Light and Dark by Eskimo Pie Girl

Two men walking up a hill
One disappears and one's left standing still.
I wish we'd all been ready.
There's no time to change your mind.
The Son has come
And you've been left behind.
You've been left behind.
--Anonymous

"There is no time like tonight to save your soul. He may come tonight. But you can bet that He'll come when you're not looking. So look straight ahead; don't let yourself fall into darkness. Look to Him for guidance. Open your door to Him and He will guide you. Don't do it! Don't be blinded by the glittering trappings of this mortal world. You must have faith. Only by holding on tightly to your faith will you stay on the path of righteousness. Only if you follow Him will He lead you to the light of everlasting love."

Eskimo Pie Girl's face burned in the glow of the fire. The eyes of the other children sitting on the floor of the darkened room were turned upwards towards the Reverend. "You must repent my children. Tonight is the night to openly proclaim your sins so that He may take your burden from you. Do you have the courage to face God? Do you want to face Him now, while there is still time for salvation? Or do you want to face Him on the Judgement Day, when all your insolent sins will weigh heavy on your soul, hurtling you down into the fiery inferno of Hell?"

The room was deathly silent save for the hissing and popping of the logs in the fire. Eskimo was sitting too close to the fire. She began to swelter. "I am in Hell," she thought frantically. One tall gangly boy stood up slowly, wiping his eyes as he rose. She recognized him as the boy that she had overheard two other girls discussing at the beginning of the Bible Camp. She'd heard them say he was evil, sinful, because they'd seen him smoking behind the outhouse. She had decided he was evil too. "I . . . I am a terrible sinner," he sniffled. "I tried to turn away from him. But he has spoken to me. I've opened my heart and I've seen what I've done was wrong. I am saved!" he cried. He sat down slowly, sobbing. Eskimo Pie felt like sobbing too. "Amen, amen, praise be," reverberated through the room like a slow wind rustling the leaves on a tree. One by one the other children stood up, tearfully denouncing their sins and asking Jesus into their hearts.

Eskimo Pie's legs were cramped and she was still too close to the fire, but she was too afraid to move. She thought of the conversation she'd had earlier in the day with one of the Bible counselors. Eskimo had asked, "How do you know when the time is right to let God in?" "You will know," the woman replied. "The entrance of the glory of God is like no other feeling on earth." "But I'm ready for him," Eskimo said. "But he doesn't come. He doesn't speak to me." The woman patted Eskimo on the cheek and said confidently, "Just have faith, dear." The woman turned and walked away and didn't see the exasperated tears running down Pie Girl's face onto her T-shirt.

After the last sobbing confessors finished their soul-saving speeches, the Reverend led them in a prayer, "Thank you dear Lord, for bringing us here together tonight. Thank you for opening so many hearts, and may those sinners left among us yet find the power within themselves to humble themselves before your heavenly glory. May all of here tonight rejoice together on the Judgement Day and be welcomed into eternal light." "Amen. Amen. Amen. . . ."

The cool night breeze felt good against her face as she walked back towards the log cabin. She walked alone, listening to the others' murmured voices as they ran ahead of her down the trail, laughing and talking. She paused at the top of the trail overlooking the lake and focused her hearing away from the laughter towards the sound of the waves lapping against the shore. She tried to imprint in her mind the tranquil picture of trees and water and starlight laid out before her. Just one of many pictures she would carry with her until the end of her days.

The lights were turned out and Eskimo tossed and turned in her sleeping bag. "I'm ready," she whispered. No reply. An owl hooted in the distance. She sat up slowly so as not to waken the others, and gazed out the window at the dark. A squirrel scampered over the roof. She slowly unlatched the window and pushed it until it locked into an open position. Cool air ran over her skin as she breathed in the night. God had forsaken her, but outside the window the world beckoned her. She floated out into the night like a Princess of Darkness, dancing lustfully in the stardust moonlight in her flowing white nightgown, among the trees, the children of the earth.


Copyright EPG