Christian Short Stories
The Light of the World
By Laura McKelvey
Laura writes:"I've loved to read and write for years, and one of my writing goals is to one day compile a book of Christian short stories - and this would be one of them :) I pray this story will bring glory to my Heavenly Father!"
Jedidiah's sword clashed with the dragon's metallic-like scales, not even leaving a scratch. For what seemed the millionth time that day he slipped in the mud, this time falling to his knees.
Struggling to get up, he barely had time to lift his shield before the dragon's spiked tail came rushing toward his head.
The dragon screamed in rage over having failed to completely destroy him yet again. It was a blood-chilling scream, and it shook the very last bit of hope out of Jedidiah's heart.
It opened its mouth then and began breathing fire so hot it was blue at his shield. It quickly melted in the inferno, and Jedidiah dropped it, crying out as it burned his hand.
All he had now was his sword, and it had already proven useless against the dragon. Jedidiah stumbled backward, slipping and sliding in the mud created by the now pouring rain.
He knew this was it. His life was over, because the dragon knew now that it had him. He could see it in its eyes - that satisfaction when one realizes they've cornered their prey.
Panic gripped his heart. Run! his mind screamed . . . but he couldn't make his feet work. He couldn't move a single muscle; not even to blink. No. He could only stare upward in sheer terror as his monstrous bringer of death approached.
Out of nowhere its tail came slamming into him, knocking him violently to the ground. He lay there in the mud, his bloody body aching and throbbing.
The now excited dragon approached, its tail moving back and forth like a cat right before it pounces on a helpless mouse. Its eyes gleamed with anticipation, and Jedidiah wondered if it would be death by incineration or skewering on razor-sharp teeth.
The dragon put one huge paw over him, its claws looking just as intimidating – if not more than – its teeth. It stared down at him, breathing its foul breath in his face.
As time seemed to slow down and all but stop, Jedidiah thought back to how he’d gotten to this point. Gotten to this horrible battle with this terrifying beast.
They warned me, he thought sadly. They warned me, and I wouldn’t listen.
Yes. Long ago when he’d been given the choice of joining a powerful-looking man in a shining suit of armor and his terrifying army or a man in rags and his small, unimpressive army, of course he’d gone for the obvious. His friends had begged him to come with them and follow this man in rags – this nobody, in Jedidiah’s eyes – who they said would one day defeat this other “great” leader and his host of evil minions. They warned that following him, despite how wonderful he seemed, was futile. Life-threatening.
The scene played in Jedidiah’s mind in such clarity it was as if it was happening all over again . . .
The two armies faced one another, their warriors’ loathing for each other singing true in their eyes.
The man in rags approached Jedidiah as he stood there watching the armies. “Jedidiah,” he said. His eyes were kind and wise, and his voice, though pleading, was warm. Welcoming. “Come.”
That was all he had said. “Jedidiah” and “come”. And then the other battle leader approached.
“Jedidiah,” he said. His eyes and voice were the complete opposite of the first man’s. They were icy cold and distant. They were scoffing. “Are you really considering joining that man over me? Just look at him.”
Jedidiah looked from one man to the other, the difference as clear as night and day. The scoffing man was handsome, and he seemed mighty and invincible. The kind man wasn’t much to look at, and while his eyes held no fear whatsoever, he looked weak and helpless. The scoffing man wore a suit of black, shimmering armor, a long broadsword with a sparkling red gem in its pommel hanging at his side. He was cloaked in a long elegant red cape, and the very air about him seemed powerful. The kind man wore a dirty outfit of rags, an ordinary sword so ordinary it was boring at his side. He wore no cape, and his boots were moth-eaten.
“Please, Jedidiah!” his friends had begged from the sidelines. “Join us and our leader, Adonai! He will defeat Malus and his army, though they seem mighty and undefeatable! He will have the victory!”
The scoffing man, now known to be Malus, laughed. “Look again, Jedidiah,” he said. “Who do you think has a greater chance of winning?”
Jedidiah was silent.
“Come,” the man in rags, Adonai, said yet again, his voice so pleading. “Come and know true joy and peace.”
Jedidiah straightened then. “No,” he said. He walked over to Malus. “I choose him.”
Adonai’s eyes filled with hurt at his words, but he merely said, “I’ll be waiting, Jedidiah. I’ll be waiting with open arms.”
Jedidiah gawked. He had just virtually slapped the man in the face, and there he was saying he’d welcome him with open arms.
Malus laughed again, the sound ringing through the quiet air. “Farewell, Adonai.”
Adonai watched them go silently before returning to his men. Jedidiah followed Malus back to his army, where he was given new armor, a sword and a shield.
Jedidiah had stared across the way at Adonai, whose gaze seemed to burn a hole through him. It held such passion . . . such fire.
