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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

By Jorge VanSlyke


Everything was pitch black but her feet had minds of their own and she followed, mesmerized, irresistibly drawn towards the sound that could have been conjured by her own heart from its deepest recesses.

The sudden brightness temporarily blinded her and it took a moment for her to fully comprehend what she was seeing. The astounding sight was swiftly replaced with longing too painful to be contained that it jolted her awake.

It was the same dream over and over again. What she was deprived of in real life seemed to overflow in her subconscious but instead of filling the void, it left her raw and emotionally abraded, the irony of it clawed incessantly at the bleeding chasm in her soul.

Yes, she was a doctor, a well-known obstetrician at that. And no, it was a medical impossibility for her to nurture even one precious life in her womb. And the 1% hope that she was left with withered permanently as the result of the third artificial insemination remained futile.

Newborns greet her everyday and her dream, the dream wherein a myriad of perfect little babies, aisle after aisle, cooing and gurgling with excitement, clamoring for her attention, the same anguish-filled dreams welcome her at night. The irony of her situation was inescapable.

She never understood the cruel joke that God was playing on her. She had always obeyed, had never ceased in her walk with Him, through ups and downs, had plowed relentlessly forward, but this time, it seemed easier to give in to the bog that was swallowing her than fight for release.

Dawn was breaking when she decided to go ahead and get dressed. Andrew, her husband, gently cajoled her to come with him to his sister’s birthday party which will be held at a non-profit welfare agency that her sister-in-law has been supporting for a couple of years now.

They were the first ones to come. They were warmly welcomed by the agency director and were offered a tour around the vicinity. The final stop was the nursery and upon hearing the words, her ears buzzed and everything seemed to cease. She did not even feel her husband’s touch as he propelled her towards the pink door. Everything became dark and she was led, mesmerized, at the sounds coming from the other side. This time, though, she was not jolted awake, and the mist of surrealism was centered at the pink door that was slowly being opened.

Right before her eyes were three rows of cribs with children varying from infant to toddler years. However, instead of being for sale as was in her dream, these were perfect little babies that were relinquished for unfathomable reasons, at least for her, who knew what it was like to carry the yoke of barrenness.

Rows after rows of perfect babies clamored for her attention, all except one, a little boy, not more than six months, who was too sick, too frail, to even know what was going on. He had burnt marks all over his body that were barely healed and one eye was closed and blinded. Isaiah was found inside a shoe box, amidst the decay of a dump site, with the cover askew thereby exposed him to direct sunlight and cigarette stubs thrown carelessly among the squalor that surrounded him.

Torrents of undecipherable emotions threatened to topple her equanimity. A strong invisible force made her gingerly touch the tiny, wrinkled fingers, before moving to his palms. Isaiah’s hand fluttered, then slowly, assuredly, grasped her forefingers with such strength that filled her with wonder. She did not even realize that tears were pouring down her cheeks and that she was sobbing quietly. She knew then, with absolute conviction that God’s grace was abounding as she felt herself being pulled out of the mire of sorrow by the tiny infant’s grasp. Her profound need has found its match with the little boy’s.

Six months later, Isaiah’s adoption was finalized.

And her heart overflowed with praises for the Lord who led her son back home where he belonged.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne03/09/07
Everybody is breaking my heart today. But that's good. God said we need a broken spirit. Very good story. I hope it is true, except for the sadness.
Loretta Leonard03/11/07
I loved the way that you expressed the inner feelings of someone who has struggled to have a child. Children are a blessing and we need to be reminded of that. Although somewhat melancholic, you have covered the topic very well. Difficulty brings happiness if you will allow God to open your eyes. Good insights!
Patty Wysong03/12/07
That was wonderful! You drew me in and kept me reading clear through to the end. Good job!
Donna Powers 03/14/07
Oh, this is so wonderful. My heart was so touched by this story and the description of Isaiah and his God-sent mother. What a beautiful tale. Super job!
Mo 03/14/07
Wow, well done.
Deborah Porter 03/20/07
Jorge ... is this based on a true story? It moved me to tears. I hope you'll keep entering the Challenge. You write well, and I see a lot of potential.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator and Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine).