Hi Reader Friends! Today we have another short story by D.I. Telbat. He was inspired by a favorite Christian artist’s message of reconciliation in his music, so David named this custom Last Stand Chronicle story “Love like a Flame.” Enjoy!
Love like a Flame
by D.I. Telbat
Kevin had been warned about wandering alone in the tent community in Southern Asia. It was easy to get lost, and attacks against Christians had heightened in the last few years.
Regardless of the risks, singing artist Kevin, in Asia to share his music, walked into a large wall tent where he heard singing.
He stood in the back as a pastor began to speak in articulate English to twenty men and women. Kevin felt a tug to return to the tour bus where the other Westerners were giving food and gift packages to the rural families. Passing out those goods was a special time, but Kevin knew God had meant for him to witness this simple church service.
A communion plate was passed through the small crowd of worshipers. Kevin was drawn to tears as the pastor spoke of Christ’s humble love in any circumstance. Closing his eyes, Kevin prayed he would remember this man’s words and the surroundings so he could write a song about it later. The world needed to know.
When the communion plate reached Kevin, a man lunged forward and knocked the plate from his hands. At first, Kevin thought it was an accident, or that the Christians were offended that he, a stranger, was partaking of the Lord’s Supper with them. But then the man drew a machete from his belt.
“We do not want you here!” the man yelled at the worshipers. They backed away from the angry man as he raised his blade. “Leave this place and stop these meetings!”
The knife swung downward at a woman with an infant in her arms. Instinctively, Kevin stepped close and held up his arm to protect her. The blade thumped heavily into his forearm, cutting to the bone, but too dull to slice all the way through.
The second blow was meant for Kevin specifically. Even with blood oozing from his arm, he shielded the other worshipers more deliberately, and received a stunning blow to the head.
Moments later, he woke in a daze. His bleeding head was in the lap of one of the women. A few steps away, the man with the knife was clicking a lighter over a can of gasoline. Even in his wounded state, Kevin realized that as soon as the lighter flickered, they would all be burned.
But the clicking lighter was not the only sound in the tent that afternoon. All around him, Kevin heard praying. The worshipers mumbled and cried their prayers for salvation and mercy, even for their attacker.
Weakly, Kevin sat up to further defend his fellow believers. Maybe the attacker saw in Kevin’s face that he was about to tackle him—or perhaps the man saw an army of angels in the tent with them. Whatever the case, the violent man’s lighter would not light, and he turned and fled the tent.
The worshipers were still wrapping Kevin’s wounds with rags when the police arrived, carrying their bamboo staffs. Instead of initiating a manhunt, the police began to arrest the worshipers. “Violating religious freedom laws!” was their accusation.
As a foreigner and probably more trouble than he was worth, Kevin was shoved aside and ignored.
“Bless you!” the woman with the infant said with a smile at Kevin as she was led away.
Soon, Kevin was left to stand shaken and alone in the tent. He raised his head to gaze up at the ceiling. He could have just as easily been burned to death, or injured worse from the knife, but God had kept him from greater harm.
He left the tent and started toward the tour bus. His arm ached and his head throbbed, but witnessing God’s love in action seemed worth it all. Regardless of the assault, the worshipers had loved and prayed for the crazed man. And though they were arrested and continued to suffer persecution, they would most certainly continue to love. The world had to know this!
Before he reached the bus, words to a new song played in Kevin’s mind. Right then, he didn’t care about his wounds; they didn’t matter in the grand scheme. He could only think about the picture of love that he’d been given to take back to his fans.
By God’s grace, someone would be reconciled to God from this story—of a love that burned so bright that even the flame of a lighter was dimmed!
Click here to read other Last Stand Chronicle stories.
COMING UP: Join us next time for David’s Author Reflection called, “Book Page Still Missing.” And next MONDAY David has another custom Last Stand Chronicle story for you featuring BarlowGirl in, “Follow the Call.“