Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)
TITLE: Beaten, Bare and Bewildered
By Deborah Caruso
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I’ve been wounded; I’ve been cut; I’ve been stripped of all I own, not even clothes to shelter my bleeding back. The dark renegades stripped me of my dignity.
Tiny pebbles, like daggers, dig deep into my flesh. My eyelids refuse me sight. My limbs lie here numb. What could I possibly do if others should decide to attack? What did I do to deserve this?
I lay helpless on this dark, twisted road. I pray for help. I hear footsteps! Swollen lids grant me a shadowy glance. A priest is walking by. Wait! My voice is weak. I cannot speak it out. I lay disregarded; he passes me by on the other side. Would not this man of God care to relieve my pain? If not a priest, then who would then?
Grueling hot sun making me faint, as it’s sweltering rays over bake my exposed flesh. I can scarcely breathe. I panic.
Another fellow walks by. Will this one lend a hand and pick up his fellow man? He looks my way, but just for an instant. But he, like the other, opts to leave me there lying, frightened and alone.
I sense the dark of night preparing to fall, as I lay, half dead, on this forbidding and unforgiving road. My eyes burn from a salty sea of tears. My lips are cracked and parched. I cannot speak. I cannot move. Oh that a charitable soul might come and save me from my plight.
I lose hope. I give up. I can’t go on. I close my eyes; my red, weary eyes.
I feel his touch, a gentle and loving touch. My eyes, some how open and I find myself looking at love. He has healing eyes. I feel sweet relief as this merciful one washes all of my sores, and comfort finally arrives as he pours in soothing oil. After wrapping each wound, he reaches down with mighty arms, and frees me from, what had been all day, my uneasy, stony bed. He lifts me up high, and places me gently upon a lowly colt. I black out.
I awake in a restful bed. I see a kind stranger sitting nearby.
“Where am I?” I asked the man.
“This is my inn. The good man that carried you here asked me to take good care of you.” He answered.
“Where is the man that brought me here? He saved me from perishing on the road; he healed my wounds; he lifted me up out of that ditch of despair? Where is that good man now? I would like to thank him for the loving kindness he showed me, when the others did not.”
“He had to leave for awhile, but he promised to return and pay for any additional debts that I might incur. He is due to return any day now. What did you mean, when the others did not?”
“Two other men passed me by as I lay wounded that day. They did not stop. Perhaps they thought I’d gotten my just reward, or maybe they didn’t consider my life worthy enough, or perchance they had some pressing engagement they needed to be present at. It could have been fear that kept them from reaching out, or maybe they just didn’t care. One thing I do know is that when they passed me by, it made me feel undeserving and unloved. Those two could learn a lot from the good man.”
“We all could.” Agreed the innkeeper.
“If I should ever happen upon anyone that is beaten, bare or bewildered, I will do the right thing, and do for them just as the good man did for me.”
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