I let it happen – an allegorical short story


He got me as soon as I woke up this morning. I felt the cold hard metal grasping around my wrist, clamping shut with an ominous click. There I stayed, locked down and unable to move. That’s one of his best tricks. Once he’s got the first manacle on one of your limbs, you’ve hardly got time to stop all the others closing over your skin.

The chains rasped as they ran against themselves, then pulled taut against me, yanking me out of the bed and onto the floor. My head struck the carpet with a dull thud, the force jolting down my spine.

He stood over me, leering down with that familiar hungry grin. Striding toward the door, he dragged me from the room, my skin scrapping against the doorframe. Along the landing he dragged me, then tossed me unceremoniously down the stairs, my elbows and knees striking the steps, cracks of pain filtering through my body.

That’s how the rest of the day continued. I was on my feet for the most part, stumbling to keep up as the chains pulled on my limbs. Sometimes I didn’t follow fast enough, or tried to take a different direction, but that was when I found myself flat on my back or sprawling forwards, the metal digging mercilessly into my skin, reminding me who was in charge. By the end of the day, as I got back under the sheets, my body was a mess of throbbing bruises and open wounds.

How did it happen? I let it happen. I can blame circumstance, my nature, or others around me, but that isn’t true. I can say that it has been such a long time since he last caught me that this was inevitably going to happen, but that doesn’t cut it.

The question is this: how did he get so close to be able to trap me? He’s a sneak, I’ll admit that; crawling and creeping, lurking in the shadows. The answer: I allowed him to get close. An inch closer, then another inch, and then all of a sudden he’s standing over me in the dark and I’ve lost control.

This morning, I’m ready. I was preparing my battle plan before I let myself succumb to the sweet mist of sleep.

As my eyes open and my faculties return, the shrill tone of the alarm having pierced my slumber, I don’t give him a moment to take the advantage. I’m up in a flash, bulling him across the room, my shoulder catching him under his chest and slamming him into the wall. Always fight back. If you don’t fight back, you haven’t a hope.

He isn’t done. He’s never done. As long as I live he’ll have a reason to keep trying. Razor talons dig into my back, cutting into my resolve. We tumble to the floor, wrestling against each other, limbs locked in opposition. He’s so strong and I’m so weak. So what do I do?

It’s time to summon the power. With a deep breath, letting peace spread throughout me, I ignore the thrashing of my enemy and let myself be consumed. As the power flows through me, I’m like a dry stream suddenly energised by fresh water rushing into the channel. Immortal truths awaken within me, reminding me who I am.

I rise. I stand up, a fist gripped around his neck. He struggles fruitlessly against the power, but I won’t give in. I lift him up, staring into his face. He recoils away; he doesn’t want me to see him as he is, because then it’s clear to see how ugly and undesirable he is.

I release my grip, dropping him to the floor in a crumpled heap. Surely I’m going to finish him off, you’re thinking. The truth is, he’s going to follow me throughout my life, and I can’t kill him off. Once we were one, he and I. We were bound together in an unholy bond, a parasitical relationship where I fed and nurtured him within my skin. However, in a moment of pure brilliance and glory, the bond was broken and he was dragged out of me kicking and screaming. He’ll keep trying to trap me, but he can’t get back in. Even if I falter and lose the fight, the battle is already won and these are his death throes.

This isn’t enough. I’ve won this time but he’ll be back, with different tactics and new ways to exploit my weaknesses. I’ve got to train, gain strength through knowing the truth, go on the offensive, never be content. You can do this too. Get the power, and fight.

Romans 7:21-25:

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Prayer: Lord, I want to give you praise because you are greater than any power in this world, physical or spiritual. I’m sorry that I go back to the old dead ways of my sinful nature. Thank you Jesus Christ, for breaking the bond by becoming the sacrifice to pay for sin, once and for all. Holy Spirit, renew your power within me, and supply me with God’s wisdom and strength so I may fight and prevail.