Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)
TITLE: Light The Corners Of My Mind
By Lance Wilson, Sr.
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A single candle casts a dim glow around the rough hewn table. A bowl of boiled meat and lentils releases it’s fragrance and causes the old man’s mouth to salivate. This was Martha’s recipe. She would make it whenever the Master would visit. And if he played his cards right he could get her to make for him from time to time.
In the candles dim glow he could see her moving through the house cleaning and fussing and cleaning some more. She was a large woman but she move with the grace and speed of someone fifty pounds lighter. He missed her.
A gentle breeze blew through the window and the cracks of the door causing the flame to flicker and then die out. The old man was enveloped in darkness. His gnarled hand raised the wooden spoon and scooped out a generous helping of the stew. He chewed slowly savoring each bite and tasting each herb and spice. He liked the darkness. It was comforting. Still he remembered a time when it wasn’t.
He was much younger then maybe thirty quite possibly twenty seven or eight. It had been the Summer and he had suddenly taken sick. At first he thought it was over exertion. His whole body ached. Martha fussed at him for not resting when he had the chance and made him go to bed that afternoon. He slept but did not rest. When he opened his eyes there was Mary at his bedside smiling at him sweetly and stroking his hand. Martha’s cooking filled the air with aroma. “I love you both, so very much.” He said. Martha turned at the sound of his voice. She smiled at him.
Then he closed his eyes and died!
That darkness was quite different from the darkness brought about by the breeze. That darkness was ominous and complete. He had no sense of time, nor did he feel the goings on about his body. He was only aware, painfully so, of the separation from his sister’s.
There was something else within the blackness. Something that was close malevolent. Something that seemed to be straining to be loosed! He had no voice to cry out, no hands to lift up in defense. He was spirit and the presence was equally so.
He suddenly thought of the Master! His gentle hands, calloused from years of carpentry, would caress his whenever they would greet each other. The Master’s brown eyes would dance with joy when he would smile or laugh. And then his teaching . . . ah the sweetness of his teaching!
At once he felt calm and sad at the same time! Would he ever see him again? Would he ever feel his touch? Would he ever hear his deep and comforting voice?
This last thought was followed by the strangest feeling. He would tell others later that he felt as though he were a fish caught in a net that was being dragged through rough seas. He had a sense of going backwards. Slowly at first then with speed that was indescribable. The darkness around him lightened to a deep grey. And his backward motion stopped!
Again he could not tell how long he waited in this grey area. As he existed there he wondered what would happen next. That was when he heard the Master’s voice!
“Lazurus! Come forth!” Jesus said.
He neither yelled nor did he whisper the command. He made the statement the way one would say ‘Good Morning’.
Lazurus was compelled to obey! He turned toward the sound and moved with the smoothness of smoke. There was light and a overwhelming feeling of heaviness. He opened his eyes and was looking into the sunlight through linen wraps. “Loose him . . .” Jesus said.
Then there were hands frantically unwrapping him from his linen tomb. His sister’s stood in front of him weeping for joy. Jesus’ smile glowed through the evening sun. His heart beat with a renewed vitality.
He was born again!
That was . . . thirty years ago! Yet the memory was a fresh as though it had happen yesterday. His stew was nearly done and the darkness was deeper. He sighed with satisfaction and the knowledge that he would soon see Jesus and Mary and Martha and they would embrace as family once again.
Leaning into the small fire that warmed the hanging pot, he withdrew a thin twig and re light the candle.
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