Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Search Engine( 10/06/11)
By Lori Othouse
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Kayla had always dreamed of getting married, as any good church girl should. Or so she was told. Through the years, her heart had been broken a time or two but then she found the one. He was charming and good-looking and fun. Oh yes, and he went to church every Sunday. There was this strange tone in his voice that she heard on occasion, but, hey, nobody’s perfect, right?
They were married and settled into the life she always dreamed of - the husband, house, and happily ever after. Things were good for a while, then that occasional tone began to be more of a regular tone. It was hard to describe, actually, like a combination of condescension, disapproval and anger, in varying degrees of each. And when it escalated to blatant insults and yelling, she cried herself to sleep more than not.
Disillusionment clouded her soul. Was it him? Was it her? Was she just crazy? He said he loved her, but crushed her over and over again. Held her close, but looked right through her. She was left to deal with the pain and confusion on her own and her dream began to unravel into a nightmare.
Growing up, she thought that being single and lonely was the saddest state a person could be in. She knew now that being married and lonely was even worse…
Looking back at the screen, Kayla’s expression hardened. Why shouldn’t she? After the way he treated her, did he deserve any better? Sure, two wrongs don’t make a right, but then sometimes nothing makes it right.
She began typing – ‘find love’, ‘dating sites’ and ‘looking for love’. Each time the search engine immediately pulled up several pages of sites promising true love. She clicked one, not sure of what to do next.
It seemed very easy to find exactly what she wanted. Narrowing her eyes, she clicked away at what she was looking for – male, 30-40 years old, easygoing, sense of humor... After clicking ‘Submit’, she waited. It was searching. Searching for just the right man. The one who would treat her right, talk decent to her and…truly love her.
She looked back at the screen. Still searching…
Did it really take this long? Aimlessly, she scrolled down the page. A bright red link caught her eye: ‘Searching for Love? Try Jesus’.
Kayla smirked, “Sorry, but ‘Sinless Savior of the world’ wasn’t a category I could choose from.”
She felt a stab of conviction at her sarcasm. Something she hadn’t felt in quite a while. She still loved God, but things were just so bad right now. Besides, He didn’t seem to be doing a whole lot to help her, anyway. You’d think the God of the Universe might have a little compassion and at least nod her way now and then. Do something about this mess. You know, be all those things He said He was, instead of just-
Kayla froze. The voice of her thoughts had a strange tone. A tone she had grown to hate. Dear Lord, it was her husband’s. And she was using it with God.
Tears came to her eyes as the conviction hit even harder. Her Savior and First Love, and she had completely left Him out of the equation. Then treated Him with contempt for not rushing to her immediate rescue. And here she was, sinfully searching for true love, when it was hers all along.
She bowed her head, whispering a prayer of repentance as her tears fell freely. Slowly, she could feel the enormous weight of her pain being lifted and His sweet arms of peace around her. Maybe she wasn’t as alone as she thought. The future may be uncertain, but the One who holds it wasn’t. And, at that moment, that was all she needed.
Looking up, Kayla noticed that the screen had displayed several pictures of available men and in big letters, the phrase, ‘Search Complete!’
Kayla blinked through her tears and smiled, turning off the screen.
Yes, it is.
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