I believe in the power of flashlights. We have all seen darkness, and we have all developed our own opinions of it. I believe that an encounter with darkness is analogous to a fight with cancer. The only certainty in such an encounter is that it will not be a pleasant one. I remember, with perhaps too great of clarity, one of my encounters with darkness. It was last year, in my local school’s brightly lit music room. The conversation that took place therein stood in stark contrast to the environment around us. It was a conversation swollen with words that were saturated with depravity and dripping with perversion. I did not realize I had entered a discussion of this nature until I was consumed within it. I wanted to escape, but the darkness had blinded me and the danger veiled by the darkness had paralyzed me. My mind was trapped – not by the darkness, not by simply being in the environment where the conversation took place, but by the perilous powers of subversion housed by the darkness.
The worst of it was that I did not realize I had entered the darkness until the peril it hid had done its cruel work on my mind. It was only then that I realized I had forgotten my flashlight at home. If only it were with me! If I would have had it, I could have seen the danger before I stepped into it, could have avoided the conversation altogether, could have kept my mind free from distortion.
But, I was a fortunate one. From the depth of the festering pit of confusion I could see a light in the distance. Another person had entered the room, and he had with him a flashlight. Though the room itself was bright, his light shone brighter than the sun in contrast with the words being exchanged within. He put a stop to the conversation, thereby shining a way for me out of the darkness. He was just another person, but he had saved me from the danger within the darkness. His flashlight was at the ready – he knew when he was in danger of falling into perversion, and when others were in the midst of it. By his example, I see that I can be in the darkness, but I do not have to fall prey to it – that is, if I have my flashlight.
I realize now that I was selfish for not having my flashlight. Without it, I could not keep myself from perversion, nor could I help others avoid it. Either I had not prepared myself to defend against immorality, or perhaps I did not want to. Maybe I just wanted to be popular; to be accepted. Whatever my reason, I made a grave error. This I believe: Flashlights save lives, not from the darkness, but from the evil within. It is up to every one of us to keep the relationship synergistic.
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