Tag Archives: Sin

The Stand-In

I was shoved to the ground.  My hands stung from the impact, but I hardly noticed.  My mind was focused on the whip in the thick hands behind me.

“Please,” I begged, “please don’t…”

“Don’t what?” snarled my tormentor, “Don’t give you what you deserve?”

“I don’t deserve…”

“What did you say?”  My tormentor planted his foot in the middle of my back, making me sprawl flat on the ground.  “Did you just tell me you don’t deserve this?”  His voice took on a patronizing tone.  “Tell me again who it was who broke the law? Who was it who refused to obey the rules?  It wasn’t I.”

“I didn’t mean to….”  I rasped, finding it hard to speak while a heavy foot was pressed into my back. I tried again.  “I didn’t ‘refuse to obey.’ I just ….”  The foot left my back then came back with a hard jab to my side.

“Are you mocking me?  You didn’t follow the law, and last time I checked, not following the law is not obeying the law.  You. Refused. To. Obey.”   I pulled myself to my knees, holding my side.   Surly I wouldn’t really be given the punishment.  It was unreasonable.

“Alright, I know I broke the law, but isn’t the punishment a bit harsh?”

A fist slammed into the back of my head and I saw small sparks of light.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Was that a bit harsh for you?” he sneered.   I blinked a few times to get the stars out of my vision.  I reached my hand up to hold my head, but my tormentor beat me to it.  His meaty hands grabbed a handful of hair and jerked my head back so that I was facing him.  His face was only inches from mine, and I could smell rancid breath coming from his mouthful of yellowed teeth.

“Listen to me,” he said lowly. “When you broke the law, you gave yourself to me.  Nothing I decide to do is too harsh.  I own you.”  His hand released my head, and I heard his heavy foot falls make their way behind me.

I licked my dry lips and said, “You don’t have to do this.”  There was no response.  Somehow that was more frightening than all his menacing words.

“Get up,” he finally said.   I stood up, relieved. “Walk,” he told me.  Was I free to go?  I started to turn around.  “Forward idiot! Walk forward,” he yelled at me.  I nervously began to walk forward.  If I wasn’t free to go, then where was I going?

Then I saw it: a pole.  Lying next to the pole was a rope.  I swallowed and my palms began to sweat.  My tormentor shoved me to my knees.  He took my arms and tied my wrists to the pole in front of me.

“I won’t do it again, alright.  I swear I won’t.  I won’t even think of doing it again. Just let me off this once,” I pleaded.  He didn’t answer.  “Please give me a break.  Have some mercy.”

The back of his hand smacked my jaw.  “There’s your mercy,” he said cooly.  Then he walked away, leaving me kneeling with my hands tied above me.  My mind refused to believe this was happening.

A whistling sound cut the air and, with a crack, something came down on the ground behind me.

“Are you ready?” asked my tormentor.  There was another whistling sound and another crack on the ground as the whip hit.   My heart sped up.

“Are you ready to get what you deserve?”  The whip smacked the ground beside me, only inches away.  My breath became shallow and fast.  I closed my eyes.

“Stop.” It wasn’t the voice of my tormentor.  I opened my eyes, but I couldn’t see who the voice belonged to.

“What is the meaning of this!?” demanded my tormentor, “I have every right to give what is deserved.  You can’t stop me from bringing about justice.”

I heard footsteps, and a  knife filled my view.  It cut through the ropes that held my wrists.

“What are you doing?!” called my tormentor.

Gentle hands helped me to my feet.    My rescuer was a plain man—neither tall nor short, strong nor thin.  His eyes were the only thing I noticed.  They were different than most eyes I’d seen.  They held compassion.

The tormentor glared at my rescuer.  “This person,” he jabbed a finger in my direction, “broke the law.  There must be punishment!”

“There will be,” said the man.  I cringed inside.  I thought this man was going to let me go.

“Oh really?” said the tormentor snidely, “Then I suppose you would like to explain to me why you have just freed the person who is to be punished? “

“I will stand in.”

“What?” The tormentor looked genuinely confused.

“I will stand in and take the punishment for them.”

The tormentor’s eyes gleamed greedily.  “Well, if that is what you want to do…”

“Wait! You can’t take my place,” I told him, “You don’t know what my sentence is.”

The man held up his hand.  “It’s alright.  I will stand in for you.”

“But….”

“Shut up!” The tormentor glowered at me. “It isn’t up to you.  It’s too late.  He’s made his decision.”

I stood looking from the tormentor to the man who was about to take my place, unsure of what to do.

