Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)
TITLE: Morning Times
By Thomas OBrien
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This is his time with God, the time when he prays, sometimes on his knees, sometimes remaining reclined, a time when he thanks God and talks to Him, a time when he reads his Bible.
There was a time though he dreaded this hour, what its silence evoked. Yet, it is where God met him one morning amidst his sadness, self loathing, and despair. “You didn’t help Joseph when he needed it,” echoed in Phillip’s head, as he lay there swallowing darkness. “The signs were there, the cutting of the hair, the long periods of time hanging out by himself in his room, the quitting of school. You gave him your sixteen year old toughen up speech instead, and he ends up in the psych ward. If you had paid more attention and been a better brother, he wouldn’t be schizophrenic now. And do you remember when he was in the hospital out in nowhere land, how he begged you to sneak him out in your van and you wouldn’t.”
“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” Phillip recited, trying to erase the dialogue and images, now swirling about inside his head. They remained. It was then though, a kind of warmth is what Phillip could only describe it as, permeated his head, his whole being. Words accompanied. “You were only sixteen, you didn’t understand...Repent of this shame you have been holding onto. Forgive yourself. I have forgiven you.”
Phillip continues staring at the orange sun. He watches as it rises, feels the warmth of its light. Suddenly he reflects on a memory of long ago. It is he at sixteen years of age with his brother Joseph. No longer does he feel its weight. He prays for Joseph. Later he calls him, says to him, “I love you.”
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