Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)
TITLE: Radical Ceasing
By Ken Grant
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“Hey!” A plaintive voice cried out.
I stumbled and almost fell, but I regained my balance just in time. I looked back to see what I had stumbled over and saw a well-worn blanket lifting up to expose a young woman underneath. She looked at me with those eyes that tell a story and hers was clearly one of deep pain and abandonment.
“I’m trying to sleep here!” She screamed.
My adrenaline immediately turned into fury. My mind filled with thoughts of anger, frustration, hatred, and any number of other negative emotions. She was literally a bump in my road and I had no time for her. She looked at me for a moment before burying herself back underneath her protective cocoon. It was my opportunity. I had the right to walk away and go about whatever necessary things I had to accomplish. But those eyes wouldn’t let me. She had invited me into her pain, if even for a short moment, and that had made all the difference. I carefully walked over to where the form slowly moved up and down. I bent down, began to touch the blanket, stopped, and whispered, “I want to help you.”
The world around me slowed down. I looked about at the trees, the birds, the joggers, the people pushing strollers, the children playing, and a thousand other things that I hadn’t seen just moments before. They had been there, of course, but my mind had been too preoccupied to see them.
“What do you want?” The blanket lifted and the young woman stared at me again with those eyes. Her words were pushing me away, but her eyes still held hope.
“I want to help you.” I stammered out the words. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I sensed it had something to do with rescuing my soul.
“Leave me alone.” The words didn’t have the same venom this time.
“I won’t leave you.” I felt as though God was speaking the words through me.
“Nobody cares about me.”
It was a fair question. What was I doing there? Why had I stopped? I stopped because I needed to see. In the middle of the park I needed to remember that God had made me for more that just accomplishing a list of tasks. He had made me to show his love to a young woman who needed to know that someone cares. I merely said, “God cares about you very much.”
She smiled a weak smile. It was most likely all she had within her. “Thank you.” She replied before returning to her cocoon.
I stood up and went my way. It wasn’t a miracle, but it was miraculous. I was no longer rushing, but resting, in a whole new way.
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