Story: Take Off the Mask

On the outside, Olivia looked like she had it all together. She always wore a smile and never looked frazzled or tired. Her secret?

A mask. It was easy to look put together wearing a mask. No matter how out of sorts inside she felt, her mask was always smiling. No matter how bad the sickness from which she suffered was, her mask always looked healthy and vibrant.

Only there were a lot of problems with wearing a mask. For one, it kept her from getting better. Underneath the mask, Olivia was suffering from a terrible illness, and the mask only trapped it all inside, making it worse and keeping her from getting help. After all, others had no idea she was even sick!

One day, Olivia realized she couldn’t handle the mask any longer. She needed help. Hesitatingly, she allowed a friend to see under the mask. To her great surprise, her friend didn’t freak out. Instead, she pulled up her own mask, showing that she, too, was trapping an illness inside. Honest with each other at last, they were able to help one another and get the treatment they needed. Oh, how freeing it was to let the mask fall off!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 5:7 (ESV)

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 (ESV)

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Short Story: Truth Glasses

Darkness—oppressive darkness. It was all Emma could see. No matter which way she looked, there it was staring back at her. Each path she could take led to the same thing: more darkness. What had become of light? Did it even exist anymore?

Perhaps it did, somewhere. Emma knew at the end of her journey there’d be light. But there was no more light on the journey, of that she felt sure.

Emma’s last several miles had been filled with obstacles. Now all she could see were dark shadows stretching out before her.

“It’s just so discouraging,” Emma moaned to her traveling companion, Sarah. “I’m not sure why my father set me on this journey in the first place.”

“Okay, I know it seems discouraging,” Sarah replied. “But you’re not seeing the truth, Emma. Yes, there’s darkness, but there’s light too. There’s night, but there’s also day. You’ve got to put those glasses on.”

“Glasses?” Emma asked listlessly.

“Yes, you know, the ones your father gave you.”

Right—the glasses. Her father had given her glasses to help her see the world as it really was. Emma was pretty sure the glasses wouldn’t change anything—that she was already seeing everything accurately—but she pulled them out and dutifully held them up to her eyes anyway.

Wait—there was light amid what before had seemed only darkness! What a difference it made to look at the situation through the lenses of truth.


“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:7 (ESV)

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” John 8:31-32 (ESV)

Short Story: Test It

story test it

story test itThe jeweler turned the stone over and over again in his hand, rubbing it, smelling it, and examining it carefully under polarized light. He wasn’t about to buy a fake stone.

Julie waited patiently. She had no idea her stone would be subjected to so many different tests! “It’s real, I tell you. I paid good money for it.”

The jeweler looked up and shook his head. “I’m sorry to hear that,” he replied. “It’s not real amber. See? Look at it in the light.” The jeweler held the stone up to the ultraviolet light again.

Julie looked at the stone. It simply looked like the stone to her.

“As you turn it around and examine it in the light, you don’t see a rainbow full of colors, do you?” The jeweler asked.

Julie shook her head. “No. So what, though?”

“True amber would have an iridescent look under polarized light. I’m sorry, but I’m afraid what you have there isn’t really amber. The light doesn’t lie.”

Julie buried her head in her hands. Oh, why hadn’t she tested the stone before she invested everything she had to buy it?

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11 (KJV)

but test everything; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)

Short Story: No Destination?

airport-1230017“Our next story is from Matt, who’s reporting from World Airport, where an unheard of phenomenon is occurring. Matt, what’s going on?”

The newscast cut over to Matt, who stood in the middle of a bustling airport terminal. Matt’s face instantly told the viewer that whatever he was about to report was quite unusual. “Well, Dan, I’ve been interviewing passengers at the airport, and no one seems to know where they’re traveling.”

Dan raised his eyebrows, incredulous. “What do you mean? Everyone knows where they’re traveling. Why else would they be traveling?”

Matt shook his head. “I know it’s hard to fathom, but that’s exactly the issue. Here, I’ll interview someone so you can hear it for yourself. Excuse me, Sir, do you have a minute for a few questions?”

The gentleman stopped and gave Matt his attention. “Sure, so long as it’s brief.”

