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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: L'Chaim in the Rapids
By Julie Michaelson


Hold on tight! Don't close your eyes!
This very moment
You're in the rapids,
of l'chaim!
You're in the treacherous waters of life.

The rocks below are wet and slippery!
The water is very cold.
It is ice cold, like the waters of the Arctic.

The river is teeming with sharp edged rocks,
and boulders, and thick tree limbs.
They lie there, or float along,
Waiting to scratch you,
tearing at your frail skin, until you bleed,
and, no scar has time to form.

Watch out!
Look out! Look over there! Overhead!
There's another grappling tree limb!
It's lying in wait for you,
hoping to catch you,
when you're unawares.
Smacking you with the force of evil,
until you are knocked quite unconscious.

Unconsciously, you'll backwards,
Smashing your fragile head, once more,
against the monstrous rocks below.
And, you'll be gone.
Carried along the hypothermic waters,
of frozen death.

Don't look back!
Don't turn your head, not even for a second!
For the rapids slowly closing in,
in a dizzying tumult.
The river's current will surely, and hungrily,
suck you into its roaring cavities.
In a hearbeat, you'll be drawn into its quicksand
of time standstill.

But, before it takes you under,
it will play with you awhile.
It will lash you about,
taunting you, like a cat with a tiny insect.
It will paw at you, and fling you to and fro,
until there't not much left,
but shreds of hope, long past,
in the despair of searing pain.

Where is your hope?
Where can it be found?
Is it floating along somewhere,
like a beautifully made life raft,
rubbery, shiny, and new?

Can it be grabbed onto with both hands,
before the freezing waters nibble on you,
like a fat, and contented piranha?

"Where?" you cry.
"Where is it? Tell me!
I.....I can't see it, anywhere!
I'm looking about,
but, the river of my life is too rapid!
It's too fast, and dark, for me to see anything!"

"Please, help!
It's about to swallow me up!
I can't paddle like this, much longer!
My legs are growing tired.
My heart is beating out of my chest.
There's a seizing in my stomach;
cramping my muscles,
and doubling me over.
I am weak, and spent,
helpless in the sucking mouth of the rapids."

Calm down!
Relax your tensing limbs!
Stop looking wildly about.
Just breathe in, and relax.
The waters are not yet over your head!

Your life raft was there.
It is still there.
It was floating beside you, all along!

All you have to do is call out.
Cry out, loudly, from the depths of your soul!
Cry out, like a child lost from his mother!
Just call for Him, from the lips
your tear stained cheeks.
and He will come to you!

Amidst the chilling rapids of life,
there's but one life boat,
rubbery tough, and strong as steel.
It will keep you safe and warm,
huddled securely, like a new babe in his mother's arms.

And, all you have to do is ask.
So, call out!
It's not too late!
Don't worry, child!
The waters are never too dark for Him.

He will find you in these murky depths!
His Shining Light will find you, and save you.
He will lift you out of these terrible rapids,
and very gently, set you down with His Mighty Hand.

In His Life Boat, you will be safe and warm,
still shivering a bit, teeth feverishly chattering,
but huddled amongst the warm covers of His Love.
Praying all the while that you've been truly saved.
And, safe at last.

In the arms of Jesus.

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This article has been read 1046 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rhonda Clark09/08/06
I like this take on life and afterlife.
Donna Haug09/08/06
I felt the dispair of the first part. It felt heavy and helpless. Then the reassurance of safety in the arms of Jesus even though the effects of the hard life were still there. A little polishing would make it shine. Just a little example:

"knocked quite unconscious.
Unconsciously, you'll backwards"

The repetition of "unconscious" was a little distracting and I've never seen "backwards" used as a verb.

I felt breathless at the end - like I'd been carried down the rapids. Way to evoke feeling!
Julie Michaelson09/08/06
Thank you! You're absolutely
correct: backwards is an
adverb. No - that was a
typo; I should have double
checked this (twice) before
submitting it! J.
Joanne Sher 09/09/06
Great imagery! I enjoyed this!