Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)
TITLE: Calm the Dismal Night
By Wayne Harris
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It is dark inside the tent. Every time a loud sound disrupts the solitude in the desert, I make sure my rifle is close. A whirlwind of fear gyrates in my heart. Will I die in the desert? I wonder.
My hands will not stop shaking. I say to myself, “Calm down”. I try to expunge the images that pop up without warning. I see mother greeting the death notification officer and the chaplain. I shake my head and say, “Stop it! Stop it now!”
There is an explosion outside. A guard peeks into the tent. “It’s okay. It’s off in the distance.”
My heart is coming out of my chest. I would love to run. I need to go home. I have seen too much. When Private Snake Sadler died, I almost came unglued. He was my best friend. Al-Qaeda exploded the device that killed my friend. He was only 19.
Even the chaplain cried when we honored Snake. “Snake was a great soldier,” the chaplain had repeated at least three times during the memorial service. Snake was a great person, too. I will never forget that wide smile and those crooked teeth. I miss his humor. He was a practical jokester. His death really rocked my world.
This tent is too dark. Where is my flashlight? Where is that Bible the chaplain gave me after Snake died? Maybe I can find some peace. Maybe Jesus will help calm me. “Please. Jesus. Please. Take away this anxiety.”
“Where are you flashlight? Oh, there you are. Now, where was it that the chaplain told me to read? Ah, here it is. Philippians 4:6-7. ‘Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.’”
“Lord, fill me with peace. Help me, Lord. Ease my mind. Help me get through another dismal night. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
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