Matt nodded. “It will be. I was just wondering if you could tell our viewers your final destination.”

“My final destination?” the man raised her eyebrows. “Well, I don’t typically think much about that. I’m just enjoying the present, you know. I’m not really sure where I’ll end up. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to run.”

“See what I mean?” Matt narrated, looking at the camera again.

“Surely some passengers have thought about their destination, at least?” Dan queried.

Matt nodded. “Oh, yes, some have. But they seem under a delusion about how to arrive there. Here, let me interview someone else. Excuse me, Ma’am,” Matt asked a lady walking by. “What’s your final destination?”

“Oh, I hope I’ll end up in Paradise,” the woman replied with a smile.

“Do you have a ticket?” Matt prodded.

“A ticket?” The woman thought for a moment. “No, but I try to be a good person. I’m a whole lot better than most folks. I’m sure they’ll let me on the plane.” The woman smiled.

On the other end of the newscast, Dan’s face dropped. Did he just hear that correctly?

“See what I mean?” Matt asked after the woman had walked away. “No one seems to grasp the fact that you need a ticket to get on a plane. People here complain a lot about the airport accommodations as if the journey itself was all there was to consider. It’s really strange, Dan. Here, let me try this gentleman. He looks a lot more serious than some of the others.”

“Excuse me, Sir, what’s your ultimate destination?”

The man paused. “I hope I’ll end up in Paradise,” he replied.

“You hope?”

The man nodded. “No one can know for sure if the airline will take their ticket. But I’ve worked hard to make mine and keep it clean, so I’m hopeful.”

Matt looked at the homemade ticket the man held. “Did it occur to you that perhaps you have to get a ticket from the airline, and that any ticket not issued by them won’t get you on board?”

The man shook his head. “No, no, that’s so narrow-minded. Any well-done ticket will be accepted. You can bring yours from the airline, and I’ll bring mine. They’re all the same in the end. Now if you’ll excuse me…”

Matt sighed, turning back to the camera and explaining more details. “I went to the ticket counter a few minutes ago. They’re offering free tickets to any who want them. But most people seem either caught up in the moment and not worrying about their final destination, or else confident they’ll get on board without an official ticket. It’s a strange, terrible delusion, Dan. Even worse, this airport is going to be destroyed soon. These people have got to get on a plane out of here or–”

Matt’s voice cut off, emotion overcoming him.

Dan nodded, trying hard to keep his composure. “Do what you can to warn people, Matt. Maybe some will get a real ticket while they still can.”

*******

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:4

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Story: Lost in the Darkness

lostinthedarkness1Johanna had lived her entire life in the dark cave, deep underneath the earth’s surface. She’d never seen light—not pure light, anyway. There were little glimmers of light that reached her here and there—a fish that glowed, a glimpse of the outside world if she wandered too close to the edge, and an occasional traveler with a headlamp.

Johanna, and the thousands of others who lived in the gigantic cave, passed their existence in darkness. They stumbled along, making their way as best as they could in the blackness, often falling to their deaths in huge drop-offs, getting bitten by poisonous creatures, or twisting an ankle on a rock—all because they couldn’t see. They daily walked right over incredible crystal formations and jewels, only they didn’t know it, because they couldn’t see them in the darkness. They remained oblivious to the breathtaking colors and dazzling designs.

As odd as it may sound, these people lived in the darkness by choice. I know that sounds crazy—who would choose to stumble in the fearful darkness? Who would choose not to see? And why would they choose that?

Well, although very few admitted this was the reason, the people chose the darkness because they didn’t want to see themselves as they really were. In the darkness, they’d convinced themselves they were clean and healthy, and they didn’t want to admit that wasn’t true.

Light showed them things as they really were. It showed them the dirt all over them. It showed them the dried-up blood covering their bodies, and puss oozing out of uncared for wounds. It revealed the sores and disease that ravaged their bodies. It showed them their mangled hair and weak eyes. In short, it showed them that they were a mess.

