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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: Silent Scream
By Loren T. Lowery
~1st Place


Painful things of our past, though buried, are not always dead. Sometimes, unwittingly, we stumble across them. They are awakened, they are disturbed; and they seek only to hurt us again.

I had just come in from the yard to get a drink of water. From the kitchen window, I saw my wife running across our field where she had been picking wild blackberries. I smiled, watching her. Moving across the pasture, this beautiful woman, my wife, looked liked a child, tossing her hair as if damp from a sudden rain shower.

As she dashed up the stairs of our patio, I opened the door to greet her.

“Where were you?” Tears streamed down her face and she seemed flushed with terror. “Didn’t you hear me scream…why didn’t you come to help me?”

I took her into my arms. The heat of the summer day burned into my flesh, the mixed scent of grass and fear filled my nostrils.

“Where were you…I screamed…didn’t you hear me!” Her voice was rasp, a declaration, not a question.

I looked into her eyes and they were clouded with terror, her body trembled and I held her tighter. “What? What?” I asked trying to keep the quiver out of my own voice.

“The Yellow Jackets,” she flung her arms, “they chased me. I screamed, why didn’t you hear me?” I held her in my arms, rocking her, soothing her, stroking her hair. Protecting her…too late.

Later that night, after the barbs of the Yellow Jackets had been pulled from her skin and the wounds dressed and she lay sleeping on the couch in our den, I watched her quiet breathing and gently whispered. “I didn’t hear you, because you never screamed.”

She hadn’t screamed because as a child she had learned, sometimes, no one hears. Sometimes, when you’re hurt, frightened, terrified, confused there is no one taking heed. Sometimes when someone does the unthinkable, no one is around to listen. Today’s scream - that she felt to be so real, so loud, so plaintive had existed only in her mind.

My wife, who possesses a beauty that would shame the words of poets, whose very poise and grace are an essence held in reserve for angels; this woman, mother of my children, child of God, had been sexually abused by a stepfather, starting at the age of three.

As I sat across from her, an anger steeped in bile, rose in my throat. An anger born of naked hatred and revulsion; an anger helplessly emboldened by love itself. An anger that shatters in my heart, and splinters into a thousand shards.

The shards stab and I bleed, my emotions building into fury, draining me of sensible reason. I want to strike out, hurl offenses, and give flight to vile epitaphs.

But the punches would only land on distant shadows. Its dark source now too far removed to be of substance, his evil existence now witnessed only by its lingering stench. This mortal, with a beast’s heart; too hardened with the tallow of conceit and arrogance, to ever feel the heat of my words.

This thief whose hands reached from hell itself to steal and defile would only mock any impassioned oaths. Indeed, such depraved men swallow such invectives and store them in their putrid maws as venom only to re-inflict injury over and over again.

I glanced at my sleeping wife; a woman betrayed as a child who needs comfort and assurance, someone to whom she can run, who will listen and respond when the past is disturbed and rises up, like those Yellow Jackets, to swarm, give chase, and sting.

My wife has valiantly and victoriously stood up to her Goliath, yet the memory, though buried, is not entirely dead. Some memories cannot be fought with stones, sling shots or even with attorneys in hallowed courtrooms. Such demons are fought by God - the Perfect Vindicator.

I think of this and my newly resurrected ire. By God’s grace, I share this woman’s life, her past, her present her future. Our hearts eternally joined; not to be sullied by anger.

As her husband, I am to provide a place of refuge and not of turmoil. A place not of raging waters or beleaguered fields. But rather a resting place with green pastures and still waters where souls can be restored.

Selah. I think upon this and lay my anger down. It is quiet, I hear her untroubled breathing. The silent scream once again stilled.


Permission to write this given by the bravest woman I know, my wife. Who, long ago, claimed Isaiah 61
“…He has sent me . . . to comfort all who mourn . . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” to be her stalwart, her abiding faith.

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/09/07
This is an awesome story of a love so deep, it must not be sullied by anger at one too evil to even think about.
Lynda Schultz 08/09/07
May the day soon come when that which is buried will indeed be dead, never to be resurrected again. Wonderful writing.
Betty Castleberry08/10/07
Oh...my, this is powerful. The writing and descriptions are excellent. I can't imagine the anger one would feel over such a thing. Well done.
Joanne Sher 08/12/07
This made my heart ache. Wow. Amazing. Masterful. Excellent.
Joy Faire Stewart08/14/07
Beautifully written about a heart-wrenching subject. I'm sure it was a very difficult piece to write...you did it with love and dignity.
Jan Ackerson 08/14/07
Even though this is absolutely on topic, I'm putting it down as one of the most tender and touching love stories I've ever read. Just beautiful.
Catrina Bradley 08/14/07
The best I've read so far. Your story touched me in deep places; your writing pierced my heart.
Mariane Holbrook 08/15/07
This was so beautifully written that it left me speechless. The anger that rose up in you against the man who violated her was palpable. But when I finished reading I thought, "Wasn't God good to replace that horrible man in her childhood with a man such as this writer? Every wife desires one thing from her husband more than anything else: to be cherished. You cherish your wife.

