The Last Battle in the War of Darkness



Although Greg had never served in the military, he was a veteran of the last war. He’s fought year after year with therapy, antidepressants, long walks, calming music. He’s held his own, but the war continued. He didn’t lose, but he couldn’t win.

He turned to his only ally, an ally not because Greg started out trusting Him, but because he had no choice. The ally knew everything about Greg, what he ate, what he thought, what he did, sort of how some of his childhood friends thought about Santa Claus.

But the ally was real and He’d made a promise to Greg. If Greg would trust Him, He would help Greg win the final battle of the last war.

What choice did he have?

So he trusted. No, not all at once, and not easily to be sure.

But a little at a time. Greg let himself start to trust Him just a little bit at a time. Then there was a little more, and a little more, and a little more, until he really did trust that the ally would do what He said He’d do.

Greg fought the final battle of the last war not on the battlefield, not with a jet fighter in the sky, or a submarine beneath the sea. He didn’t fight alongside soldiers, didn’t obey the commands of Generals, didn’t fight for country or ideologies.

The final battle was fought within his heart, mind, and soul, by nurturing hope within himself and by acting as he wanted everybody else to act.

Greg won the final battle the last night of Chanukah by the shimmering warmth of his menorah. He finally left the last vestiges of darkness behind and stepped into the light.

This bit of flash fiction was inspired by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman’s brief commentary on Chanukah, plus I felt I should write something more optimistic for New Year’s Eve than the previous story.

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