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STORY: The Story only works when we Trust and Obey


The Domain was a secret government with citizens spread across the world. The government was started when an otherwise normal seeming man, brought a technology at least three centuries more advanced, to a select few people who proved worthy to carry it, early in the first century.


Those that were considered worthy, and in fact were most coveted, by this secret government were not the powerful, but instead just the most humble, trusting, and obedient.


That is because this government had an agenda. You know when you're watching a movie and you see something that seems outrageously unjust that needs to be righted, or you just know that a character needs to open their heart to love, or you just want some person who is helping the poor to be rewarded? Well that is exactly the sorts of things this alien invaded government fought for on Earth. They fought for the Good. And they had the technology to do it. Their technology allowed them to see the thoughts of all the parties in a situation while the rest of us, of course, can only see our own. They just needed people to trust their instructions and carry them out for the best of all involved.


John Blight had been in prison years ago for possession of Heroin. And now as he came out of the upstairs bathroom of his friend Samantha's house, he saw movement below the balcony, by the couch where he had been sleeping. It was her 13 year old son secretly taking something from John's overnight bag.


Then the kid walked to his room, thinking he had been unseen. John trotted down the stairs as his worst fears were a furnace. "No, no, no, no," he whispered to himself. He got to his bag, looked, and they were gone. Three needles of heroin had been in a small zipped fabric pouch just inside one end of the bag. The pouch was gone.


He had been managing his habit okay. He only let himself do it when he was in a safe place and didn't have to work. He wouldn't say he was addicted. But last night the boy must have seen John pull it out and shoot up a quarter of a syringe before he went to sleep. The boy's room did have a view of the couch John had slept on.


A few minutes later he heard Samantha say, "Breakfast is ready you big hungry buffaloes!" He heard plates clanging on the kitchen table and the cups filling with OJ. He migrated to the table, the boy showed up just after him. They all sat together at one side of the long table and Samantha started frisbee-throwing pancakes onto their plates. "High protein pancakes, ya'll. Eat em up and get big and strong."


"How'd you sleep, Noah?" Her voice had a slight waver to it as she addressed her son. John had noticed the waver last night too.


"Fine." Noah didn't look up. John now knew another hidden thing Noah was carrying.


"How about you, John?" Samantha asked.


"Yeah, yeah. Fine too. Thanks. It's such a cozy condo." John feigned a smile.


The rest of the breakfast was mostly Samantha trying to get them to smile and talk, like they were both teenagers at a dinner table.


They ate and in twenty minutes she went to wash dishes at the sink and the boys half-heartedly helping to clean the table.


"Get your Dodgers gear on, Hunny!" she yelled to Noah as she opened the closet. "And John," she turned to him. "You'll need to fit in at the game." She smiled and held out a Dodgers ball cap. He smiled and took it. Samantha and Noah loved Dodgers games; it was their thing. John didn't care much for ball games but their mutual favorite story from years ago was when John showed Noah how to make spit wad shooters out of straws at a game and they spent 7.5 innings laughing at how many people would be walking home not realizing they had slimy paper wads on their backsides.


In jail, John was invited to the Domain by a friend. It changed his life for good, and he had been doing alright. He wished he had more community though, because friends usually helped keep his vices in check. And that's partly why he had reached out to Samantha. When he had spent his listening time, he assumed it was the Domain technology that had put Samantha strongly on his mind, out of nowhere. So he thought maybe he should give Samantha a call. And it wouldn't hurt to be around an old friend.


That was part of their technology. When you were quiet, they could send messages into your mind from anywhere. And if they were asking him to do it, he thought maybe she was in need? He had thought maybe there was a way he was supposed to help. But now his little allowed vices had messed it all up.


She had always been kind to him, being an old high school girlfriend of John's older brother. In fact Noah was his brother's son. Noah never lived with his brother so John didn't get to know Noah like a normal nephew. Years later, long after they broke up, Noah's brother had committed suicide.


When John had called the other day, she joyfully begged him to come visit, even before he had suggested it. And she offered him her couch before he could even finish saying yes.


