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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: On the Wings of Praise
By
03/12/07


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Hanging above the mountains, a cloud of mist swirls and slowly parts, revealing colors as soft as a pastel summer morn. Light, more brilliant than that of the sun in its zenith, illuminates the air. It shimmers like a glistening veil of sequins and diamond dust, and falls slowly until it drapes my broken body.


“Can she hear us Doctor? Will she come back to us?”

“It’s hard to tell at this point. The ordeal of the crash on the mountain pass...well, let’s just say it’s miraculous that she even survived. We’ll do all that we can for her, but ultimately it’s up to her.”

“Up to God, you mean...”

“Yes, of course.”



The glowing atmosphere dances with waves of haunting, majestic music, floating as though each note is suspended and savored before it is released. The sound wraps around my being and holds me in its embrace. I am warm inside a cocoon of melodic worship and praise, hovering on the edge of eternity, only barely aware of the life I once knew.


“Sweetheart, it’s Mom. Can you hear me? I love you. Oh Jesus, sweet Jesus, please bring her back. Please...”


A soft flowing cadence keeps time to the symphonic refrain seeping into my soul. Within the rhythm of each beat, I feel a transformation overtaking my will. At first I resist, then slowly, purposefully, I yield my heart, my thoughts, my being. The music permeates the fibers of my conscience. I feel drawn to its source.


“Doctor, why isn’t she responding? It’s been six weeks...”

“We are doing all we can, but it may not be enough. The damage is beyond our capabilities. Her body must have time to try to heal on its own. Continue what you’ve been doing: talking, reading, singing. We don’t know how much she can comprehend, but there is hope some of it is getting through.”



His Word becomes a molten river overflowing with healing. It fills me and pours through my flesh. Pure and holy thoughts consume me, purging the wounds of a lifetime. Surrounded by angelic praise, I feel only the joy of His presence as I continue to change-corruptible fading into incorruptible.


“Honey? It’s been five months. I’m still praying. God knows what’s best for you; I know that. And I know He loves you...more than I do, even. I just wish you could let me know if you can hear me...”


The tempo of the music builds, beckoning. I am aware of a new strength within. The transformation is complete, and I struggle against the constraints of that, which has encompassed me within its sacred chambers of harmony and grace. I desperately want to leave and become a part of the sound.


“Doctor?”

“I wish I had good news, but after nine months of hanging on, your daughter can no longer breathe on her own. Her vital organs have shut down. I’m sorry...you need to make a decision.”

“Please, my angel, it’s so hard to think of letting you go. Just let me know somehow that you understand I’ll always love you...”



My eyes flutter open just long enough to make out the form of my mother kneeling beside my bed, her head bent. I hear her tears of grief and resignation fall like the gentle tinkling of silver chimes upon our clasped hands. I squeeze her hand in response. She looks up, and a thankful knowing floods her eyes as she sets me free.


“Goodbye, my precious. I love you so much...”


The veil of light, radiant with gemstone brilliance, parts to reveal the breathless splendor of Eternity. Time is no longer able to hold back the chorus of “Alleluias”, resounding through Heaven’s courts. A smile of pure joy graces the mortal shell I must leave behind, and like a butterfly breaking free from its cocoon, I fly on wings of praise into my Savior’s waiting embrace.


(Author’s note: I cannot begin to fathom what it must be like to face the heartbreaking decision of whether to sustain the life of a loved one, or to set them free to inhabit the perfect realm of Eternity. My heart’s desire is that this ministers a measure of peace concerning the matter, and I pray that the Holy Spirit comforts and imparts His wisdom in each case brought before the throne of Heaven.)


