Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Encouragement (02/23/12)
TITLE: The Silent Tears
By Shanta Richard
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Jennifer placed the tea-tray in front of Roxanne. Her heart broke with compassion for her dear friend. She was lost for words. She had never married and was incapable of feeling the deep agony of loosing a spouse and son. Silently Roxanne took the cup of tea and sipped the hot liquid. She did not feel like drinking but she was forcing herself for Jennifer’s sake.
Day by day Roxanne’s condition worsened. Jennifer was appalled at her appearance. Dark circles around her eyes stood out on her pale face. Her hair hung limp and disorderly. Her blue eyes were blank and glassy.
‘O, dear God’ Jennifer silently prayed, ‘give me the right words to console and encourage my friend. Guide me to do the right things to bring her out of this cocoon of grief into the world of hope and faith. Change her back into the happy butterfly that she used to be. Please send a ray of Your sunshine into her heart to awaken the faith that lies dormant there’.
She knew God could do it. Had He not done it for Job when he lost everything? Had He not done it for David when he lost everything at Ziklag? So she trusted and prayed.
One evening Jennifer and Roxanne sat on the bench in the garden watching the sun set behind the trees. It was quiet and calm. The crickets were starting to tune up their wings in preparation for their nightly chorus. A lone Canadian goose honked his way across the darkening sky. A cool breeze rustled through the tree tops. Jennifer felt so utterly hopeless and useless. For nearly ten days she had been with Roxanne trying to help, but to no avail. In desperation she lifted Roxanne’s limp hand to her lips and kissed it. The sorrow and frustration that she had been holding back all these days broke out in uncontrollable sobs and a flood of tears.
Then it happened. Roxanne opened her arms and cradled Jennifer’s head on her breast. Jennifer felt her warm tears on her cheek. The cocoon had burst and a compassionate Roxanne had emerged to comfort her friend. Locked in each other’s arms, the two cried until their grief was all spent.
‘Don’t cry, Jennifer’, Roxanne whispered through her tears. ‘I am sorry for being so selfish, and being absorbed only in my sorrow and not realizing how much I was hurting you. You have been such a friend to me. You never tried to console, to lecture or to scold me. You were there just for me, encouraging me with you kind presence and your silent tears. A thousand words could not have given me the solace you have given me. I thank God for you my friend. It is getting dark. Let us go in and turn the lights on and have some supper.’
Jennifer smiled as all her prayers for Roxanne were now answered. She knew that from now on Roxanne will be on the mend. She thanked God and prayed that He would continue to give her strength and guidance to enable her to face the future with courage and hope. Her heart sang the words of the Negro National Anthem:
‘God of our weary years, God of our silent tears
Thou who hast brought us thus far on our way
Thou who has by Thy might led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path we pray.’
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