Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)
TITLE: Never Alone
By Dave Kissling
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But when the cool night ended, the muggy daytime began, which carried problems of its own. She had to fend for her own food, entertain herself, and watch for wild animals. Whereas the constant dripping of bowing leaves had seemed charming to her at first, now it only magnified her loneliness. Would the rain ever stop?
As the suns peeked through the few holes in the foliage canopy, Shawnee reflected how she wished her family had never taken that pleasure trip through this solar system in the family runabout. Most of the worlds they had encountered they could never land on, only admire from afar. When they had found this planet, it had seemed so inviting, so Earth-like, that Shawnee’s father had decided to venture in and make a day of exploring.
How were they to know other men had crashed here? Desperate men who would ambush innocent people and force them to take off with them. Shawnee had escaped, barely dodging their fire, but now she even wished for the risk of life dealing with these men. Seeing her runabout take off without her had made Shawnee’s heart sink. She began to cry, wailing and sobbing out of her broken heart. Then came the prayers, accusatory at first.
"O God, how could You let this happen to me? What did I ever do to deserve this? Why did you abandon me to die?"
But then the prayers gradually changed. "God, please protect my family. Help them overpower the pirates who kidnapped them. And rescue me from this place."
Now Shawnee sneezed, then moaned. "Oh great, now I’m catching cold. I was afraid that would happen, and me without medicine. Lord, if I must die here, let me die peacefully. Don’t let pneumonia or anything else make me suffer before You take me. Give me peace."
An unusual warmth filled her soul, far different from the increasing forest heat. Her heart glowed with the assurance that God would be with her even in death. Her circumstances were still hopeless, her hunger still real, the dampness still made her hair and clothes cling to her. But these no longer mattered.
"This must be Your peace, Lord. I’ve never felt Your personal peace before. I’ve never prayed for it before. Lord, if I must live here another day or two before I die, so be it. I know You are here with me, no matter what."
Her being finally at ease, Shawnee stood and ambled out of the cave, hugging the post of her lean-to as though it were an old friend. She sneezed, then chuckled a little as she wiped her nose. The drooping trees were the same. The hanging lianas. The glimpses of monkeys in the trees. The colorful plumage of birds that flapped low enough for her to see. And suddenly it was HER forest. Her vines, her trees, her pets. This was her home. Whether she lived or died, this would be her fondest memory.
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