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This article has been read 1067 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/15/07
This is a beautifully written story of a sad situation. The descriptions are awesome. Thank God for the hope of eternal life. I love how the music of heaven was drawing her in.
Lynda Schultz 03/15/07
You have addressed a terribly sensitive issue in a wonderfully sensitive way. Beautifully done.
Jacquelyn Horne03/17/07
Wonderful story here of letting go of a loved one. It would encourage me if I were to have to make such a decision. Especially if I knew the one leaving would go into the arms of a loving God. Good writing.
Leigh MacKelvey03/18/07
I pray your outstanding descriptions of near-death and then, death, are the way it really happens. I want that for my loved ones, as well as for myself. I have faith that it will be as your wrote! The contrast between human prayer, conversation and the brillant colors, sounds and figurative language created even more definaiton to the the difference between heaven and earth. So good!
Jen Davis03/21/07
Beautifully written with incredible descriptions! Concerning the author’s note, I think this would be very comforting to those facing similar situations. I hope this will find its way into the hands and hearts of those who need to be comforted by its message. Awesome work!
Tiffany Secula03/21/07
So beautifully written!! Absolutely amazing. This is such a wonderful touching piece.
Sara Harricharan 03/21/07
This is a heartbreaker...brought tears to my eyes seeing this story from both sides. I love the line with glistening veil of sequins and diamond dust and especially how you switched back and forth from both views. Awesome descriptions and awesome writing! ^_^
Loren T. Lowery03/21/07
To me this is a beautiful message of both hope and faith. The ultimate and final tug of war. Your descriptions encourage us with their stunning familiartiy and your words move in a heavenly rhythm, soothing to us all.
LaNaye Perkins03/21/07
This was awesome! I wish I had adequate words to express how much I liked this story. I really loved it. I feel you did an excellent job of capturing both arenas (flesh & spirit) of this story. Well done!
Sandra Petersen 03/21/07
Your descriptions brought chills to my body they were so beautiful. I could visualize the parting mist and shimmering light in the opening paragraph and I quite lost myself in the embrace of your story.

Wonderful message, too. This should be an encouragement to any believer who still harbors the slightest anxiety of dying. I hope this places high!
Joanne Sher 03/21/07
Just beautiful - your descriptions are so vivid and wonderful. I do believe your author's note is achieved, dear friend!
Donna Emery03/21/07
Mid, this brought tears to my eyes... and goosebumps. So touching and wonderful. Well written, as always. Thanks so much for sharing this.
Sheri Gordon03/21/07
Wow. I'm trying to write with tears streaming down my face. This was so beautiful -- so poetic. The voice from the coma was brilliant. What a struggle our loved ones must feel when they're torn between two worlds. And the relief they must feel when we finally "let them go". Thank you for this -- it is amazing.
Julie Arduini03/21/07
Absolutely amazing. Your words and emotion just flew "off the page" for me. The ending was heartbreaking but as realistic as I could picture such a scene. Simply amazing!
Pat Guy 03/21/07
Deep, beautiful writing as always dear Mid! Truly beautiful.
T. F. Chezum03/21/07
This is a well written, flowing and vivid story. Great job.
Betty Castleberry03/21/07
Oh, so well written, and so touching. The only thing missing is a tissue warning. This is beautifully done.
Catrina Bradley 03/21/07
Oh, Mid. I don't know whether I'm weeping from sorrow or joy! This is perfection - you've put into words the unfathomable. Thank you for blessing me tonight.

This is just one of my favorite lines: "Time is no longer able to hold back the chorus of “Alleluias”,..." Kudos, sister. I'll be surprised if this isn't at the top of the list tomorrow.
Cat
joe hodson03/22/07
Great writing! Your description of everything is absolutely wonderful! Congratulations on your EC placement!
Sara Harricharan 03/22/07
Congrats on your win! ^_^ It's just perfect for ya!
Loren T. Lowery03/22/07
Congratulations on a well-deserved win.
Linda Germain 03/22/07
Perfection! Congratulations (and thanks for your lovely comment). Blessings~
LG
Marilyn Schnepp 03/24/07
May I be the 164th FW member to Congratulate you on your Placing the #2 spot! Your beautiful words are so comforting...and I know my mother and father will envision these same beautiful scenes when they hear the trumpet sound on Resurrection Day! Ah yes, the sounds of music!! Great job!
Venice Kichura03/26/07
WOW! This is truly exceptional writing! You truly deserve your 1st place win! A well-deserved congrats!
Dianne Janak06/14/07
My heart is touched beyond words after reading this piece. Thank you. What a beautiful description of the word this world most abhors.. Death. This ministered directly to my heart.