A Burnt Sacrifice

She watched as the words Holy Bible went up in flames. She threw the match and light another one for her cigarette. She was done with it. She had enough. Religion wasn’t working for her. One thing after another—that’s all it was. Lost her job. Kid got sick. Baby daddy stopped helping her with the rent. Mother died. Father was never present in her life. Little sister hated her, while the boyfriend wished he could’ve dated her. Low self-esteem. She wasn’t at the place she wanted to be.

The thousand-and-something page book was turning into ash very quickly. She closed her eyes and tired to remember some of the verses.

“So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”—Romans 10:17

“Assuredly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.”—Matthew 8:10

She had trouble with that. Faith and all. It seemed like whenever she gained strength in her faith, something came along and hindered it.

“Why are you so fearful? How is it you have no faith?”—Mark 4:40

She knew that verse was now in the pile of ashes. And every time she lost her faith she thought of that verse and the words of Jesus Christ. She felt ashamed. But not today. Today she was done—fed up. It seemed like everything came at her when she was walking strong in her faith. And religion is all about sacrifices, so she decided to make a sacrifice by sacrificing her religion.

“And the apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ So the Lord said ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree ‘be pulled by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would.’”—Luke 17:5-6

Maybe it was the past due bills. Maybe it was the eviction notice. Maybe it was her child’s diagnosis of a disease that had no cure. Maybe it was the lack of support from her child’s father. Maybe it was the lack of support from her family. Maybe it was all the above.

If she was going to suffer in this world then she might as well do it without faith—without religion. It made more sense to her. She looked at the pile of ashes. She looked at her child sleeping in her car. The car—their only source of shelter. She had made a lot of sacrifices in her life and they seemed to have gotten her nowhere. So let’s see where she gets without religion.

She stepped on the butt of her cigarette.

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written ‘The just shall live by faith.’”—Romans 1:17

She offered up her religion—her faith—as a burnt sacrifice. She was now unjust.

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