“There’s no such thing as spirits!”
Jack Staples stared defiantly at his cousin, chest heaving, eyes burning like a scorching sun over an arid desert. “I’ve told you before, Andrew, they don’t exist. So stop lecturing me with your ridiculous fairytales about my soul going to hell.”
Andrew sat calmly on the plush living room couch, unaffected by the outburst. It seemed that he was surrounded with an impenetrable force field which was able to deflect even the seething heat of Jack’s unrelenting gaze.
“Jack,” Andrew folded his hands and, leaning forward, rested them on his already crossed legs. “I know how you feel on the subject of spirituality, and the last thing I’m trying to do is push you away or scare you with –”
“Scare me?” Jack hissed. “Ghost stories don’t scare me. They irritate me.” He jabbed his finger in the air towards Andrew – another fruitless attempt to burst the force field. “I’m not intimidated by meaningless superstitions.”
His cousin didn’t budge. He merely allowed himself a whisper of a sigh and returned, “Ghosts and superstitions are not what I believe in. I place my hope, my faith, and my life in something much deeper.”
“But why stake everything you are on something you can’t even see or touch?” Jack waved his arms around the room, turning in a half circle. “This room, this house,” He dropped his hands back to his sides, “These things are tangible. You and I are tangible creatures. We’re here, now, in this life ... but what makes you think there’ll be more after we die?”
“Would you rather just cease to exist?”
“What I’d prefer doesn’t matter. I refuse to adopt a philosophy that can’t be backed up by facts and proof.”
“I have proof. Proof that lives within me.”
Jack snorted his contempt. “Oh right, the ‘Holy Spirit.’ Doesn’t the thought of a supernatural person or being living inside you kinda creep you out?”
“No. It gives me peace that my soul is secure. That the real me, not this outer body, will someday be safe in utter bliss. It rescues me from the frivolity of trusting in my own heart to make me a moral man. I need only to trust Him Who dwells within me.”
The skeptic shook his head and waved his hand dismissively just as the sounds of a car motor and boisterous hollering assaulted his ears.
“Oh, those boys,” Andrew walked to the window. “They came here once before. A bunch of troublemakers that roam the countryside looking for folks to bother. So far, there hasn’t been any damage.”
The sound of shattered glass interrupted him. A baseball-sized rock lay in the center of the room, a trail of jagged glass behind it.
Jack gaped at the object. “We’ve got to stop them! We’ve –”
There was more shattering, and this time Jack felt a sharp pain at the back of his head. Just before everything turned black.
Jack’s first conscious thought was that he was conscious. Though he somehow knew something was different. Something was missing and yet he felt more complete. As if this was how he was meant to be. All was dark, but not frightening. It was peaceful, like a deep, sweet sleep.
And then ... light. A pinprick of light shone through the darkness, then suddenly exploded all around him. All his wrong actions flashed before him: his skepticism, doubt, and his scorn of Christianity. Things that had never seemed wrong to him before.
A voice sounded from the light. “Jack, why don’t you believe?” It emanated with compassion, but was also sad.
“I – I believe in reality. Not the supernatural.”
“Jack, I AM reality. Your soul, the deep part of you that is you, is reality. Your dwelling on Earth is only a preparation for spending eternity either with Me or apart from Me.”
Jack suddenly felt a chasm within himself, as if the completeness that he had felt initially was only what could have been and not what was.
“I AM He Who is ready to fill you with real life. If you allow Me into your heart I will never leave. Not while you are on Earth or after you leave it. The question is: are you ready to spend eternity without Me?”
Jack opened his eyes to see Andrew dabbing his head with a washcloth.
“Jack, you’re alive!”
“I am now.” He winced and touched his head. “And I think I’m ready to believe.”
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