Nico entered the graveyard by night. The only illumination was his headlamp. As he opened the gate, the chain broke.
“Ah! It’s my first day on the job, and I have to explain this?”
Nico sat. He rolled the chain between his palms, imagining his boss firing him. What did it matter? It would prove once more that he couldn’t keep a job. Emotionally, he felt as cold as the broken chain he fidgeted with. What was he supposed to do now; guard a graveyard that was broken into?
Nico thought about the choices he’d made in his life. One drink led to an empty bottle; one torrid relationship led him to be possessive; one joint led to him dealing drugs and subsequent imprisonment. The pleasures he’d had in these activities turned into chains. And now, a chain that was supposed to give him the chance at a new beginning had fallen apart.
“God, if You’re there, free me!” Nico loosed a solitary link from the chain. “If only it was this easy,” he said, noting the release he felt as the weighty section clanked on the pavement.
“Aren’t you supposed to be walking?”
“Whaa…!” Nico jumped.
“What’s your business?” Nico straightened his uniform, searching the darkness.
“Call for backup on your walkie-talkie.”
Nico radioed, “Boss-man, come quick!”
“Hear the echo? It’s me, Mike.” A bearded elderly figure came within range of Nico’s headlamp.
“Whatcha doin’ here?”
“I’ve hired men who don’t show up. So, why are you sitting?”
“The chain on the gate is broken, so I’m as good as fired. I was late…”
“I broke that chain as a test. I was waiting for your call.”
“Nico, I heard your prayer….”
“I don’t pray….”
“You asked God to free you. What’s your trouble, son?”
Nico found himself pouring out his quandaries to the old man. Somehow, it felt right to unburden his soul. Nico brushed away a tear, “I never cry!”
“But tonight,” Mike said, “you’ve prayed and cried. Let me tell you a story. Jesus met a man who was so burdened he became violent.” Mike took a Bible from his pocket. “Shine your headlamp on this….”
“It says here, the man ‘had his dwelling among the tombs’ (Mark 5:3a KJV) The townsmen shackled him, but he kept breaking the chains. Much like the chain that fell apart in your hands, the fetters put up no resistance.”
“Look here, ‘But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him.’ (Mark 5:6a KJV) You know what else he did? He pushed Jesus away.”
“Just like I have….”
“Exactly. This man was plagued by six thousand enemy spirits, so I’m guessing he’d made more regrettable choices than you have. It’s important to know his fate. What do you think Jesus did to him?”
“Sent him to Hell?”
“Not even close. Jesus freed him.”
“Freed him?” Nico rolled a link between his fingers. “That’s incredible!”
“Jesus sent the enemy spirits into a herd of pigs who ran downhill and drowned in the ocean. Meanwhile, Jesus restored the man, and said, ‘Go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath compassion on thee.’” (Mark 5:19b KJV)
“I wish Jesus could love a man like me.”
“He already does, Nico. He’s answering your prayer for a new beginning. Let’s pray.”
The men bowed.
Chains is a fictional story.
Copyright © 2019: All rights reserved: VineWords Stories and Devotions Inspired by the Vine: Author Diane Virginia Cunio; Pen Name, Diane Virginia: Chains; www.vinewords.net
Published: February 2019: Christian Broadcasting Network: Senior Editor Beth Patch: Internet Ministries Producer: http:/www1.cbn.com/devotions/chains
Featured in Taste and See Conference Bulletin: Judy Taylor: Lumberton, NC: May 4, 2019