“You might not want to stand so close. This thing doesn’t have the best aim,” the tormentor told me with a sly grin.

The man gave me a reassuring nod.  As much as I didn’t want this man to take my punishment, I also didn’t want to have the pain inflicted on me.  It didn’t seem like I had much choice anyway.  I stepped back.

The tormentor started to pick up one of the longer pieces of the cut rope to tie the man’s hands.

“Didn’t I come willingly?” asked the man without turning to look at him.  The tormentor left the rope and walked behind the man.   My rescuer looked calmly forward, waiting.  His eyes looked directly into mine.

The tormentor didn’t taunt the man as he did me.  Instead, he launched into the man with a maniac pleasure.  The man’s eyes steadily held mine as the first blow hit with a sickening sound.  The man flinched but didn’t cry out.  The next blow came.  I wondered if I would have been as composed as he was.  I doubted it.

The whip fell on his back again, then again.  I flinched with each blow.  He was hit a fifth time, and that time, he groan escaped his lips.  I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from his.  His gaze was locked on mine.   His whole face grimaced in pain as the whip came down on him again.  It should have been my back.

The tormentor’s face was contorted in hatred as he brought the whip down harder than before.  The man cried out.  I wanted to yell for him to stop, but my lungs seemed to have run out of air, and my mouth wouldn’t move.  In the corner of my eye, I saw the whip fly back, strike, fly back, strike. Over and over again until I lost count.  Sprinkles of blood flew through the air.  The man looked into my eyes with steely resolve.

It went on forever.  I thought it must be a dream—a nightmare.  It was a long nightmare filled with compassionate, pain filled eyes and the sound of a whip hitting flesh.  It was the worst nightmare I’d ever had.

The man collapsed.  He fell to his hands and knees with a cry.  His shirt was completely torn off his back and his skin was a crisscross of cuts.  Blood was everywhere.  My back should have looked like that.  My blood should be everywhere.

The tormentor whipped him again.

“Stop,” I said in a hoarse voice.

He was whipped again.

“Stop,” I said more forcefully.

The whip came down again.

“Stop!” I screamed, “Stop it! Stop it!”

The tormentor looked coldly into my eyes and brought the whip sizzling through the air.  The man moaned.

“You can’t do this,” I insisted, “This man didn’t do anything.  He didn’t do what I did.  He doesn’t deserve this.”

“There is…”

Smack.

“Nothing…”

Smack.

“You can…”

Smack.

“Do about it.”

My stomach turned.  This man shouldn’t be suffering this pain.  It was mine.  It was my fault; the pain belonged to me.  I sank to my knees, no longer able to stand. Tears filled my eyes.  I watched in horror as the man who took my place was whipped again, and again, and again.

When his back became so mangled it resembled chewed meat, I could no longer watch.   I closed my eyes and hung my head.  I put a hand over each ear, but I could still hear the whip.  I could still hear the innocent man’s groans.

Finally, all was silent.  The man was finished standing in my place.  It was over.  He took my sentence for me.

My sentence: to be whipped to death.

————————————————–

There are few people who are willing to take a punishment for something they didn’t do, and even fewer people who would give their life for someone else.  Thankfully, someone stood in for me and took my punishment. I never feel truly alone because even if I’m surrounded by people who don’t value my life, I know that Jesus does enough to give his own.

What about you?  Is there someone in your life who would die for you?  Is there someone  for whom you would die?

Grace

Lord I come before You

Tears so bountiful I cannot see

If you are really there and really care

Please take this burden off of me

 

I can feel Your presence now

So close, but just out of reach

Take my hand and lead me

To the place I may find peace

 

I need You more than ever before

For I have sinned and need Your grace

You have saved me; You have healed me

You have forgiven my soul’s disgrace

 

You have brought me out of darkness

And into your promising light

You have given me strength

When I was too weak to fight

 

You saw me when I stumbled

And You caught me in Your arms

You have shielded and protected me

Throughout my many storms

 

 But now it seems to me

That I have lost Your grace

I look all around me

But I can’t see Your face

 

I see my sins and wrongs I’ve done

And they block You from my view

I see the devil mocking me

Saying he has conquered You

 

Then I see a drop of blood

The devil starts to cower

As more blood falls, my sins are covered

Satan cannot overcome Your power

 

I look up and see You on the cross

I see Your pain and cry thanks to You

For I know Your blood covers my sins

And gives me life anew

 

I am thankful that someone like You

Would die for a sinner like me

I’ll praise you all my days

Because of Your grace, I now can see

—–

Since it’s almost Easter, I thought I’d share this poem I wrote a few years ago.  Enjoy!

 

The Price

The peddler said I could have it for nothing, but he was wrong.  There was a price.  Everything had a price, and the price for this was too high.  I didn’t see it at the time though.  I thought I was getting a deal.  I was sure he was the one being cheated.

It was hot the day I first saw the peddler.  I was lounger under a shade tree being careful not to make any movements that weren’t necessary from fear of causing another bead of sweat to appear on my forehead.  At first, all I saw was a cart lumbering down the dirt road, but as it came closer I could see the small man behind it.  His shoulders were stooped and his gait slow.  His grey hair hung to his shoulders and swung in his face.

He stopped in front of me and asked if I wanted to take a look at his merchandise.  It was a dreadfully dull day, so I thought I’d humor him. I never bought anything from those peddlers that came though—what they sold wasn’t worth my money—but I was in need of entertainment and looking through a peddler’s wares was better than watching the sweat drip off my nose.

His cart was filled with and odd mix of this and that: clay pots, tin cups, bead necklaces, tin whistles, soaps, candles, buttons, and a few bottles of foul smelling perfume.  As I expected, there was nothing that I was interested in.  I started to turn away, but he told me he had one other thing—something more valuable than anything else in his cart.

He pulled from his pocket a smudged green handkerchief with a small shape inside.  He reverently unwrapped it, and I saw a sparkling, clear stone about the size of a thumbprint.  I expected him to try to convince me that it was some expensive gem, but what he claimed was even more far-fetched.  He told me it had the power to transform my day.  It could change any feelings, outward or inward.   All I had to do was slip it on my tongue and it would make me feel what I wanted.  If I was gloomy, it would make me cheerful.  If I was hot, it would make me feel cooler.  It I was restless, it would calm me.

I didn’t believe him of course, but when I told him I wasn’t interested he held it out to me and insisted I take it.  I told him the price for such an item must be too high for me, trying to put him off.  He wouldn’t hear of my refusal and told me I wouldn’t have to pay anything.  He only wanted to bring happiness to people, and happiness should not have a price.

I took the clear stone.  How could I refuse a gift?   As his cart meandered down the road, I looked at the stone in my hand.  The sun glinted off its clear surface, making it look clean and bright.  It was pretty, but it couldn’t hold any kind of power.  It seemed foolish to stick it in my mouth and think of what I wanted it to do as if it could read minds and grant wishes.

But then, it seemed foolish not to try.  What if it could do what the peddler claimed and I never experienced it because I was too skeptical?  Trying wouldn’t hurt.

After looking to make sure no one was around, I laid the stone on my tongue.  It was hard and lumpy in my mouth.  I thought about how hot it was and wished my temperature was cooler.  Nothing happened, and I was about to spit the silly stone out, when something strange began to happen.

The stone was changing in my mouth.  Its hard surface became soft and slippery until it felt like butter melting on my tongue.  As it changed, I changed.  No longer was sweat dripping off my face.  My skin felt cool and dry.  The sun was still burning in the sky, but I was immune to its heat. I wasn’t even standing in the shade of the tree.  The stone melted until there was nothing left. The cooling affects lasted only a few minutes.  I was amazed.  The peddler was right.

I waited by the tree all the next day until the peddler came back through.  I asked if he had anymore of the stones like the one he gave me, and he pulled more from his pocket.  I offered him payment, but he wouldn’t take it, saying that I could pay another time.  I thought myself fortunate to be spared paying for such a great find.  I took all he had.  Soon, I was in a lovely cocoon of coolness.

I found more uses for the clear stones.  They could stop the pain of a paper cut.  They soothed my mood after a bad day.  They made my empty stomach feel full in between meals. There was one problem with the stones: they didn’t last long enough.  As soon as I had the feeling I desired, it vaporized.  Perhaps the peddler knew of a way to make them last longer.

The next time the peddler came through, I was waiting for him by the tree.   When I told him of my complaint, he held out a stone much like the first ones he’d given me, only this stone wasn’t completely clear.  It had just a touch of grey.  He told me that this stone held more power than the clear and would last longer.  Again, he wouldn’t take payment, and again I took all he had.

The green leaves of summer turned red and yellow, and the autumn leaves fell, leaving bare branches.  The empty branches filled with green again.  As time went, I never missed an opportunity to get more stones.   The more I used them, the more I wanted them—needed them.  Each time the peddler came, the stones became darker and darker until they were midnight black.

