Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)
By Chris Janzen
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The day was April 20th, 1999, and the horrific events at Columbine High School were unfolding before her eyes. The news grew worse with each passing hour, and every channel was covering it in all its gruesome detail.
She turned the TV off and tried to rest. She was so exhausted, but as she lay in her bed she could hear two voices in the hall saying, “...they found more bodies in the library.”
Sarah squeezed the covers tightly and began to pray. “Why Lord? Why would they do this? They were just kids...like me, still in high school. How could this happen, God?” Sarah cried into her pillow, trying desperately to understand.
She remembered the poem, “The Wasteland,” by T.S. Eliot, she had studied in English class just a few days prior; “April is the cruelest month....breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with Spring rain.”
“April is the worst month ever,” she thought, “this awful thing had to happen on the day my baby was born. This will always be the focus instead of my sweet little girl's special day.”
This is not how she imagined the birth of her baby. She wasn't sure what she'd expected. She certainly never planned to find herself pregnant at 17. She didn't expect the boyfriend she loved with all her heart to run scared when he found out. Most of all, she never, ever thought her parents would react so harshly and be so judgmental when she told them.
She felt like she was in a waste land; so cold and empty. Shouldn't she be happy? She'd just taken part in a miracle; brought a healthy baby into the world.
Sarah had always tried to find the good in things, but where was the good in this? She was alone and scared.
“How am I going to do this Lord? The parents of those boys in Colorado really screwed them up. I don't want my kid to end up like that.”
She heard a knock at the door and a smiling nurse peeked in and said, “You have a visitor.” As her baby girl was placed in her arms she felt so many swirling emotions. She loved this baby so much already...but she was so afraid.
For nine long months they had been growing together, and now her baby was here...with her, looking up at her, depending on her. She felt an overwhelming urge to protect this child from all the ugliness in the world. But how?
As Sarah nursed her baby, she flipped the TV back on. A news show was talking about one of the girls involved in the shootings. Her name was Cassie, and she had apparently been killed when one of the gunmen asked her if she believed in God. She said, “Yes I do,” and the trigger was pulled.
Christians and others were hailing this girl as a hero and martyr. Sarah hugged her baby tight. “Oh Lord, bless that girl's family and give them peace. You are the God of all comfort, please comfort them now. I can't even imagine what they are going through. Please help all the ones who are hurting right now.”
She felt the Lord speaking to her... “It's all right, I'm always going to be with you. I was with Cassie and all those other kids, and I'll be with you and your little girl. After all, I'm the One who gave her to you. You know I would never give you more than you could handle. Your baby could turn out to be like that girl. You have no idea the amazing plans I have for her.” You can do this with My help.”
A little later Sarah and the baby were ready to go. She had decided to go again to her parents and ask for their help. She gave her tiny daughter a kiss and said, “You're so precious, they could never say no when they see you, Cassie.”
She thanked God again for her healthy and beautiful child, held her head high, and walked out into the warm April sunshine. She smiled as she thought, “April is definitely my favorite month.”
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