Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: The Depth of His Love
By Cathy Kane
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Kara clutched the thin blanket tightly as she lay stiffly on the metal frame hospital bed. Anticipation and dread gripped her as she stared at the door, waiting for the doctor to arrive. She felt as if she had been waiting for hours, but how could she know for sure? She had left her watch at home. Without a clock on the wall or windows in the room, only her rumbling stomach signaled that rush hour traffic outside was inching along the busy city streets.
She had been through this before, Kara reminded herself. It had always been a simple procedure. She had been back to work the next day, with no one the wiser!
“Just some unwanted tissue removal,” the counselor had assured her.
This time was only slightly different. In total denial of her circumstances, Kara had let five months pass by with no action on her part.
“Second trimester,” the counselor had said a little more soberly. “The procedure is more expensive. You may experience some pain. You may have to miss a couple of days of work. But it’s still safe and legal.”
“The best choice, of course!” she had added, reassuringly.
My only choice, Kara thought. I would have to quit my job if the truth were known. I’d be too embarrassed to face my co-workers. And my family! I could never tell my parents and my grandma and my brothers and sisters!
“I am doing the right thing!” Kara said aloud, taking courage from her own words.
The door swung open and a tall, young doctor breezed in with a nurse in tow.
“Did they tell you this would hurt?” he asked casually.
Kara nodded. She had hated needles ever since she was a kid! The counselor had explained that a large needle was involved. Kara was willing to endure anything to get out of this mess!
The doctor picked up a long, wide syringe that was filled with an amber fluid. With a steady hand, he slowly plunged the needle into Kara’s abdomen.
Kara bit her bottom lip, as sharp pain seared her very being. At last, the process had begun.
The contractions lasted for hours. A nurse’s aide discovered that the IV in Kara’s right arm had shifted. Kara watched with alarm as her arm and hand became numb and swollen.
Kara could hear moans and cries coming from other rooms down the hallway.
“It must be after midnight, now,” she murmured wearily. “And I’m surely running a fever. Will this never end?”
Finally, a nurse came in and smiled at Kara. It seemed like such a long time since anyone had smiled at her. Everyone here was so clinical and impersonal. The nurse lifted the covers and checked Kara briefly.
“It won’t be long now,” she said. “Come with me.”
The nurse helped Sara out of bed and positioned her over an open commode.
“Now, push!” she instructed. “Push hard!”
Kara felt a temporary relief as she heard a splash in the water below her. Gazing down, she saw a small, perfectly formed …. fetus. Yes, that’s what it was. Not really a baby, just a fetus, she told herself.
“I don’t want to see that!” Kara cried, looking up anxiously.
“Go back to bed,” the nurse smiled wryly. “I’ll clean up.”
Kara climbed into bed. She tried to sleep. Her ordeal was finally over. She should be full of peace, not intense sorrow and shame. Kara could deceive herself no longer. She had just been directly confronted with the consequences of her sinful lifestyle.
“Oh, God,” she prayed to the One she had long ago disavowed. “What have I done? Can you ever forgive me?”
The triumphant final note of the praise service pulled Kara out of her reverie. Her handsome husband of thirty years walked up to the pulpit and opened his Bible. She smiled softly as she thought of their ministry together. From youth groups to nursing homes, in jails and on the street corners, with hurting people everywhere, they had shared the redemptive gospel of Jesus Christ. Kara had experienced first hand this saving grace.
Even after all of these years, Kara still pondered the mystery. Who can fathom the depth of His love?
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