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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Valley (08/10/06)

TITLE: Intervention
By Barbara Ann Smith


It's a cold blustery evening and snowflakes are covering the path leading down into the valley where our barn is located. I have to feed the cattle and milk several cows before I can return to the house. This has been my duties since my Dad passed away in the spring. Mother promises she'll fix me some hot chocolate with cool whip after I get back. Of course, this always gives me something to rush home for. My duties have curtailed my bicycle trips to the country store and visits with my friends. In my mind, I deeply resent all the extra responsibilities I've had to undertake since Dad's death. I feel I'm being cheated out of my teenage years and I believe a lot of resentment is building up inside me. I've never discussed this with anyone but I find I'm questioning God more and more as to why this had to happen to our family. I've haven't discussed this with Mother either because I see how much she is already suffering. I often see tears as she tries to hide them from all of us children. I see how frail and worried she looks at times and this distresses and depresses me even more. There's no laughter in our home and each day we miss Dad more and more. At first, it was as if he would come back and all would be all right in our family.

As I walk the trail, I marvel at the beauty of the stars in the firmament. They twinkle like small crystals hanging on a lighted chandelier. The pine trees in a field in the distance looks like hairy ghosts. Sheep in the valley blends in with the snow and the only way you know they are there is from their constant, b-a-a, b-a-a. I also hear the cows bawling because they sense I'm on my way to feed and care from them. As I walk, I look into the sky and ask, "God, why did you do this to our family?" I kick the snow with my foot and find I'm angry and I want to lash out at everything and everyone.

The snow is coming down fast and covering everything as well as me. The daylight has almost lost its color to shear darkness. The twilight guides my way through the valley. As the snowflakes land on my face, I reflect on my Dad and feel he is watching over me to guide me through the field. I envision the snowflakes are his tears falling from Heaven to shelter me from my pain and hurt. I suddenly remembered, a Bible Verse he often read to us children at night before he and Mother tucked us into bed, "Fear thou not: for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee." (NKJV - Isaiah 41:10)

I stand and gaze into the sky, I realize God, My Devine Father, is here and he will never forsake nor abandon me. He will guide me through this rough time into a time of peace and contentment. It is as if the flakes have covered my body and washed away all of my anguish and irritation as I continue walking to the barn. I realize I have to be the man of the house now, be strong, helpful and cheerful for Mother and the others to get through all of our terrible ordeal.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg08/17/06
Needs some dialogue to move it along better, but a nice sentiment. A few typos (has been my duties since / should be have been my duties .. Divine). I like the Isaiah verse you reference.