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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

TITLE: Pain and Pursuit
By Paula Titus


He slammed the door behind him. He would have no more use for her. His heart pounded in time with his footsteps. With clenched jaw and fist he walked toward the old tree where they had spent many hours together. He pounded the thick trunk with his fists.

“Oh God, why has she done this?” His cry sliced through the heavy night air. He watched the warm breath escape from his lips carrying his plea toward the heavens. Leaning against the tree his eyes searched the starry sky, waiting for a response. Heavy silence surrounded him. Head in hands, he slid down the tree trunk finding a seat on the cold ground.

Aaron approached, “Joe, are you sleeping?” He asked, bending over to get a better look.

“I’m not asleep, just thinking.”

“Are you alright? Care to take a walk with me?” Aaron asked

“I’m afraid my life will never be alright again.” Joe shook his head.

“What has happened Joe? Tell me if there is something I can do.”

“Can you cease this terror in my soul? Can you tell me the girl who I love to hold has not been in the arms of another man?” Joe stood to face Aaron. He whispered, “Can you erase her memory from my mind?”

Aaron stood silently, turning his gaze toward the ground. Joe placed his hands on Aaron’s shoulders. “Her betrayal has left me as empty as a corpse. I don’t understand any of this.” He peered into Aaron’s eyes, searching for an answer that might satisfy.

“I’m sorry Joe, are you sure about this? Everyone knows how much she loves you, this must be a mistake.”

“I’m sure.”

“What are you going to do?” Aaron asked

“The only thing I can do. Divorce her.” A single tear spilled over his cheek. “Please don’t tell anyone about this, I will handle it privately.” Joe turned and began walking toward his home. “I’m going to try and get some sleep.”

“I will pray for you tonight my friend, and tomorrow I will come to see you.” Aaron bid Joe goodbye.

Joe found the path to his bed, and after many hours of restless memories mingled with tormented imaginings, he found the path to sleep. This wasn’t just any kind of sleep however; this sleep held the key that unlocked the door to his grieving soul and entered an angel from the Lord.

Through the midst Joe watched the angel in his dream. He was standing on a high hill surrounded by a field of shepherds watching over their sheep. Above the angel was a brilliant star that lit the entire hill. In the angels left hand he held a scroll the color of gold, in his right hand a crown that dripped blood. The blood formed a stream beside him that flowed down the hill to the field. The sheep drank from the stream as the shepherds kept guard.

Joe was frightened by what he saw, but as the angel of the Lord began to speak a sweet calmness overtook him. His voice was like the sound of rushing waters that emptied into the heart of Joseph and spilled over into eternity.

“Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Joe awoke from his sleep suddenly, greeted by the booming thunder and flashes of lightening that lit up the room. He rolled from his bed and lay prostrate on the cold floor. “Oh my God you have revealed to me this mystery and breathed new life into my spirit. I am ashamed for what I have done. Let me go to Mary now and tell her what I’ve heard.”

Joe ran from his home into the pouring rain. He laughed out loud as he relished in his new found joy. In bare feet he followed the road to his love’s dwelling, and with an obedient heart he followed the road to a lifetime of dwelling with God.

Bible Quote – KJV Mat 1:20b-23

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This article has been read 653 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 11/18/07
Wow! You did an EXCELLENT job of telling this story in a VERY unique way - it took me quite a bit to figure out who these characters were. Great job.
Seema Bagai 11/18/07
Awesome story. I loved the descriptions and tone of this piece. One of the best I've read this week.
Marita Vandertogt11/18/07
Hey - I never clued in till the end as to who the characters were - good writing!! Well done!
Dee Yoder 11/19/07
Very good story. You were able to keep me in suspense and wondering who the main characters were long into the story. Great characterization of Joseph!
Deborah Engle 11/19/07
Excellent writing! I never looked at this story from this perspective, but it must have been encouraging for both of them to have such a revelation.
Yvonne Blake 11/19/07
I liked your descriptions in the first paragraph. The dialogue was a bit awkward, because people use contractions in their speech. Also, in the middle you use the phrase "found a path" twice in the same paragraph.
You definitely surprised me. I didn't realize that it was Joseph until the dream. Good job!
Beth LaBuff 11/19/07
Very nice work on this! I really liked the dream sequence especially where the crown dripped blood that flowed into a stream and the sheep drank from the stream. You've added a lot of symbolic theology here. I like it!