Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)
TITLE: Sacred Delight
By Angela Moore-Duck
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Push, push, push - day after endless day. She forced her body to go through the motions required….working, eating, paying the never-ending bills. Her strength came only from the weakness of cowardice, afraid to just end it all.
“Eternal nothingness would surely be easier”, she reckoned. “Every time I try to rise the pressure pushes me down again”.
It was always there, that oppressive Thumb on her head. Sometimes it let her get almost to her feet, to see a glimmer of hope, before it pushed her flat once more. Car repairs, home repairs, and doctor bills – they all lurked around the corner waiting for their turn to depress. Each day was the same as she crawled along, scabs ripped from her knees, fingernails dirty and broken.
Finally, in the evening she pulled herself up the steps and found a few hours relief mid-way through a pint of Jim Beam. For a while, she didn’t feel the Thumb oppressing her. In the darkness of Jim’s spirit, the loitering shadows blended in and disappeared. But they always re-emerged. Sometimes they even brought their friend, Hangover.
Still it seemed worth it for a few hours of peace. And strength. Jim was always full of power and willing to share. Until Hangover showed up, then Jim became only a silhouette. But she could hear them laughing as she kneeled before the porcelain throne. Jim and Hangover were well acquainted. As the years passed, she began to realize they were also in partnership with the Thumb.
One morning with her head in the toilet and Hangover hovering nearby she thought, “There has to be more to life than this”.
With another heave, Hangover assured her, “This is it for you, baby” as the Thumb applied additional pressure.
“Oh lord”, she cried, “I can’t live this way anymore”!
The gentle voice of someOne else whispered in her ear, “This is not life, it’s merely existence”.
A cool hand cradled her face as another heave wracked her body.
“Your face is too beautiful to be in this place”, said the soothing voice. “You are a unique and marvelous work. I have good plans for you. Let me give you Life”.
Hangover crept away from the One with the tender tone.
“Who are you”, she asked, “and why do you care about me”?
“Don’t you remember? You knew me as a child”, he said. “Father has missed his princess terribly. He sent me to find you when you didn’t return. I am your brother”.
“I don’t remember”, she said. “I must have gotten lost. Please, tell me more about Father and the plans for our Life”.
In the distance, she heard the muffled wails of jim and hangover. Banished by big brother One, they faded out of her existence. But Thumb was not willing to give up without a fight.
“You don’t have time to listen to him”, said Thumb. “You’ve got to go to work so you can pay all those bills I sent you”.
“Shut up”, she demanded, in unison with One.
Thumb turned to leave but as he skulked away, he glanced at her and said, “I’ll be back”.
Dejected and afraid she began to worry. One held her in his arms and stroked her hair as he regaled her with stories about their future Life together.
“I will stay with you and remind you daily how to live as a princess in our Father’s kingdom”, he said. “We will walk the path to the castle together. I am strong and Father trusts me to return you safely. We love you. Will you trust me”?
Peacefully enfolded in his arms the truth was finally obvious. She felt his heart beat with hers and his strength flowing through her.
“Of course I will trust you”, she whispered. “You are One, my only brother”.
From that time forward, with One as her guide and teacher, they strolled through Life together.
Jim and hangover never revisited. The thumb returned occasionally but lost his oppressive edge. They all lost their lofty position with her. The joys of knowing that Father eagerly awaits her arrival and that One is always with her sharing her burdens, gives her inner strength that grows continuously. Jim, hangover, and the thumb are no match for the Father, the One, and the woman.
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