The Basement

. . . . The basement was dark. It was always dark. There was no light. There was never light. Those who existed there neither liked nor disliked it – it was simply their reality, and since they weren’t alone, they managed . . . somehow. Not only was the basement always dark, it was also always damp and cold and always smelled of death and decay. Those who existed there no longer noticed the odor. Life in the basement was predictable. Nothing ever changed – not the smell, not the temperature, not the dampness, not the darkness.

Each inhabitant lived in his own corner of the basement and mostly, they kept their faces to the wall. It was comfortable that way. Occasionally the inhabitants discussed things such as “What ‘light’ might be like . . . if it really existed”. But eventually, in the darkness, someone would stub a toe in the darkness or fall on the slimy, wet floor and after that, conversations about “light” seemed irrelevant and childish. Then everyone would slowly meander back to their own corners of the basement where they were accustomed to the surroundings – though they could not see.

Regularly, the basement inhabitants would each feel sharp, gripping pain coming from somewhere in the darkness. Some of the pains were quick. Other pains were slow and very deep and seemed to never end. Because it was dark, those in pain would simply blame the nearest inhabitant for their injury. Because of this, the basement was always filled with anger and disagreement and accusation and denial. Battles with frustration and hopelessness were commonplace.

Such was the life of the inhabitants of the dark basement. None could see, yet all were convinced that those nearest them were the cause of their pain. Because of this, they kept everyone at a distance – it seemed to be a decent enough plan (because of the darkness.) But somehow, despite how careful they were, regardless of how much distance they put between themselves and others, they still felt the occasional stabbing pains in the dark. Over time, the basement inhabitants became hardened and calloused to their surroundings – simply to survive. After all, in the darkness, a person couldn’t change anything, so he always had to be prepared for the next, unavoidable pain.

One day, without warning, a huge door (that no one had ever noticed before) opened into the basement. Suddenly, there was mayhem and confusion! Inhabitants scrambled like frightened bugs, quickly trying to locate their corners. Though their eyes were now stinging and in pain they were desperately trying to make sense of what was happening. Something had entered through the door and was illuminating the basement for the first time. Could this be light? Why was it painful? Why were some attracted to it while others were repulsed? How long had that door been there and what was its purpose?

Most of the basement inhabitants were shouting by now, “Shut the door!” The light was blinding to eyes that had only known darkness and it lit up the basement to expose the vile reality that was their life. Some were angry – others were confused – but a few . . . were intriged.

Next, through the light, stepped someone who called himself “A Servant of the Most High” and a “Bearer of Good News.” He began to announce that anyone who wished to leave the basement could do so at any time. The “Most High” had secured accommodations for them all upstairs in the house and they were to given free reign. “A banquet table awaits you all!” he said. “Let us proceed upstairs where the Lord of the House anxiously awaits your arrival. He desires that you leave this dark, miserable place, open your eyes to the truth and step into what has lovingly been prepared for you!” Having said this, the “Servant” stepped back through the door, into the light and held the door open for any basement inhabitants wishing to leave the basement and enter the “House.”

During the Servant’s announcement, some of the inhabitants began to look around as their eyes adjusted to the light. Most of them were still angry at the intrusion and had already found their way back to their corners of the basement – desperately trying to avoid the light. Most were mumbling things like, “What gives him the right to judge how we live?” and “Who says the house is better than the basement?!” Still others were paralyzed by their pride – a pride which made them too embarrassed to admit that their dark basement corner may not have been as good as they once believed.

A few began to notice, however, that someone was trying desperately to find a place to hide in the unexpected light — darting from place to place to conceal his presence. And as he darted, he poked and stabbed at any inhabitant he could reach, causing them each great pain. Even in the presence of light, some of the inhabitants continued to blame anyone near them for the pain. Most of them, even in the presence of the light, had put their faces back into their dark corners and therefore were unaware of who was actually causing the pain.

As minutes passed, a few inhabitants began to realize that this evil creature had fooled everyone in the basement all of their lives. He had been sneaking around in the dark causing pain. HE KNEW that as long as he kept them busy blaming one another, busy being angry, busy being hurt, disappointed and prideful – that they would never accept the invitation of the Lord of the House and therefore they would miss everything prepared for them (and since HE wasn’t invited upstairs, he did not want them to go!)

Once these few basement inhabitants realized how they had been deceived and what they had been missing, they began to step toward the door, into the light. Some of the others mocked them and even tried to stop them. But their eyes had been opened by the words of the “Servant” and they would no longer be content with the stinking, wet, dark basement now that they knew that the house existed and that they had been invited.

They stepped toward the light and the door, leaving the pain, confusion, despair, anger and deception of the darkness behind them, to receive all that the “Servant” spoke of . . . and then some.

. . . . . . . . . back in the basement, the door was shut and the miserable, burning light was gone. Some inhabitants were already arguing over a couple of recently vacated dark corners. Others were sure that those who had left the basement were certainly sorry by now for leaving such comfortable, predictable surroundings. And meanwhile . . . . . those unexpected, sharp, lingering pains in the darkness continued, and the inhabitants blamed one another.


8 Responses to “The Basement”

  1. Becoming Me Says:

    What a gripping post Darnell. Very well written.

  2. Stephanie Says:

    So good D. I’ve been sitting here thinking about sharing the gospel with the girls I get to meet every week and then I stumble over your post. What a great perspective.
    Blessings dear one!

  3. Julie, Says:

    Wow Darnelle, what a powerful post.

  4. Linda at 2nd cup Says:

    What inspired you to write this? I would also like to read a post about how you chose the imagery. Did you have a specific audience in mind? It’s really good content-wise, and I’m also always interested in the writing of something.

  5. lori@allyouhavetogive Says:

    all I can say is WOW….wow and wow…
    I’m stunned…I went up to see who the author was just so I could buy the BOOK…that was AMAZING….did I say wow…

    what a POWERFUL message…this truly was amazing….I’ll be sharing this…GIRL…that was simply amazing and beautiful…I knew you were GOOD, but this…I’m speechless…

    The message just hits me…and with all this talk around me of a “mediocre” life…it just brings it all home….moving to the light…out of the darkness…

    again…no words are working…so I’ll leave it with wow!
    you blessed me! hugs!

  6. Julie, Says:

    Your words are precious to me!

    Thank you!

    Oh and btw, my first devotional at CWO is due on Saturday.

    If you think of me pray….I have the rough draft done….

    Have a blessed day!

  7. Jenny Says:

    What a great post! So true!

  8. Kysha Says:

    Great illustration! So true!

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