in David Telbat’s Custom Last Stand Chronicles, Short Story “Reached and Broken,” featuring another favorite Christian band, Casting Crowns. Enjoy!
Reached and Broken
by D.I. Telbat
Jeffrey Selmer woke to music that stirred his soul as well as old memories. Ocean waves foamed onto the New Jersey shoreline a few feet away. Cursing, Jeff realized that he’d passed out on the beach again.
With a headache that reminded him how much he’d drunk the night before, Jeff sat up and tried to straighten his clothes. But there was no straightening his vomit-encrusted t-shirt or soiled jeans. They were wrinkled and stained beyond help.
Where was that music coming from? Jeff rose to his feet and swayed with the sand-filled wind. He was twenty-years-old, too young to have memory problems, but he couldn’t recall what town he was in. The whole day before, he’d been drunk.
The music drew Jeff inland toward a beach house. He couldn’t quite hear the words, but the melody was familiar, something from his youth in Atlanta. Atlanta—where he had been sober, and life had been…tolerable.
Jeff fell onto the lawn of the beach house. On hands and knees, he wretched the last of his stomach contents. When nothing more came, the tears began. Why was he crying? Was it really the music?
Not trusting his feet to stand right away, Jeff rolled over to sit on the grass. Now, he could hear the words to the music. Something about knowing God. He used to want to know God, Jeff thought, before he had run away and committed to doing every depraved thing a young man could do.
He had wanted to see the world, but all Jeff had seen were drugs, disease, and— It made him sick to remember. Yes, that’s why he drank. That’s why he had sold the last of his possessions to buy that final bottle. To forget. Maybe even to die.
But that song from the beach house pierced even Jeff’s lost heart. The tears continued, and he remembered a time in Atlanta when a music group leader had told him that the Creator God wanted to be his friend.
Jeff had no friends. And he no longer had any clothes or money. Was it true that God could help him? Nothing else had worked.
Casting Crowns—Jeff suddenly remembered. That was the name of the band singing the song. No other music could touch him so deeply about his present condition. He had to know God! It was time.
Standing shakily, Jeff focused on the beach house porch. Someone was sitting there on a chair. Was it an angel? No, just a man blaring his music.
The music was calling him, and Jeff responded by approaching the porch directly. More than ever, Jeff needed help. And anyone who was playing Casting Crowns music would likely be safe to approach to ask about Jesus.
When Jeff put a hand on the porch railing, the song ended and the man who was reading his Bible looked into Jeff’s face.
“I need your help,” Jeff said, tears still running.
Casting Crowns would never know how their music had changed his life that summer morning—of how they had reached out to his broken heart through their gift of song. But God knew.
The End of Short Story Reached and Broken
COMING UP: Next time, we have another custom Last Stand Chronicle short story titled, “Embrace that Call.” It features BarlowGirl in a different light than in the previous short story, “Follow the Call.” Enjoy!