It was a very strange sight JT happened upon during his trek to the next town. There appeared to be two groups of people in a large field. The people ranged from toddlers to the extremely aged.
What made the spectacle so bizarre was that both sides were throwing balls of fire in lacrosse sticks at each other. He stopped awhile to watch and noted that if a person got hit by the ball of fire they were immediately expelled from the game. No one seemed to help them stop the fire that spread on the victims’ clothes; they seemed to be completely enthralled in the game.
This game did not seem to have any redeeming features, other than some people occasionally pushed a toddler out of the line of fire. Whether by accident or design, the toddlers usually were pushed roughly and wound up crying on the ground.
JT walked up to a couple of people on the sidelines with their clothes and hair partially burnt off. As he walked closer, he saw they were burned and red where the fire had touched them. However, no signs of pain were on any of their faces, except the children.
The rest were cheering wildly for their side and looks of rage and anger were on their faces. They were also wishing for the opposite side to lose in very vulgar and graphic terms. The same was happening on the other side, regardless of age, they were vehemently calling their opponents very derogatory names and wishing them ill.
JT noticed that some of the fire balls thrown were ignored at the edge of the field. They were still burning and smoldering where they landed. The same happened at the far end of the field. It was slowly building a line of fires along 3 ends of the field. The grass was long and dry, all it needed was wind to whip it up and disaster could happen quickly. JT looked around and thought, ‘am I the only one who notices this?’
The game was getting much more frantic now. There were only 20 people left on the field now. The sidelines were getting packed with injured people who limped slowly to their cheering positions.
All of a sudden, JTs’ worst fears came to life; the wind appeared to whip up all those forgotten smoldering fires in to full-fledged infernos. At first the people who still played on the field didn’t notice, until the playing field got narrower and narrower. The flames whipped higher and hotter and suddenly, the players on the field were running for the sidelines as well.
Everyone began moving quickly towards the river. There was no other way to go, so JT began moving that way as well. No one seemed to pay any attention as to who was on which team. They were all running for survival together. They seemed to have gained some sense of community as well. There were many signs of the elderly and the very youthful contestants being helped by any and every one on both teams.
Over the top of the hill they ran and there was a very narrow bridge. A man stood at the entrance to the bridge. He gestured at them to cross with a wave. His white robe stood in contrast to the red and blue of the games’ contestants. His robe never touched the ground and he stood to the side as the crowd thundered across the bridge.
Everything on one the side of the bridge was on fire. The town in the distance provided no refuge at all, it too was in flames. The river was moving so fast and strong that it was no refuge either.
The fire roared closer and closer to the bridge. Everyone, including JT tried to run across the bridge. Everyone, that is, except the man in the white robe.
There were a few people limping slowly across the bridge, but the man in the robe appeared to be holding the fire at bay. He stood there, facing the fire, with his arms outstretched. JT wasn’t sure how, but he kept the fire away from the bridge. When it seemed like the fire would overtake the bridge, the most injured people crossed and landed on the opposite riverbank.
When the flames engulfed the man, the bridge disappeared. Now the flames were all around the man. The crowd stood and watched him as the flames swallowed him. They saw that the man had saved them all.
The people in the red and blue uniforms looked at each other, and then looked across the river. They looked at each other and knew that they were saved regardless of who they were or what they had done. They reflected on the gift they had been given and how to repay the man who had saved them.
QOTD: What scripture does this illustrate? Did the people deserve to be saved?
The answer to last weeks’ story Jesus Trek – Chapter 20 – The Sick Sister and her Brothers is the Scripture: Mark 14: 3-8.
To read the introduction to this series please click HERE