You are a prince, a gift from God to the precious,needy,deserving
wife you call your own! God bless you!
Kristen Hester08/15/07
I read this a few days ago but didn't leave a comment because I was left speechless. Now, just pulling it up on my screen, I got instant chills. This is so tender and good. It touched me. Thanks!
Dee Yoder 08/15/07
What a remarkable and beautiful story of hope and love. I teared up when I read of your wife's terrible abuse at such a tender age. And I teared up again at your description of what you want to be to her as a husband. You're both testimonies of the power of God to restore what was taken and His ability to heal such deep hurts. Though she suffers still, she triumphs, too! I see your article as a wonderful tribute to your wife. And I can feel the love and respect you have for her because of it all. God bless you both for sharing this powerful story. It's one of my favorites.
Pam Carlson-Hetland08/15/07
I can only reiterate what others have said. It brought tears to my eyes and I understood the anger. You have tenderly told such a bittersweet story.
Janice Fitzpatrick08/15/07
I am wiping my eyes, this is so prescious, tender and full of love and adoration. Yes, it fits the anger genre perfectly yet it still shows God's grace, compassion and His provisions of healing.Praise the Lord for His mercy and new hope. What a wonderful story of such a horrendous ordeal-it is filled with courage and hope and spoke to my heart in such a special way. Thank you so much for sharing this Thomas. Lord bless you and your wife with a special peace,restoration and healing. It sounds like you both have began to triumph over this traumatic experience and with the Lord's help and time the shadows of painful memories will one day be erased. Thank you for being such a knight in shining armour for your partner.WOW!
Keep up with writing and expressing-it helps other readers and heals the inner pain.
Julie Arduini08/15/07
I've loved so many this week but this is the first where I have tears not just from the emotional response that is impossible to ignore, but the sheer beauty you just put to "paper." Your writing absolutely belongs in Masters. Thanks for sharing this story.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/16/07
Congratulations! This definitely deserves 1st place status. You evoked such raw emotion throughout this piece. Sadly it is a topic many of us relate to as well. Blessings to you and your wife.
Joy Faire Stewart08/16/07

Congratulations Loren, you are definately a winner!
Michelle Burkhardt08/16/07
I was really moved by this wonderful piece of writing. I can't get the image of your wife's silent scream out of my head. To know that adults that are suppose to protect did harm or even worse...did nothing. Congratulations on a well deserved win.
Seema Bagai 08/16/07
When I read this, it brought tears to my eyes. Powerful writing. Congrats!
Teri Wilson08/16/07
Loren, Congratulations. This is phenomenal,amazing. What a blessing you are to your beautiful wife. Powerful writing, yet tender at the same time. It brought me to tears. Love and blessings, Teri
TJ Nickel08/16/07
Great courage displayed in taking this on, great angle and approach to the true story, fantastic blend of reality and literary technique....Congratulations.
Sheri Gordon08/16/07
Congratulations on your 1st place. And congratulations to your wife for her bravery in life.

This is extremely well written. Your descriptions are incredible. I really "felt" every emotion with you. Wonderful job -- again.
Janice Fitzpatrick08/16/07
Way to go! 1st place awesome. When I read this last night I thought to myself that this truly deserved to place since it is so full of beauty and sentiment rising from the ashes. WOW!GREAT WRITING!
Sara Harricharan 08/16/07
What a beautiful, heart-wrenching piece. You took me for a ride on one huge emotional roller coaster, I felt goosebumps at the end. Awesome writing friend-glad I could make it to a PC to read such wonderful work. ^_^
Lisa Holloway08/16/07
I love the way you describe your wife--poetry within prose! And yes, she must be very brave to have stared it in the face and to have learned to love anyway. Powerful emotions and beautiful writing. Congratulations on your 1st place win!
Myrna Noyes08/19/07
Loren, Loren, this awesome story should be published! It is so beautifully, tenderly, compassionately written. I, too, am deeply touched by your writing and by the bravery of your wife in allowing you to share it with us. Please, thank her for me.

CONGRATULATIONS, my friend, on your totally deserved win! This is spectacular!
Laurie Walker08/20/07
Oh my, Loren, what an extraordinary piece. Myrna Joy is right - please thank your wife. It is truly through sharing our own experiences, especially the harsh ones, we are able to help others. God has placed together a perfect pair. From every word it's so easy to see just how much you need one another.
Dixie Phillips08/23/07
Riveting! Absolutely anointed of the Holy Spirit to bring healing to the broken hearted. This is one of the MOST POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL pieces I've ever read at FaithWriters. May God enlarge your writing territory and may you aid in the healing of many wounded souls who are haunted by the years of past defeats! You have found your ministry.... May God bless you!
Marilee Alvey06/24/08
Loren, I read this almost a year ago but it was just too close to home to write a comment. My son was abused when he was little by a relative. This was so well expressed. People just have no awareness how even inappropriate touching is so devastating. God has made our bodies sacred temples and when they are encroached, it touches our very souls. People just have no idea, do they? I'm thankful they've never experienced it. Wonderful writing. You inspire me!
Racheal Chand07/16/08
I loved the way this story played out. At first you question why she would be so upset and even blame the husband for not hearing her scream, but then it all starts to make sense and brings forth emotions and reaction. This was a beautiful story, very passionate and well written.