In the land, both far and wide, temples cast shadows over its citizens, shrouding them in the cold grip of fear. The expressionless stares of the temple gods and goddesses only brought confusion and trepidation in my young heart.
Alone in the pale moonlight, my hands were bound in front of me as I huddled next to a temple pillar. My head throbbed. One of the sleeves of my tunic hung off my shoulder, revealing finger-sized bruises underneath.
The thought occurred to pray. But to which god?
Each situation dictated the proper call to a prescribed deity.
Before succumbing to a typical rote prayer to one of the statues in the plethora of temples, I paused. A cloud passed by and the moon shone through the lattice on the temple wall. The bind that held my wrists glowed as if with magic.
Was I was being punished by the mercurial whims of the intemperate gods to whom one must pay continual homage?
The warm flush of shame warmed my cheeks at the thought of all the ways I had failed. Why would any of the gods help me now?
Each storyteller in my city shared a different version of the gods' exploits, usually with the ulterior motive of a coin in the coffer for the temple priests ... most likely to use on the nightly band of prostitutes that roamed the streets.
Did my monetary sacrifice ever amount to anything but their pleasure at my expense?
If in my abduction, I was bound to be one of those enslaved women, I'd rather die.
I needed God, The Real God, The One Whom Cannot Be Seen, to have mercy on me. To save me.
I clasped my hands together.
It took more faith to believe in the God that cannot be seen. Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes and whispered my plea.
Then I awoke and found myself in my own bed in present day America.
The Greek gods and goddesses have passed away in the sands of time. In our educated, prosperous, sensible country, we have no such need for deities.
Or do we?
It may be that we turn to new idols. Ones that flicker and dance on the screens of our televisions and iPhones. Will they make us happy? Will they show us what to do? Will they save us?
The painted up masks of these people show health, wealth, and happiness, but the coins we stuff into the coffers of TV media moguls or the Pantheon of social media we trust in, prove a false hope. Because they're only human like us.
There is a God whom we cannot see. I've seen Him. Not with my eyes, but in my changing heart, thoughts, and deeds.
I've seen Him work even the most terrible situation for good (Romans 8:28).
This God, the One revealed in the pages of the Bible, is timeless. He is gracious, compassionate and good. And He wants to have a relationship with us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
If we would but let go of our false gods and turn to Him in our time of need. He'll be there. He's been there for me. Every. Single. Time.
* Credit: Temple in Athens courtesy of Getty images