How can he be so sure of winning when it’s clear he’ll be crushed? Jedidiah thought. Maybe my friends are right. Maybe joining Malus is a mistake.
But then he looked at the size of Malus’s army compared to Adonai’s, and he told himself yes, that he was in fact doing the right thing.
All that had been before Jedidiah had discovered what Malus truly was, and what he discovered was no light matter.
Malus was totally corrupted. There was not a single good quality about him. He was also a shape-shifter, and he turned into a dragon and would devour his own men before Jedidiah, morphing back into a smiling man when he was finished. His eyes seemed to say, Your time to die will come soon, and I will enjoy being the bringer of it.
And now as Jedidiah stared into his wild red eyes, he couldn't believe he hadn't left sooner. Surely Adonai, who had held out against him all this time, would have been able to protect him if he had gone to him. So why hadn't he gone to him?
No time to answer that now, Jedidiah thought. Squeezing his eyes shut (as if that would make the pain of death less awful when it came), he prepared to die.
Goodbye, world, he thought.
But death never came. There was never a sickening crunch as the dragon bit into him, or the sound of crackling fire as he was roasted alive.
Suddenly the pressure of the dragon’s paw was gone as well.
Jedidiah opened his eyes to see the dragon being driven backwards by some light; a light so pure and bright Jedidiah wanted to shut his eyes again.
He chanced a look behind him to see what the source of it was . . . and to his great shock he saw Adonai.
As if they had appeared from thin air, there stood between Jedidiah and Death a majestic white horse, and on that horse, wearing a suit of shining regal silver armor, sat Adonai. His long gleaming broadsword was fearsome and mighty, and from it emanated the great light.
Jedidiah watched awestruck as Adonai pointed the sword at Malus. The light flowed from it endlessly, and at last Malus, still screaming in pain and rage, took to the skies, flying as fast as his wings would take him.
The light slowly faded away. Am I actually still alive? Jedidiah thought, afraid to move in case this really was a dream and he would wake up.
But then he saw Adonai get off his horse and come toward him. Jedidiah quickly got up so that he could kneel before him. He was humbled to the point of speechlessness, and all he could do was stare at the ground, trying to find his voice.
He felt a hand on his shoulder. Looking up he found Adonai staring down at him. “Jedidiah,” he said in a warm yet commanding voice.
Jedidiah looked up at him, one clear thought in his head that had to be made known.
“Why . . . why did you save me?” Jedidiah asked quietly. “I chose to follow Malus of my own free will – it was my mistake that brought me to this point.”
“I saved you because I love you, and I want you to follow me,” he replied, his gaze intense just as it had been that day I had first met him.
“You want me to follow you? You love me?” Jedidiah whispered, awed. “Me? But I’m . . . I’m not worthy of your love or to be called your follower! All I’m worthy of is to die.” Tears welled up in his eyes.
“It is true you are not worthy,” Adonai said. Jedidiah looked at the ground, crushed. The next words he heard, however, caused him to look up in hope. “But neither is anyone else. You see, Jedidiah, my love is unconditional. It is a gift, yours to take and keep.”
“Despite what I’ve done you . . . you would give me a gift?” This couldn’t be real. It just couldn’t!
“Yes, Jedidiah; a gift. You need only accept it.”
Jedidiah, whose tears were now flowing, was stunned.
“Jedidiah, you have seen what Malus truly is,” Adonai began. “You know his real treachery and evil, so now I ask you. Will you follow me and know my peace and joy, given to you freely? Will you fight for my father’s and my army to rid the world of Malus and his followers? Will you serve under the name of the Light?”
And that moment Jedidiah made a decision. “I will,” he said.
He knelt before him.
“I swear allegiance to you,” he said. “Do with me what you will.” He found that his sword was beside him, and he held it up to Adonai.
And then he watched as his sword, black with red jewels, changed to a gleaming silver like Adonai’s, its hilt etched in gold. It shone with a faint white light, an echo of the light that had just come from Adonai’s sword.
Then the light suddenly grew brighter. He quickly shut his eyes; it hurt to look at it . . . but he could still see it. The light was inside him! From head to toe, it was as if the light was washing through him, cleansing every bit of him.
He felt a hand on his shoulder once more. “Rise, Jedidiah.”
He obeyed, looking up into his new master’s eyes.
Adonai smiled, clasping of Jedidiah’s hands in both of his. “Welcome, friend,” he said. “You are now mine, and none shall snatch you from my grasp. You are safe.”
As tears rushed down his cheeks, peace, joy and gratitude flooded his heart.
He was Adonai’s and Adonai was his – forever.
~"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12~
(© 2010 Laura McKelvey – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)
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