Three years ago, I wrote my last story. It marked the end of an era in my life. Reading it through again, I was moved by the heart and hopes that I had at the time. These stories that I wrote contain pieces of myself. Before the most significant event of my writing life, the Logos magazine, I wrote a story about George Washington, Ben Franklin, and a man named Sam. I dedicated it to a friend.
I will post each of the seven parts over the course of the next week. Read if you like. As for me, I am going to reflect on why I have given up on these stories. Somewhere in me is a fire longing for the fuel to burn once again.
A Common Heart
“Goodnight, Mr. President,” Martha whispered into her husband’s ear.
“I don’t expect much sleep tonight. The responsibility is weighing on me.” George turned over to look at his wife. She had long passed her prime, but Martha Washington’s eyes still reflected the beauty of her heart.
“Great men rarely have the privilege of a carefree rest. But even the simplest man faces times of great testing. You manage each trial as it comes George, and you make certain not to forget that you’re human.” With that she put her arm around him and gently rubbed his back.
George watched the moon crawl across the sky. It looked just as it had the night before his first battle as commander. Somehow, he was able to muster up the courage and strength for his men on that night, but this new challenge stood before him like a mountain with no manageable paths. They had elected him unanimously, and all of their hopes rested on his shoulders. After God, George felt that there was no one he could depend on without them first depending on him.
Finding no rest, George carefully slipped out of bed. A large piece of cornbread sat on a plate in the middle of the table. He rarely felt hunger in the late hours of the night, but his active mind must have worked up an appetite. In the dark, he broke off a little bit and chewed while his head rested on his palm. George reckoned the time to be somewhere between 4 and 5.
“George Washington.” George sprung out of his seat. On the other side of the table, a figure emanating white light materialized. It looked to be a man, but the brightness prevented George from focusing. “Do not be afraid.”
“What is this?” George asked. His back now pressed firmly on the wall.
“I have come to speak with you. A difficult burden rests on your shoulders. You need to know that this task is meant for you. America is chosen to be a good land.”
“Who are you?”
“I am. There is much to trouble your heart George. The ways of men lead to death. The leader of this nation must have a heart which rests firmly on a solid rock. When those closest to you choose the darkness, you must have the strength to hold true to the light.” George fell to his knees with tears streaming down his face.
“Who am I?” He covered his face with his hands. The figure now stood over him.
“What is a man? What is a woman? Do not weigh yourself with the scales of this world. Your heart shines with a greater light than your own.”
“I cannot do this.”
“You will never be alone.” George looked up to find only the faintest hint of the sun, which would soon rise over the horizon.