No warning is given. The instant brightness burns through my eyelids. I only have two options: open my eyes to the light, or cover up and try to avoid it.
Here in Ad Seg (the Hole) there is little over which I have control. Although I can flush my toilet when I use it, the gods limit me to only two flushes every thirty minutes. I’m allowed to shave when I shower; however, I only receive three showers every seven days. And although I have a light switch, the wizards behind the steel curtains can override it at their whim.
The cell I’m in is actually the last cell in the building. There are three tiers (floors) and 34 cells per tier. I’m on the third floor, the 34th cell. All windows in this ancient building are located toward its center. Most windows are covered with plywood, but a little light from outside does squeeze through. From my cell it’s very difficult to see.
My cell faces a solid wall and a set of heavily-caged stairs. Looking directly outside of my cell, I see only a wall and a diamond-shaped grill. By sight alone I can’t tell what time of day it is. When I switch the cell lights off, it’s dark.
Of course, I turn the lights off to sleep. With the penetrating darkness it’s not hard to lie there praying and meditating on God’s goodness before falling asleep. The absence of light, all night long, facilitates my slumber.
Since I never know the time I never know when it’s morning. My clue is when the morning shift officers arrive, but I don’t hear them because they aren’t close. My clue is their forcible lighting of all the cells.
The abrupt, bright light startles me awake, and forces the darkness to hide beneath my bunk, awaiting night once again. Because the lights are turned on by the officers, I can’t turn mine off; I am left with two choices. I can embrace it, open my eyes, and get up, or I can grab my sheet, pull it over my head, and block the light.
I always make the same choice – I open my eyes and get up. I embrace the light, even if my sleep of the night before was poor. Then I wash up and begin my day. I do this because it is reality – the light is on. I can hide my eyes from it, but it is still there. I’m on a fool’s errand if I think I can eliminate the light by blinding my eyes with my sheet.
I was a spiritual fool for many years, hiding from the Light of God. Before I came to prison I knew God was calling me, but I hid my eyes from His Light, covering the eyes of my heart so I could live for the pleasures of the world. Time after time I thought I had fooled God; but the truth was, I was the fool.
God finally got tired of my games and allowed me to end up in prison. Only then did I see that, all along, the real fool was me. I still had the same choices – embrace the Light or continue as a fool and try to cover my eyes.
Obviously, I chose to embrace the Light, but it isn’t always easy. At times I find myself on very rough patches of road, but I, with God’s help, and through His Word and prayer, continue toward the Light, because even as a fool I know it is what guides me and give me life….and so much more.
Has God been calling you, yet you’ve been hiding? Don’t be a fool; you can’t hide from God. You have two choices – embrace the Light or continue to hide. Embrace the Light and live, or hide from it and death awaits you. Stop being a fool.
I know. I was once the biggest fool in the world.
…….does anyone have the time?……..
Adrian G. Torres