Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: Even Me
By Brandi Roberts
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Sentences like <i>"You need to come to church."</i> followed by <i>"You need to find some good Christian friends."</i> only served to fuel my anger. I wasn't weak-minded like her. I had no need for a higher power.
"You're hardly one to talk about love. All these years you've just antagonized me with your pitiful attempts to appease a god who doesn't even care." I spat at her, hoping to see her cringe. "You think He loves you? What have you done to deserve it?"
A swift cloud of darkness swept over her expression. "Absolutely nothing." Her quiet words shot like electricity through my spine. Intrigue replaced the anger seething through my grinding molars.
"Nothing, eh? So why would He love <i>you</i> then?" My stare penetrated hers.
"Because He loves everyone. You've heard it before..." She paused. "God so loved the world..."
I cut her off with my hand. "Yadda, yadda, yadda. John three, sixteen. They're meaningless words, Mother, written by fools." The words had just slipped past my lips when I felt the sting of her slap across my face.
"As much as I love you, I will <i>not</i> allow you to talk in such a manner!" She retrieved her Bible from the lampstand beside us and shoved it at me, forcing it into my chest. "Read it, and if you still believe it was written by fools, I'll never bother you again with my <i>nonsense</i>." Her words spiked me, challenging me.
I grasped the heavily read book in my palm and, brushing past my mother, escaped into the darkness of my room.
Over a month had passed since our last confrontation, and neither of us had spoken much to one another in that time, when I finally approached my mother and handed the well-worn book to her.
"I read it." The mumbled words took a moment to register in her mind.
She looked at me, questioningly. "All of it? It's barely been a month since..." Her words faded into the shadows.
I shrugged. "I had a lot of extra time on my hands."
"And?" The single word held so much expectation. How could I tell her she was right? How could I admit that all my prideful boasting was nothing more than ignorant words from an even more ignorant child?
"He loves you." The words escaped my lips and my arms came up and crossed in front of me - my protection.
"That's right." She stood from the chair she'd been resting in and wrapped her arms around me. "He loves you too, you know."
"I know." I shook from the confession. "I'm sorry, Mom." The fluid sorrow seeped past my eyelids and onto my cheeks. God loved the world... even me.
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