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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)

TITLE: If Walls Could Talk
By Shirley Thomas
08/03/05


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Daniel Jenkins looked around the serene room and thought to himself, “If only these walls could talk. If they could tell me what she was thinking. If they could tell me something that would explain why.”

But Daniel knew the walls could not talk and there was no one else that could explain what had happened to his wife Michele. Daniel continued to look around for some clue, an answer that could tell him why Michele had decided to end her life. The suite was decorated in soft blues and yellows and the windows offered a perfect view of the North Carolina Smoky Mountains. There was a gentle waterfall that sent carressing sounds of water flowing over riveted mountain rocks.

Daniel had thought Michele’s idea of a week-end retreat alone in the mountain hills was great. He had been worried about her recent novel rejection. She had acted like it was no big deal, but he knew better. She had worked on the novel for three years and had already received six rejections. He was hoping this week-end retreat would get her recharged and ready to write again. He had been wrong. Apparently the last thing she needed was to be alone.

“What could she have been thinking?” Daniel shouted to the empty room.

“Why didn’t she trust me enough to tell me how utterly devastated she was?”

As Daniel began to pack her clothes in her overnight bag, he began to sob. The scent of her familiar perfume filled his nostrils and his mind with memories of good times with his beloved wife. A small King James Bible fell out of the pocket of her robe. He opened the bible to where a bookmark was placed and read the following underlined verses in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Daniel wasn’t sure if Michele had found that peace or not, but he had to have it. He couldn’t face the next few days without it.

He began to cry, “Lord, I need that peace, I don’t understand how our lives have come to this. Please forgive me Lord for running from you, for not putting you first in my life. You have blessed me and You died for me, please help me Lord. Help Michele, Lord, please God, help us!”

As Daniel continued to lie on the floor, he felt the peace of God consume him. The anger, the uncertainties, and the guilt began to fade as God’s love completely invaded him. He had never felt the presence of God in this way before. In spite of how things looked, Daniel knew everything was going to be okay.

His cell phone began to ring and he knew instantly it was about Michele. He was needed back at the hospital immediately. As he drove the 45 miles to the hospital he kept his mind focused on God and His peace. When he arrived at the hospital, the nurses immediately called Dr. Wilson, who had been Michele’s physician all of her adult life.

“Daniel, it’s a miracle! Michele is awake, she’s alert and all of her tests show she’s going to be okay physically. She’s feeling guilty about the suicide attempt and she’s worried about you. I’ve called my pastor and a Christian counselor; they’re both on their way. She’s going to need a lot of love and she’s going to need your support and forgiveness. Can you do that Daniel?”

“Dr. Wilson, if God can forgive me, I know I can forgive Michele. I need to ask her to forgive me, too. I didn’t understand how desperate she had become. We’ll get through this; we’ll go to counseling, or whatever it takes. God will be first in our lives from this point on.”

Daniel went to see Michele. She was sitting up and reading a bible. She began to cry as she reached for Daniel. Simultaneously they asked each other for forgiveness. Michele said, “Daniel, I felt like such a failure. I felt like I had let you down. But after I took the pills, I began to read the bible and I knew that God didn’t see me as a failure, but it was too late by then. I had already taken the pills.”

“But it’s not too late, Michele.”

They both began to thank God for another chance.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Tisha Martin08/08/05
This entry brought tears to my eyes. A beafutiful picture you've created here of love, hopelessness, and the pursuit of finding life again to live. Thank you!
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/08/05
Good twist with finding out halfway through the story that Michele was alive. Good job!
Brandi Roberts08/09/05
I liked this! What a beautiful ending to a sad beginning. :) Thanks for sharing!
Debra Brand08/10/05
Good entry. 'When he continued to lie on the floor' when I thought he was still upright, confused me as a reader.
Sandra Snowden08/10/05
It is a sweet commentary but I don't see the relationship to retreating? Was Michele retreating from life by taking her life? Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story. Blessings
dub W08/11/05
Good story - watch out for the compounding of adverbs - I liked the pace of this work.
Beth Muehlhausen08/11/05
I guess I assumed too early that she had died - what a relief! I was encouraged by their joint confession and submission to God. Good job.
Julianne Jones08/13/05
Only yesterday I learnt that someone I knew had commited suicide - she didn't have a second chance. I was pleased however when I realised you had given Michele a second chance, and how wonderful to know that we all have a second chance because of Christ's sacrifice. Thanks for sharing and for tackling a difficult topic.