I am dead thirsty. I lap up the life of others, never quenching nor satisfying that longing within me for more. I am a vampire, always in quest of. I am enslaved by desperate pursuit. Ravenous and manic, I seek you. I come for you because I need the life in your veins. I need.
I can’t count my victims. Too many are they.
I see my next meal, a strange man on a vacant road. I approach slowly to stalk him. He is a lighted figure in a fold of darkness, as if he holds the sun within himself. His silhouette stands out against the evening. His mere existence is an annoyance to me. He neither cowers nor defies as I approach. He meets me eye-to-eye. It is infuriating.
His face is weathered, beaten and bruised, but serene. His hands scarred, horrific torment have they endured or given. Perhaps I have met a monster like me. I size him up. I can take him. The blood on his hands looks like it has been there for an eternity, though it has the stench of freshness.
He appears to know me. At the very least, he knows what I am about to do. And he doesn’t seem to mind. I attack with precision, injecting my fangs and drawing the blood. Slowly, deliberately, deliciously I drink in the depth of life from his neck. Almost instantly I realize this lifeblood is different. A surge, more like a punch, hits me head-on somehow. I reel, a bit, but return to the drink, drawing in its warm fulfillment. But again, it strikes me. It reaches me, deep within and takes me.
My limbs, my muscles, my entire being staggers and halts like a rushing freight train suddenly stopped by unseen hands. The cells of my body rebel, turning against me, and begin to transform. They are becoming something else.
As if I have no control over my being, they twist and coil without my direction or input. I am being remade. I find myself eagerly accepting this new thing, hungering and thirsting for it with all the desperation of my previous pursuit. Everything within me cries out. Astonished, I feel a presence seeping into me, filling my hunger. I am bloated with it, round and plump with this life. My thirst, palpable and parched, is satiated as if with a flood. I am overwhelmed.
I look into the eyes of my victim, a suddenly strong and invincible presence. His eyes are the color of me. His hands and arms around me, as though I were the prey, he does not look away. And in that moment I realize the blood on his hands is his own. This cannot be. A mythical creature, this; I do not believe in Jesus.
When he spoke he said my name as if he'd known it forever. I can’t tell you what that did to me. But I can tell you I will never thirst again, not ever.
I wrote this in 2008. It appeared then on a now closed site, Gather.com.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20
"Remember when you were the bad guys?" She asked.
The General was not amused. The talk of who is good and who is bad had long since failed to motivate him. He was just trying to survive.
He didn't care if she prayed. He didn't care what she said about God. He was exhausted, thoroughly, in his spirit and his heart, if he had one. He had nothing to care with, no strength whatsoever. But God had set guards around him, the disbelieving General, of righteousness and kindness. They had sheltered him.
"I am not disbelieving," he corrected her.
He saw what had happened there, the way armies fought each other instead of the real enemy, the way innocents ran and the guilty fell in pursuit. He saw weak people who triumphed and the strong who failed. He knew something she did not. He knew the war was almost over. He knew, deep in his tired heart, the battle is not yours, but the Lord's. He knew redemption was the only way out of this because he had seen all of the other ways and they had not worked.
He believed her prayers would be answered, for him and his country, and hers.
He said, "All of these other things are nonsense, but that is the truth."
"How will we fix everything?" She asked.
He shook his head.
"There is no time for that, there is only enough time to forgive."