The waves gently crashed against the shore. White caps caressed the sand. As the water progressed along the sand, Allen knew not all was well.
He had just received word that his life was to be shortened. Not fully understanding the circumstances, he walked at the edge, where the water meets the sand. What was this about? Why him and not someone else?
Doctors had warned him earlier in life that his lifestyle was harmful. As a teenager, he had been subject to the wars of the streets. His parents divorced. His mother an alcoholic. His father absent. It wasn’t until he met Rolo that Allen understood what acceptance was about.
Rolo was the leader of a local gang that ruled the streets. He led a group of hoodlums and reprobates. But one thing Rolo understood, if someone needed to feel accepted, he was the guy.
Rolo was the one who raised Allen during his formidable years. He showed Allen how most rejected him, but only a few accepted him. In order for Allen to feel accepted, all he needed to do is sell some “pharmaceutical” products to other teens. Allen believed Rolo and thus began his journey down a funnel cloud of destruction.
Over the next few years, Allen would eventually get hooked on the drugs he sold. Getting high and crashing became the norm. In the morning, he would get high in order to handle his day. As evening came, he would begin to crash but would intervene with another dose of drugs.
Regularly, he would wake up with blurred vision of lights and white suited people surrounding him. The nurses and doctors would strap his hands and feet to subdue his temper while regaining true consciousnesses. Several times, he remembered how the warning shots fired over his mind and body. He had been told his life was on the line and several times almost lost the battle.
One time as he left the hospital, a homeless man stopped him and asked for help. At first, Allen thought to himself, “Whatever! I need help too.” Instead of responding to the homeless man’s request, Allen just rolled his eyes and kept on walking. The homeless man persisted, “Please help me. I haven’t eaten and need food.” Allen ignored the man and continued to walk, crossing the busy city street.
As Allen entered the busy intersection, he continued to hear the homeless man cry out for help. Allen turned to acknowledge the man’s cries with a response of hatred and fear. He lifted his head, opened his mouth and shouted, “Leave me alone! You’re not the only one who needs help, you homeless…”
Allen was not given the opportunity to finish his sentence when he noticed the frail homeless man entered the intersection. Suddenly and without warning, a taxi broadsided the homeless man separating his body and soul. It was then Allen realized life was too short to continue down a path of destruction.
As Allen walked the beach, also he remembered how he met his wife. Ruth was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He had seen her from a distance in the deli for several months, but never had the nerve to approach her. Once while he was sitting and staring at her, she turned, tilted her head, winked and smiled the most comforting smile. A few minutes later it was Ruth who approached him.
Not long after they met, Ruth and Allen got married. Unfortunately, like his parents, his marriage didn’t last long. He had begun to drink again and ended up in an angry stupor night after night. Fight after fight both Ruth and Allen flung insults and negativity. After six months of marriage, Ruth walked out never to return.
Now five years later, a pain had entered his stomach. At first, he thought it was simply a diet problem but as it intensified day after day, he decided to go to the hospital to see if they had a solution to his problem. After several days of tests, the doctors found a mass near the outside of his stomach. Within 24 hours, Allen finally knew what ailed him, stage four cancer.
When he inquired how this was possible, the doctors told him that years of abuse lead to days til death. No matter what they wanted to try, it would never extend the weeks he had left. Knowing this he opted to leave the hospital.
He walked and walked, not returning home, but instead entered the beach. Now as he walked remembering both the good and bad, he looked toward the sunny blue sky and cried, “Lord, why me? Why now?”
As the words left his mouth he felt a hand on his shoulder and a whisper in his ear, “Is everything alright?” Allen slowly turned and saw a man walking with him. With tears in his eyes, Allen responded, “I’m dying.”
The man softly said, “Are you sure?”
Allen whimpered a simple, “Yes.”
The man and Allen spoke for several hours, mostly talking about Allen’s past but laughing occasionally from some funny stories. Allen felt comforted by the man’s words. The man spoke words of encouragement and truth. He told Allen about another man who died for his enemies. A man who felt that all people were important. He explained that if acceptance was to be realized, Allen had to let go of his life. Allen didn’t fully understand what he meant, but it felt good.
As he started to feel better, Allen turned to the man and asked, “What is your name?”
The man had disappeared. Allen desperately turned in circles looking as far as the eye could see. There was no one around. Was it the cancer? Was he so distraught that his mind began to hallucinate? Was he going insane?
In an instant, he realized what had just happened. The mysterious unnamed man was speaking of himself. Could it really be him? Could the man really been the famous Jesus Christ? Allen looked back to the sky while the ocean caressed his feet and cried, “I believe. Please don’t leave me.”
There was no answer. He cried and cried, “Please don’t leave me.” Again no answer. After a few minutes of tears and despair, Allen realized the man would not return. He fell to his knees, covered his face and quietly wept.
As his head began to fill with guilt from past sins, he raised his hands toward heaven and said, “Lord. I believe.” At that very moment, he felt a sense of joy and peace. It was a feeling he never had before. He knew that even if he didn’t continue this life, there was another life that he could look forward to.
Suddenly, a distant figure appeared. Allen raised his head and saw the outline of a person. He jumped to his feet and began to run shouting, “You came back. You came back!”
As he approached the figure, he realized the person he saw was different than the mysterious man. This person had long hair and curves that were of no man. Disappointed, Allen stopped running and once again fell to his knees.
The distant person then began to jog toward him. In a matter of seconds, Allen could hear the cries of the person. “Allen, honey. I did come back.” It was Ruth. Allen then raised himself to his feet, held out his arms and hugged Ruth with such love and peace. They kissed for a few moments and spoke of how they both met a mysterious man. It was at that moment they realized, God had visited them both. Allen then knew he was standing upon sacred sand.
God bless and encourage someone today.