And now he knew the Domain was telling him to tell Samantha that his vices might be about to wreck her son. He felt their instructions so strongly. But she had told him years before that she believed jail was the only way for a lot of people to get clean. If he told her the truth about him using again, he was pretty sure she'd get him sent back to jail. He had seen her be a hard ass before. With his brother, and with Noah.


***


At the game, Noah sat between them.


"What's wrong, Noah?" She said, "You're usually heckling this guy. Look who's at bat."


John was a wreck on the inside too. He had to tell her.


"Oh yeah. Sorry, mom, I'm not feeling the best." Noah mumbled. "I think I need to go to the bathroom." He picked up his backpack and shuffled out.


"You need to take your bag?"


"Uh, if I want to get us some things from the concessions I can uh, carry them easier."


John surreptitiously watched Noah march up the steps, each bob of the boy crushing John with ideas of what terrible thing he had enabled him to go do. Sell them? Shoot them up in the bathroom? Share them with other innocent teenagers?


He knew what the Domain wanted him to do. They always instructed to bring things into the light. But he knew it also most likely meant he'd go back to jail, which could not happen. The second offense meant felony. He had learned though, to simply trust and obey the domain. For they could see a far wider storyline than he could from his spot on the page. and even if it was hard for him, it would be best for the most number of people he loved.


"You okay, John?" Samantha's tender voice recognized his severe constitution.


"Um, Sam," He wiped his eyes from under the ball cap. "I need to tell you something." He took a deep breath and as he breathed out he found a peace that the right thing was about to be done and he would trust that the outcome was just. "I had some needles in my bag and I saw Noah take them this morning.


"Oh no." She leaned towards him and lowered her voice. "Um. full ones?"


John nodded.


"Are you using again?"


Pain wrinkled across his face and he squeaked out, "A little bit." And a moment later he delivered incriminating truth. "It was three needles. I'm so sorry. I'm just afraid he might be using them right now. That's why I needed to tell you right now. I haven't even thought it through. I guess that's what the Domain means by obedience. If I need to go back to jail with a felony I trust they know what's best for me."


"Oh, John. I've learned a lot. I won't send you to jail. I want you part of Noah's life. You're his uncle, the closest thing to his dad. But we can help you get clean if you want to?"


John nodded slowly at first, and then emphatically.


"And I'm not worried about Noah. We've had lots of talks about drugs and he has no interest in trying them."


"Are you sure?! Then why would he take them?" John gestured up the stands.


"I don't know."


They both looked out at the game as they thought.


"I've been worried about him lately." Samantha said. "Something about guilt and his father, your brother. I think he feels like he didn't do enough to try and save him. It's showing up in everything, like mumbling little OCD critiques of himself, and just ignoring school stuff and looking at his dad's old journals to see if there was something he could have done."


"Wow. How can I help, do you think?"


"I don't know. But the Domain called you up here for a reason."


He turned to her, "Do you still trust the Domain? You were the first person to tell me about it, before I went to jail, you know?"


"We do. But it's been hard. Just hard to see any progress. Things just keep getting harder."


"Well," John said, very humbly, "Maybe we just wait for any more instructions, and just trust."


"Maybe."


***

Noah came back and didn't seem too much better. He was able to get into the game a little more, finally throwing playful taunts at puffed up ballers. But it wasn't until that night, when John was alone and tucking himself in on the couch, that something broke. It happened when he reached over to make sure his phone was charging and he felt something in his bag. The pouch was back. He slowly turned over and picked it up. He glanced back at Noah's closed door. It felt like needles still in the pouch, but maybe a little different? He cautiously unzipped it.


He let it fall open, and there in the moonlight his eyes slowly made out the shape of three straws in the loops where the syringes had been. And behind the interior mesh pocket were a few wadded up papers. There was a paper folded in half under one of the straws. John slid it out and unfolded it.


He studied it slowly to make sure he could read every word. It said:

"I wasn't able to save my dad.

But I can still try to save you.

Let's shoot these up instead."


John let the open pouch down and rest on his lap. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Tears of gratitude welled in his eyes as he whispered, "Thank you. Thank you for being trustworthy. Thank you for helping me obey."


Raw spoon, Aug 3, 2023


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These BLOGS are usually inspired by messages I (or friends) feel we have heard from God. This is the nature of our God. Listen for how he may be speaking to you.

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