FINDING HIMSELF AGAIN!
Vincent looked at himself in the mirror, first from the right side, then the left, then face forward.
He surmised he was quite the handsome man that he saw, in his own eyes! Yes, for sure, no matter what might come or go, he was assured he would maintain that ‘manly’ appearance.
As a young lad his smile and the sparkle in his eyes had attracted people of all ages and ranks. At that time in his life, though, he was unconscious of the fact that he affected other people by just being who he was—himself.
Then he grew up, and was very proud of who he was. His smile and the sparkle in his eyes along with the words he had learned to speak were focal points that he now used to affect his circle of life. Yes, he was an accomplished fellow, no doubt!
He could stand out in a crowd at the drop of a hat. His own fedora a lot of time; that he had fashioned from the way his grandfather always sported his back in the day, would bring positive comments from onlookers. And he loved that!
As he admired himself in the mirror, he was reminded of what his Mama had told him many times over; “Don’t be full of pride, son, because the Bible says, ‘First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall’. Don’t forget the call that God has placed upon your life for Him, and that you are not your own.”
Vince nodded with that thought and spoke verbally to himself, “Don’t worry, Mama…pride will never rule me.”
As he walked out of the bathroom and away from the mirror, he did not forget the image he had just seen. And subconsciously he was quite proud of himself.
As he drove up and stopped in front of Kiera’s house, he flipped the sun visor down to take one more look at himself in the mirror. Yes! Handsome as could be, with his fedora cocked to the side, he slid out of the seat and walked like a proud peacock to the door and rang the doorbell.
Kiera’s dad opened the door and extended his hand toward Vincent. Vincent reached with a hardy handshake and walked inside.
They chatted for a few minutes while waiting for Kiera to make her entrance. When she came down the staircase, she was breathtaking as usual.
Vincent admired her beauty and charm and felt himself a very lucky man to have such a one to walk alongside of him.
Her dad reminded her that midnight was too late for her to not be home--‘nothing good happens after midnight,’ he said adamantly. They both nodded and disappeared out the front door.
Vincent opened her car door and Kiera smiled as she slid onto the seat. He hopped in and away they sped to have dinner at their favorite restaurant.
When they walked in, the usual crowd was already there. Everyone laughed and a couple of the guys whistled at Kiera. Vincent gave them an eye, then they all laughed and told him what a lucky guy he was. He shook his head in agreement as they were seated at their booth.
Kiera told Vincent she took the responses from the guys with a grain of salt. She reached across the table and took his hand, kissed it and assured him he was the only one who inhabited her heart. He smiled and told her he needed that reassurance from time to time, because the guys had a way of making him feel a bit insecure with their actions.
They enjoyed their meal as they talked of future plans. Vincent was sure that Kiera’s folks were going to insist that she go off to college with intentions of it separating them.
Kiera told him again as she had so many times before that it did not matter what her parents wanted. She was free, white and twenty-one, so she would make her own decision in that matter. But she did state emphatically that she must finish her task of securing a degree for her future benefit.
Vincent agreed wholeheartedly, but stated he was concerned about their long distance relationship.
Kiera smiled and told him that she loved him madly, more than her next breath, and that miles did not matter.
He grinned and replied that he loved her fiercely, ardently, passionately, romantically, and always would.
She nodded and confirmed that was all that mattered then.
When they finished their meal, they left the crowd whistling and chanting what a beauty queen Vincent had won! Kiera just shook her head as they walked out the door, waving to them like a real queen would do!
They went to the movies, held hands and sneaked a kiss here and there. Even though they were intent upon watching the thriller, they could not help but keep an eye toward each other, and a smile that spoke volumes of their love for one another.
On the way home, Vincent asked Kiera if she wanted anything before they went home. She sighed and told him no, she was stuffed from their delicious dinner. She stated that she really needed to get home to get some studying done before calling it a night.
As Vincent turned off the main highway, an oncoming car swerved across the center line and ran head on into Vincent’s car.
Their car spun around twice and skidded off the road, landing in a ditch full of water.
The impact shattered the windshield and the landing crushed the passenger side of the car where Kiera sat, still in her seat belt. Water began to fill the interior of the car where Kiera sat.
Vincent’s air bag deployed, catching him before he hit the steering wheel. Keira’s air bag inflated as well, but in the process caught her between the bag and the crushed in passenger door.
Thankfully a passing car called 911, so in a matter of minutes the police and EMS arrived on the scene.
They pulled Vincent from his seat, but they could not get to Kiera. From all accounts, it appeared that she had a broken neck, and the water had all but covered her body. Sadly, she died at the scene.
Vincent was semi-conscious, fading in and out.
The next thing Vincent knew, he awoke in the hospital. His parents were standing by his bed, Mama crying softly as she held his hand.
She whispered a prayer and as Vincent strained to listen he understood her as she asked God to let His mercy and grace invade Vincent’s heart in a way greater than he had ever experienced.
Vincent continued to listen to Mama pray as she prayed for Kiera’s parents, asking God to please comfort them as they grieved the loss of their precious daughter.
When Vincent heard those words, he began to cry uncontrollably. He was about to ask Mama about Kiera, but there was no need now. She had prayed his answer before he had opportunity to ask the question.
The funeral was anything but simple. It appeared everyone in town attended it, and sent flowers to show their sorrow. It spoke well of how the townspeople felt about this one who had stolen Vincent’s heart.
The police report stated that the accident was unavoidable. A drunken driver who was also killed was the perpetrator and Vincent was relieved that the driver was killed. He deserved to die—he had taken the life of the love of Vincent’s life.
Even though Vincent knew there was nothing he could have done to prevent the accident, he continually relived it in his mind and wept with deep agony.
What was he going to do with his life now? Where was life going to take him without the love of his life? He could not even fathom how life would continue.
Mama continually assured him that all things happen for a reason, and even though there seemed no reason for such a tragedy as this, Vincent knew in the back of his mind that she was right. Mama was always right, or so it seemed to him.
Vincent found himself alone many times, actually as he desired to become a recluse.
Someone so vividly shared with him these words that spoke volumes to his broken heart: “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves memories that no one can steal”. He found himself saying that over and over to himself time and again.
One night Vincent made his way to church, in search of himself again. He knew that God would ultimately heal his broken heart and wounded spirit, and he knew that he had to let God do a work of heart.
As he listened to the sermon the preacher so eloquently delivered, Vincent found himself turning the search light on in his heart and mind. Actually he was allowing God to turn it on, and he began to find himself again.
When the preacher finished the sermon and gave an invitation for anyone who needed God to touch their lives to come forward to the altar, Vincent found himself in the aisle. He realized that he had things in his life that He needed to talk to God about, so he knelt in the altar and began to call out to God for mercy and grace.
There with a hand on his shoulder was Mama, praying the same words. Yes, mercy and grace were vital to Vincent at this time. He began to realize as he cried out to God that the work God had started in him as a young lad was yet to be completed.
When Vincent left the altar that night, he was a changed man. Indeed as his name implied, to conquer, Vincent had allowed God to conquer his will, his self-will. He had laid himself on the altar and offered himself as a living sacrifice to God, wholly and acceptable, just as the Bible stated he should.
Finding himself again became paramount for his life, for he wanted to be the man God wanted him to be, not the self-centered, egotistical, prideful man that he had admired in the mirror so many times.
Yes, to find oneself through the eyes of God, he surmised, should be the goal of every believer. And from that day forward that was his goal; not just for himself, but he purposed in his heart to help anyone else who needed to find himself again!
Prov. 16:18, The Message Bible