I used the stones often.  They were comfort when the world was harsh.  They were peace when I was distressed.  They were friends when I was lonely. They were nourishment for my soul.

I soon found that I didn’t need anyone or anything except the stones.  Why bother harvesting food when the stones could satisfy hunger?  Why build a fire when the stones could keep me warm?  I didn’t need the company of people.  If I was feeling lonely, I would put a stone in my mouth and the feeling would vanish.   I thought I found the answer to all problems, until the day it happened.

My fingers turned black.  It was darkest at the tips and became lighter toward my palm, which was still skin color.  I tried washing and scrubbing, but my fingers remained the same.  I put a stone in my mouth and wished for my skin to return to normal.  It didn’t work.  The stones only worked on feelings, and didn’t change the shapes or colors of things, but I had grown so accustomed to having control that I thought the stones would do whatever I asked.

Days went by, and soon my whole hands and wrists were black.  I was beginning to lose feeling in them as well.  The skin that was blackened felt numb and my hands were clumsy. I was glad the peddler was coming through.  He would have a remedy.

I was never more relieved to see his stooped form coming down the road.  I held out my darkened hands for him to inspect.   He told me something I didn’t wish to hear; It was the stones that had turned my skin black.  Each one I had let melt in my mouth stayed in my body and contaminated me.  The blackness from the stones already filled my lungs, heart, kidneys, and the rest of my internal organs.  My insides were already black, and now that the black had consumed me on the inside, it spilled to the outside.

I was furious at the peddler.  Why did he give me such hideous stones?   I demanded that he cure me, but he told me there was no way to undo the damage that was done.  I could only stop the blackness from spreading if I stopped putting the stones in my mouth.  I stormed away from the peddler and his cart, determined to never use a stone again.

My determination wasn’t enough.  My mind and body was accustomed to the comfort the stones gave.  I could no longer function on my own.  The sun scalded and burned me.  I forgot what heat felt like, and without the protection of the stones, I felt as if I were wilting.  I could no longer control my own emotions.  I relied on the stones to alter my feelings, and without them I couldn’t keep a level head.  The littlest things caused me great emotion.  Dropping my fork made tears come to my eyes.  A bee whizzing by made me breakout in a cold sweat.  The dark caused me terror.  Losing a sock made me brake into a rage.

I returned to using the stones to break the madness.  Slowly, the rest of my skin turned midnight black.  I looked like the stones that controlled me.   The numbness I felt in my hands soon manifested itself in the rest of my body.   I could no longer feel heat or cold. I couldn’t feel the softness of a pillow.  I no longer felt hunger.  I wondered if I was even alive.  If I was, I wouldn’t be for long.

There is always a price to pay.  For the stones, I paid my life.

———————————————

Nothing can be obtained without giving something else up.  The price for fast-food is our health.  The price for a moment of bliss through drugs is addiction.  The price for constant connection to technology is missed moments.

Throughout our lives we must decide what is worth the price and what isn’t.  Many times we think we are getting something for nothing because we don’t take into account what we are trading for a certain action. Spending endless hours on social media sites, playing games on our phones, ipads, or xboxes may seem harmless, but we can get so caught up in our virtual realities that our real lives pass us by.

Let me know your thoughts on my story.  I’d love to know your interpretation!

Nightmare

You walk though the garden filled with shades of cool green, bright yellow, and inviting red.  All the flowers in the garden were made by your Creator.  Every night He fills the flowers with life giving nectar, and every morning you collect it.  It is your substance—your life.

As you walk, one flower catches your eye.  You stop and stare.   You know the Creator told you not to take nectar from this flower, but you can look.  Can’t you?  SONY DSC

Its long petals are a brilliant orange that overshadow all other colors in the garden.  It is the only flower of its type in the garden, and by far the most eye catching.  You breathe in its alluring sent.  You wonder if its nectar tastes as good as the flower smells. The flower is shaped like a lily, the nectar cupped inside.  You look in.  The nectar is golden.  You wonder what gold nectar tastes like.

You reach you hand out and touch the silk petals. So soft. How can anything this delicate and beautiful be harmful?  You make your decision.

One drop of nectar.

Drop

That’s all.  If you feel faint or sick after one drop you’ll never touch it again.     You scoop the flower to your lips.  The petals are soft and sweet.  You slowly let a bit of nectar slid down the petal and onto your tongue.  It’s ten times sweeter then you imagined.  You close your eyes and saver the small drop of liquid.  Its sweetness fills your mouth.

You swallow.

Nothing happens.  No dizziness, no pain.

You smile and contemplate taking another small sip.  Before you can, a bitter aftertaste creeps in.  It fills every bit of your mouth just as the sweetness had moments before.  You hope the taste will go away, but it doesn’t.  Your eyes begin to water.  You look for something to take away the taste.

225695__tulips-white-red-spring-flowers_p

Your eyes rest on a small group of flowers you don’t remember seeing.  Their petals are white, softly drizzled with red. They are the most beautiful flowers you’ve ever seen.  Somehow, you know that the nectar of these flowers will rid your mouth of the horrible taste.  Your hand reaches to take hold of one. Pain pricks your fingers. You pull away.  The stems are covered in thorns.  You hesitate.  There has to be an easier way.

doomthorn1dl3

 The taste is growing.  It now fills your stomach with waves of nausea and fills your nostrils with the smell of sulfur.  The putrid taste fills your mouth until you gag.  You turn and run to find something to wash it away.

You trip.  You fall.

You stretch your hands in front of you to catch yourself, but you feel nothing beneath you. You fall farther.

You realize you aren’t going to hit the ground.  You are falling down a tunnel like hole.    You can’t see anything.  You reach out to find something to grab and stop your fall.

You find nothing.

  The hole

You keep falling.  You reach out with the other hand.  Still nothing.  You are still falling.  You stretch out with your legs, your body now in an x shape.

Nothing.

You go farther into a hole of black.  Dark, dark black is everywhere.

Minutes pass.  You no longer know which way is up. Falling.  Falling.  Has it been hours now?

You hit the ground.

Your back takes the impact.  Your head snaps back, and you bite your tongue, drawing blood.  Your shoulder feels out of joint, and your back, broken.  You still can’t see anything.  You try to call for help, but nothing comes from your mouth but a rasp.   All control of your body seems to have gone.  You have no strength in you limbs.  Your senses are disoriented.

Black

You lay there. In the dark.

Smelling nothing.  Hearing nothing.  Tasting nothing. Seeing…nothing.

You think you must have been here for hours or maybe for days, or maybe you’ve always been here and the garden was just a dream.

You think you see a light.  Your eyes could be playing tricks on you.  Somehow you sit up.  There is a light, glowing a faint, soft yellow.  It looks like a star was thrown directly in front of you.

It isn’t a star.  It’s the flower. The orange flower you drank from is floating in front of you, only it isn’t orange anymore.  It is golden.

Gold flower

You need more nectar.  If you could just reach the brilliantly lit flower, you will be alright.

You crawl on your hands and knees toward the glowing flower, your back and shoulder protesting.  Your joints ache, and your bruised body screams in pain, but this is your only hope.  It is the only thing that can make you feel better.

No matter how much you crawl toward it, the flower never gets closer.

The ground becomes hard and full of rocks.  You try to stand up but hit your head on cold stone.  You are in a tunnel.  You keep crawling.  Rocks cut into your knees and shins.  You know for sure that one of your knees is bleeding; you feel the moisture slide down your leg.  The tender skin on the palm of your hand is stripped away.  You don’t care. You keep crawling toward golden light.

Bleeding%20hand

 

One drop. Just one more drop.

The golden light gets bigger, and for a moment you think you are finally getting closer.  You are disappointed.  The flower has turned into a small round light.  It must be the tunnel’s opening.

Maybe it leads to the garden.

As you get closer, the tunnel gets smaller.  The ceiling presses on your back, your elbows scrape against the sides, and your shoulder barely squeeze by.  Now that you are closer, the light looks orange.  Your hand meets a rock that cuts like a sliver of glass.  You wince and cry out, but you keep going.

light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-thumb-500x282-200808

Closer, closer.  You will soon see the sun.  Soon you will be in the garden.

You make it.

The opening is just big enough for you to squeeze through.  You can’t see anything beyond the hole; Smoke covers the entrance.  Once you step though, the smoke thins so you can look around.  The first thing you notice is that you are on a stone ledge, only a foot wide.  This ledge wraps around the circular room that‘s topped off with a domed ceiling.  In the middle of this room, is a large gaping hole. The light you saw isn’t from the sun, but something in the hole. You feel a stab of disappointment. You step closer to see what is making the light.  Orange and yellow flames consume the blackness in the pit.

Flames

Huge, winged black beasts come from the hole nearly hitting your face.  You scream.  They keep coming, swarming around the room.  One bumps into you, nearly knocking you over the side.

