Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Odyssey of Pastor Mike: Part III

The dungeon was a perfect place to wait for execution, if such a thing can exist. It was cold and there were no windows, no visible way to the outside. There was very little light, save what was offered by a single, bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. Michael tried to warm his hands by the heat of the bulb, but it was hung just too high. It was a place devoid of hope. “Perfect,” thought Michael Kazimirov. But there it was again, that feeling that he had missed something. Only now, Michael had no place to shoe it away to. He was a condemned man, a hard worker with no work to bury himself in, a soldier with no battles to fight, a boxer with no opponent on the other side. It was all gone: his career, his honor, the respect he had earned. He had nothing but the icy, inflexible floor of this prison and his life, and he recognized he would soon lose both. The recognition was without bitterness, only a slow resignation to his fate…except for that feeling. What was it?

The cell was sparse. Michael. The light bulb. A blanket. A book. Absentmindedly, he picked up the book, undoubtedly left by a previous inhabitant, who put it down as he walked (or crawled, or was dragged) out to die, as Michael himself would do when the time came. He wondered grimly how many men before him had done this exact pantomime. He did not open at the front of the book, but rather let it fall open, as he slumped down on the floor to read by that dim bulb.

It flopped open to Psalm 91 and Michael Kazimirov read:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the LORD, who is my refuge- then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

…and the arms of God came into his prison, wrapped Michael in love and comforted him. It was that sudden. Michael Kazimirov had found the answer to his question, to his doubts, to his fears, to what was missing all those years. The suddenness of the realization shook him. First, there was no God, then there was God, though later Michael would realize there had always been God, it was only that he had not been looking for God, and therefore was not seeing Him. Michael Kazimirov once a hard worker, Special Forces Operative, and Champion Boxer of the Baltic fell into the arms of God and wept the tears of a Child of God.

No comments: