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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: The Purpose-Filled IPod
By Coleene VanTilburg


It has been ten days now since eulogizing my son Timothy. The cards are still stuffing the mailbox, the phone calls are beginning to dwindle down but the reality is numbing to my soul. The flowers from his service are starting to wilt and dry up. I bend to pick up the crinkly petals and place them in a bowl I will keep as potpourri.
I keep busy by day personalizing each thank you note, visiting with friends and journaling. I cannot really relax and especially cannot sit down and watch television. My son was quiet ill and spent a lot of time viewing TV and that is where we enjoyed our times together these last months, second guessing all the reality shows and watching a lot of football. When the evening starts to come and I have less to do, I find comfort in my IPod, listening to music shared at his service and other songs speaking to my pain and emotion. These songs remind me of Tim, remind me of God, his sovereignty and Heaven. Heaven is peaceful. Heaven is where imperfect bodies become perfect and Heaven is where God’s Amazing Grace welcomes Tim home. I listen to my IPod.
I head down the hall towards bed finally, drained from another day of grief and concerned friends. Tomorrow is Saturday and I have a day planned with my best friend and her daughter attending a women’s ministry and lunch. My husband will go to work for the first time in three weeks.
As I climb under the covers, my pillow already stained with many tears, my eyes begin to well up again as I am missing my Timmy. Those spongy little headphones go into my ears for I cannot go to sleep without my music. I listen to my IPod.
When my husband and I were planning the service, we knew without even discussing it, that music would fill Tim’s Celebration of Life. The music Tim loved, music that spoke of his pain, his frustration and music that gave hope and peace. “Swithfoot” would ask the question: “This is your life, are you who you want to be?” The music would speak of imperfection and regret, but finding “A Reason” to change, to start over, to ask forgiveness. The songs would speak of unconditional love and everlasting memories in “My Immortal.” God’s purpose was to heal Tim, just not here on Earth, but to bring him home to Paradise. My IPod sings to me. I listen. I find comfort as John Mayer laments...”Stop this train, I wanna go home...”
Sunday morning after church, I cannot find my IPod. It is not where I had left it. The charger is there, the headphones are there. My IPod is gone. For hours, I am a neurotic idiot scouring every nook and cranny for my IPod. I am crying. This IPod is a tangible item I have been holding on to so close to feel my son, to feel God’s refreshment and promise. This is now gone too. How can this happen? Why? Am I starting to go under? The fears start to overwhelm me.
I question my other son. He takes offense.
“Were there people here today?” I inquire.
“Well, yeah, maybe...you know...friends of friends of friends,” answers my son.
“Did anyone enter the house?”
“I don’t know, Mom, maybe to use the restroom.”
I am violated, angry beyond words. How can someone steal, especially my IPod. Do they not have a sense of dignity or respect?
I cannot sleep at night. I think about Tim and I pray. God sends the Comforter as I cry out to Him and He begins to bring peace in other ways. I begin to pray for the thief.
I can let all this anger continue to eat me up, or I can surrender it all to God, and let Him do His work. I begin this scenario in my mind. Wherever my IPod is, I pray only the songs come on that will pierce a heart, bring conviction and repentance. I imagine someone finding Christ’s forgiveness from listening inadvertently to my IPod. I suppose I will never find this out until I get to the other side, but I can only think of a scripture and pray to God to help me live it.
Psalm 30:5 For His anger is but a moment, His favor for a lifetime.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Pawel Spencer08/09/07
What a funny title- and what a sad story. I'm sorry for you, but thankful that you take the promises of our Lord to heart. Be strong, and stand firm. God bless you.
David Butler08/10/07
This must be the outpourings of a mother's heart - not that I've ever been a mother. :) If it's purely fictitious, well, it sure fools me, because it was so well expressed. The title drew me in as well.
One suggestion: it makes it much easier to read online if you put in more paragraphs and paragraph spaces. Keep up the good writing.
Dee Yoder 08/16/07
Colleen, again, I love your writing! It's fresh and honest and I really appreciate how open you are with your heart. I lost my late husband's Bible once, and I was upset for several days. Finally, it turned up again, and I was so grateful. When we all get to Heaven, I will run and find you so we can introduce our "guys" to each other!
Again, a great story.