Had they only realized the healing and life that could be theirs if they were only willing to step into that light, they wouldn’t have hesitated for one moment. Had they only really understood that their present life in the dark cave ended only in death, they would have raced into the life the light offered to them. But instead they refused, living in darkness—loving it actually—rather than in the light of life.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:19-21

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:5-9


Light is an amazing thing. Without it, we don’t know how to walk safely…nor can we see the beauty surrounding us. Light shows things as they really are—it reveals the truth about ourselves and the world around us.

God is light and truth—and He reveals Himself in His Word, the Bible. Are we willing to let God show us the truth—even if it’s not initially pleasant? Are we in His Word? Are we letting His Word light are path?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Ephesians 5:8

Story: A Bank, Cop, and Drop-Off (or Believe Whatever You Want, But…)

beliefsJane was under a very strange misunderstanding. She’d been told that she could believe whatever she wanted about everything and was living her life as if believing something made it true. The only problem was, that simply wasn’t the case, as she was soon to find out.

Jane sauntered into the bank and confidently walked up to the teller. “I’d like to withdrawal one million dollars,” she announced confidently.

The teller looked up in surprise. “May I see your I.D. and have your bank account number?” she asked suspiciously.

Jane promptly handed over the requested items. After a minute, the teller announced, “I’m sorry, but your account balance is only $200. That’s the maximum you can withdrawal.”

Jane shook her head. “I believe my balance is 2 million dollars, and I’d like to withdrawal 1 million please.”

The teller tried again to explain reality to Jane, but she simply didn’t want to hear. Finally, Jane realized she was getting nowhere and stormed off to her car. Realizing she was late for her weekly kayaking trip, she sped down the road.

Soon, she heard a siren and found herself pulled over to the side of the road. The cop informed her she’d violated the speed limit and needed to pay a fine.

“But sir, I don’t believe in the speed limit,” she informed him.

The cop raised his eyebrows a little. Was this girl for real? “Well believe in it or not, you have to obey it,” he replied calmly, handing her the ticket.

Jane again realized there was nothing she could do but accept the ticket and be on her way. She was immensely relived to reach the riverbank at last and hop into her kayak. As she was heading down the river, she wondered what the river was like. She’d never been down this particular river before. She wondered if it had any rapids.

Jane felt a momentary panic at the thought of the possibility of rapids, but then a smile returned to her face. She didn’t believe the river had any rapids, so she’d be just fine.

As she happily rowed along, she past another kayak anchored up on the shore. The man in it frantically waved her down. “Hasn’t anyone told you? There’s a huge drop-off up ahead. You’d better pull off here. I’ve got a friend coming with a van who can drive you back.”

Jane did not welcome this intrusion on her happiness. “Look, I’m very happy. I don’t want to think about a drop-off. I don’t believe in it.”

The man tried his best to explain the pending danger, even pulling out a map of the river, but Jane refused to listen. “You can believe whatever you want, but let me believe what I want too. Let’s both just be happy.”

“It’s not about happiness! You’re believing a lie and about ready to-”

Jane cut him off. “I can believe whatever I want. Who’s to say you’re right and I’m wrong?”

The man tried again. “You’re right–you can believe whatever you want. But you’d better make sure your belief is anchored in truth. I believe in the drop-off because of this map–it clearly shows it and warns about it.”

“And I believe there is no drop-off,” Jane repeated.

“But on what basis?”

Jane squirmed. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” With that, Jane continued downriver, inching closer and closer to the drop-off which if she continued along her present path, would hurl her to her death, whether she believed in it or not. Oh, if only she would stop to make sure her beliefs were grounded in truth!

**************

I have been reminded a lot lately of the importance of making sure our beliefs line up with the truth of God’s Word, the Bible. God does not lie. He means what He says.

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Numbers 23:19

“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

When God tells us in the Bible that Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6) and there is salvation in no one else (Acts 4:12), He means it. When He tells us He will punish all whose names are not written in His book of life (Revelation 20:15), He means it. When He tells us that He is able to save (Hebrews 7:25), He means it. When He tells us nothing in all creation can separate those who are in Christ Jesus from the love of Christ and that we are more than conquerors in Him (Romans 8:37-39), He means it.

The only question is, are we living like we believe the truth of God’s Word? Can we say with the Psalmist that God’s Word is lighting our path, or are there areas where we’re clinging to our own darkness?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105