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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)

TITLE: The Silence of God
By Loren T. Lowery
07/10/07


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Anne stared out the window of her daughter’s darkened hospital room. Mt. Rainier was a black monolith, outlined by a gold thread of morning light. The sky was muddy and bruised, umber colors so matching her own battered face that she seemed to disappear in the reflection of the glass.

A tiny green light danced across the window, pulling her thoughts back into the quite room. It was the heart monitor hooked to her four-year-old comatose daughter, Samantha. Flowers stood like ghostly sentries throughout the room. Each holding white cards in their fragrant hands, silent heralds of condolences sandwiched between prayers for a speedy recovery.

The accident had been caused by a drunk driver. He was eighteen, but Anne's innocent family had been no counterbalance to his careless act. Death and misery, blind servants of an apathetic malevolence, wielded their blades, separating bone and sinew, kith and kin, life from death. Taking her husband and throwing Samantha on the precipice of the same chiasmic void.

Yesterday, the surgeon told her that Samantha may not survive today’s surgery. His words tore at her heart like talons and she hugged her bruised body as if trying to bind her heart to stench the blood.

She glanced her reflection in the dark window, her pallor almost indiscernible to the sky’s flush, almost impossible to see where one ended and the other began. Pursing her lips, she dove once again into a sea of self-doubt, life-guarded by the Accuser, pondering a question that drew the very breath from her soul – was her faith enough to save her daughter’s life?

Samantha stirred and Anne went to her bed, taking her hand and squeezing it gently. “It will be okay, sweetie. Momma’s right here with you.” A door opened behind her, three pair of silent rubber-soled shoes approached. Her breath caught in her throat and she held her daughter’s hand tighter.

One of the nurses lifted a crystal pouch of a pale gold liquid above another pouch that hung from the crook of a metal stand. Quietly, effortlessly, she adjusted an intravenous tube that flowed into her daughter’s arm.

From behind, she heard the screech of the wheels from a gurney biting into the linoleum floor, and felt the jostle of the bed as another nurse lowered the stainless bar restraints of her daughter’s bed. Click, slide, bang – the sounds hollow, distant, frightening.

Anne renewed her grasp on her daughter’s hand and felt another on top of hers. “Dr. Johnson’s ready in the operating room, Mrs. Tanner,” a voice said.

Unwilling to release her daughter’s hand, Anne choked back tears as they placed her sleeping body on a gurney. In a dreamlike cadence, she walked beside her down the hall, never surrendering the warmth of her touch until Sammy was wheeled into the surgery room

Hours later, in the quiet chamber of the hospital chapel, the Accuser pulled Anne’s head deeper beneath the sea of doubt and self-incrimination. Her daughter had died; the damage to the liver too severe.

Grief came in waves, not the gentle undulating moonlit waves of a protected cove, but fierce and raging, crashing down upon her very soul. The Accuser’s tongue became a rudder, driving her head-first into the rampant waves, lassoing an anchor about her heart, pulling her into a riptide of doubt, ineptitude and fear. Pulling her down, stripping her of the sacred battle armaments of God.

“God did not answer,” the Liar taunted. “Your faith is weak, you stumble, you waiver. And your God not so much as stirs the wind with his breath.”

His words seared and burned her core, and her tears simmered with uncertainty. God was silent and His hushed voice frightened her. Visions of Samantha with her husband flashed into her mind - innocent, former times.

The Deceiver cried out, “All is lost, forever, you faith too weak, your God too silent.”

Kneeling at the chapel’s altar, hands rigidly clasp, Anne prayed. She prayed valiantly as a warrior; and from the depth of the sea, she climbed upon a rock and hid within its cleft and heard the Accuser’s voice howling like the wind around her.

Fighting despair, unable to bear the yoke alone, she covered her ears and with child-like confidence released her anguish to God.

Suddenly, the wind stopped, the Liar’s voice stilled. Her once simmering tears of uncertainty cooled to praise and thankfulness. Peace returned to comfort her and the silence of God became at last her certain and confident faith.