You scream again and then turn, franticly trying to find the opening, but the winged creatures fly in around you, immobilizing you.   They circle you like vultures surrounding a kill.  Your heart beats faster.  They began to swoop at you, their sharp talons digging into your flesh.  You fall to your knees and cover your head.

claw_marks

They continue to attack.  A strip of cloth is ripped away from the back of your shirt, leaving your back exposed to their agonizing claws.  One bites you, tearing skin off of you arm.  You scream for help.  The claws keep raining down on you, stabbing you arms, digging into your back, and piercing into the tender skin on your neck.  You think it will never stop.

They will kill you.

A deep voice rings throughout the room, telling the beasts to stop.  They listen.  The creatures retreat to small, shelf like coves along the top of the walls. Their eyes gleam in the eerie orange glow.

You try to stop shaking.  Most of your clothing is stripped away, and your body is covered in blood.  You look for the person who saved you, ready to do whatever he asked for rescuing you from the miserable beasts.

You gasp.  The person who saved you isn’t a person at all, but a beast like the others, only seven times larger and stronger.  Working up your nerve, you ask him if he can help you get out of this place and back to the garden.   His only answer is a laugh, so chilling you wish you hadn’t asked.

eyes

He stares at you with cold yellow eyes, and then tells you that you will never get out. You are condemned here: Never to return to the garden, because you drank the forbidden.

You beg and plead for him to let you go.  Tears well up in your eyes.   You tell him that you are sorry—that you will never do it again if you had just one more chance.

 

His monstrous face becomes hard.  He seems to have lost his patience.  He signals for two of the beast, and they swoop down on you and take you by the arms with their talons.

Tears and blood run down your face as they take you in the air and dangle you over the pit. The light is gone now.

Screams from unseen, tortured victims fill your ears.  You can feel heat emanating from the gaping pit.  It hurts to look at the darkness.

Your heart thumps.  You are dropped.

The nightmare is just beginning.

Red

red-flowers-hd-wallpapers-best-roses-images-background

Red: the color of roses, the color of love. It was also the color of danger.  Caution and alert were  exclaimed by red.  I didn’t see the danger though. My color red couldn’t be anything dangerous.  Blue may have been the color of depth and purpose, but red was the color of passion and excitement.

The night we met, he was wearing red.  Right away I was intrigued; red was a color I had rarely seen.  I was told the color wasn’t safe, but he assured me that it not only harmless but enlightening.  The color red was superior to blue.  He held out a scarlet ribbon, and I discarded my blue one so it could take its place.  Red was filled with possibilities.

We danced the whole night.    I saw no one but him.  The respectful gentleman in blue was ignored.  We were witty, we were clever.  Our words danced along with our bodies and swirled around as gracefully as our feet.

The dance did not end our clever banter.  We met the next day.  He gave me a brilliant red rose.  I tucked it into my hair for the world to see, the sapphire roses received the day before lay forgotten.   The next day he gave me two roses and the third day three.  He never stopped his profession of love for me.  Red roses filled my thoughts.

I tried to get my friends to come with me to see my rose giving man of red, but they stanchly rejected the idea and told me blue was a much safer color.  I laughed at them.  Blue was safe, but red was thrilling.

Time passed and my calm, stable blue sea was replaced by a raging fire.   I was never seen without the color red on my person. It was my declaration to the world that I was unashamedly his.   My clear, tranquil blue sky turned red.

There was something missing—something inside me that was not filled by the fiery whirlwind that was created by this new fascination.  My head filled with a vast blue ocean I use to know—a memory of something deeper.   A voice inside reminded me of the deep closeness my heart had known before that crimson flame came into my life, but I ignored it.  I was devoted to the man in red.

He took me places I never would have gone, and together we did things I never would have dreamed of doing.  The game I played was daring and exciting, but soon it was more than I could control.  Soon there was no color left but red, and my world was consumed in a scarlet whirlwind.  The roses wilted and died, and all that was left were thorns which pricked my skin and drew glistening drops of crimson.  The color that held such allure was now my pain, my prison.   Through my shame, I felt intense blue eyes watching.

A pale blue envelope—I thought I had lost it.  It held a letter from the one whom I had loved before I was swept away in a scarlet frenzy.  As I read, I realized I would give anything to wear the color blue again.  I was reminded of how selflessly the one in blue loved me.   How blind I had been by the consuming rush of red that I neglected to notice just how deeply I longed for that steady blue sea that called out to me.   The letter gave me hope that I may wear blue again.

Red is the color of roses.  It is also the color of lies.

My color is no longer red.

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