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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)

TITLE: I Pray the Lord My Soul to Wake
By Marsha Landers
08/13/08


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Although Mrs. Redmond is in her seventies, she retains her natural brown hair slightly teased in the style of years ago. She is still slender and attractive. Her posture is perfect and her smile is ready. She is a regal woman, a true Southern woman. Hospitality is her gift, now unused. Before, she welcomed all who came to her door. Whether it was family, friend, or laborer she was ready to offer good conversation, a glass of cold sweet tea, and a chair on which to rest.

Her husband, Mr. Jasper, lovingly calls her Miss Sylvia. It has become “her name” and when spoken, it is with affection and even reverence. Although Mr. Jasper and Miss Sylvia have been married all their adult lives, they would say it has not been nearly long enough. Mr. Jasper still treats her as if they are courting. He stands aside as she passes through the doorway he opens, smelling her perfume as she walks by. He pulls out her chair and as he bends, he catches the fragrance of her favorite shampoo. He holds her hand as they walk, protecting her as they cross a street. He smiles at his good fortune, to be married to such a fine Christian woman. She brings happiness to his life. She completes him.

Miss Sylvia is now resting in her bed, her eyes closed because there is no need to open them. She is in the dark. She has been involuntarily hiding for over two years, and no one can seem to find her. It has been so long that she cannot remember the way home and, by now, she is incoherent as she calls for rescue. Weak and drained from her experience, she normally just sits or lies quietly. She sees faces of strangers in her dreams and sometimes wonders if she should know them. They come so often, but she will not allow her time be wasted guessing who they are. She is seeking “the one” who knows the way home.

The family determinedly seeks her. They pray daily for her restoration and remain a constant at her side. They are with her as her weaken state and endeavor to come from the hiding place within takes its payment. A traumatic seizure forces life to flee her body. Responding is her Prince Charming who restores her soul with a mouth-to-mouth kiss and wakes her to reality.

Reality brings her those she thought to be strangers in her dreams. She now knows they are her precious Mr. Jasper, loving daughters, Lynn and Samantha, and devoted son, John. When Mr. Jasper tells her he loves her, she speaks intelligently for the first time in two years and tells him she loves him too. The grown daughters are giddy as young girls as they hear their mother speak their names and ask them about their families. She assures John, who always wonders if she is in pain, that she is not in pain and has not been. The family weeps with joy, laughs with love, and cheers the day God bestow her return upon them. John cherishes every minute because he recognizes a gift from God when he sees it. He knows God is offering this moment to ease his troubled mind of wondering if his mother is in pain. He knows God is giving his sisters the time they need to reassure her of their love, devotion, and thanks for being the best mother in the world. He knows God is giving his dad the comfort of a last hug, a reciprocated kiss, and eye recognition of unending love and devotion. He knows God is giving his mother brief freedom from her dark hiding place, the opportunity to look and really see the love her life has fashioned, and one more chance to etch the images of their faces in her mind. He knows God is giving the family a blessing they will always cherish and never forget.

The day passes quickly and Miss Sylvia sleeps. Morning comes and she is gone, back to the internal darkness that hides her. Astonishingly, she does not feel alone anymore. Although it is unknown if she will wake again in this lifetime, the family persistently seeks her. The Lord’s promise, “seek and you will find”, comforts them; knowing the days of hide and seek will finally be over when He decides to call, “Olly, Olly, Oxen Free”.


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Sunny Loomis 08/15/08
Wonderful love story. Very good descriptions of the attention the husband gives to his bride. I'm glad she came to for a day or so to allow the whole family to be together. Nicely done.