Lights Off

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By Angel Simmons

One of my favorite Sunday “after-church activities” used to be brunch, followed by a stop at Krispy Kreme Donuts on the ride home. As we approached the parking lot, my friend and I would squint our eyes to make out the sign in the distance. We were always looking to see if the “HOT” light was on. If you’re a food connoisseur, you know that particular light meant we’d each be offered a free donut fresh off the line (and sometimes another at the register) in addition to whatever we were buying that day. No need to attack the box in the car. Your taste buds would be satisfied before you even exited the building.

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One particularly rough morning, we left service arguing over something silly and had decided to just skip lunch. The plan was to grab some donuts and then part ways for the day to ease some of the tension. But as we neared the parking lot, I noticed the “HOT” light was… off! Immediately the scripture about Jesus cursing the fig tree rose up in me, and before I knew it I was cursing the ground Krispy Kreme sits on and declaring that nothing would ever prosper on that land. It was all in fun and frustration, and we had a good laugh afterwards.

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The next Sunday as we got close to the lot, we saw no sign of movement anywhere. There were no cars, no lights and no people. The sign on the door said “Closed”. My friend looked at me in disbelief, a blaming stare that made me slightly uncomfortable. And every week that followed, we found the same deserted place, my own words replaying in my head as we pass it by.

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That happened about a decade ago. And today that property still remains desolate, weeds and trash circling around the building. Now, do I REALLY believe that I had something to do with the demise of my beloved donut shack? All I’ll say is this… I have been EXTREMELY careful with my “declarations” since that day. Every single time I pass by that strip of land, I shake my head in disbelief then turn my eyes away, remembering the lost joy of warm deliciousness being handed over with a smile that I’ve been missing. And then, I bite my tongue!

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January 24, 2016

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