____________________________________
Based upon Psalms 91: (NIV) “We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods…he orders his angels to protect me wherever I go – because God tells me that he loves me – because I trust in His name. When I call, he will answer me and rescue me from harm and distress.”


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This article has been read 1191 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Myrna Noyes07/12/07
WOW! The imagery you use is so powerful in this piece! I was going to choose a favorite to highlight, but there were too many! Your word choices and phrasing are very well-chosen and enable me to enter deeper into the atmosphere and emotion of the setting and the story. (I don't understand what a "chiasmic void" is, though! I'm thinking it might be related to the word "chasm"?) You have a sad, but victorious ending to this that is so inspiring! Good job! :)
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/12/07
This is a beautifully written touching story. You are, indeed, a master with words.
Dee Yoder 07/13/07
Sad story with a light of Hope at the end. This is an example of one of the toughest times to be confident in God, and your story portrayed those emotions well.
Lynda Schultz 07/14/07
A moving story. One of the lies of the deceiver is that WE have to produce enough faith to move God to action. Our weakest faith is faith enough because His actions depend on His purposes, not on our production. One little thing that grabbed me: I think you meant "staunch" instead of "stench." Good work — and great message.
Jan Ackerson 07/15/07
In my opinion, one of the best on this level. One tiny bobble: "quite" for "quiet" near the beginning. So much to love here, though, and the ending is powerful, powerful, powerful.
Joanne Sher 07/16/07
This is amazingly strong and vivid in every way. Simply a masterpiece. The best I've read so far.
Patty Wysong07/17/07
WoW! The imagery is so vivid I felt it wrapped around my heart, sqeezing. wow!
Seema Bagai 07/17/07
Incredible. This is filled with powerful emotion written with skill.
Sharlyn Guthrie07/17/07
Your writing is excellent! So many vivid scenes developed throughout, but I think the third paragraph was the wording that affected me the most. Deep, powerful, and meaningful!
dub W07/18/07
Wow, this is a powerful piece. Thank you.
Sara Harricharan 07/18/07
This brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful. This is an amazing piece. God bless.
Kristen Hester07/18/07
This is so honest, so real and so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your heart. God bless you.
Benjamin Graber07/18/07
Loren, I don't remember reading any of your stories before - but this is fantastic! Such great descriptions, and such a powerfully moving story...
Jennifer Klein07/18/07
You have a wonderful way of describing a scene to evoke a character's emotions. One suggestion I would make, though, is to pick the key descriptions and edit it down a little so that the piece is less wordy overall. One great line at a key moment provides enough impact. Too much description distracts, in my opinion. But really, you have a wealth of wonderful phrases here and a very moving story. We just can't listen to even a word of the enemy's lies. Climb on the Rock right away and say NO in Jesus' Name.
Catrina Bradley 07/18/07
You had me in the grip of your fabulous words from the first paragraph. Well done!!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge07/19/07
Well written ... well received ... well deserved ... Congratulations on your win! Angel
Elizabeth Baize 07/19/07
Wow! This was amazing. Your powerful word choice really drew me into the story. Congratulations on your EC win!!
Blessings,
Elizabeth
Charles Toscano07/19/07
Ooooh...that was wonderful. I especially loved the desription of the hospital bed. You nailed it. Chuck
Trevas Walker07/19/07
What an amazing story. Congragulations on your win.
Sheri Gordon07/19/07
Congratulations on your 1st place -- definitely deserved. This story is gripping from the beginning. Incredible.
Myrna Noyes07/19/07
Loren, my friend, I say again that this is a first-rate, first place piece!! I am so excited for you to have won first in E.C. and first in Advanced!!!!! WOW, and double WOW!!!!!! :D You DO belong in Master's, for sure! Blessings as you continue to write!
David Butler 07/20/07
Poetry! Pure poetry! And with such spiritual and emotional depth and poignancy.
Well chosen, judges!
Pamela Kliewer07/20/07
Loren,

I am speechless (almost). Your story moved me beyond words. What a way you have with words. I applaud you! Congratulations!
Linda Roth10/05/07
Excellent writing! What more can I say?