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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: If You'd Been Here
By Marita Vandertogt



“If you’d been here, this wouldn’t have happened. Well, not in the same way. Not in any way actually. He’d be fine now, eating with us, talking to us, as though nothing were wrong.”

“But I was here. My heart was here. And I knew there would still be time.”

“Well, apparently there wasn’t time. He’s gone now, and there’s nothing anybody can do! Nothing. Why did it take you so long?”

“I was here. My heart is always here. And I knew there would still be time. Why don’t you believe me? This is all part of the plan.”

“How can I believe you. He’s dead now. He’s not alive anymore. He would still be alive if you hadn’t taken your time to get here. You could have moved a little faster. He’s been in the grave four days now. Four days. And what plan?”

“I was here. My heart is always here. And I knew there would still be time. Everything is in control. There’s no need to get upset.”

“I am upset. How can I not be upset. You could have prevented this. He would be walking now, and talking and laughing with the rest of us, as though nothing had ever happened. He trusted you too. He waited. Why did it take you so long?”

“I had other business along the way. Besides, my heart was here. And I knew there would still be time.”

“Why do you keep repeating the same thing, over and over. Do you think I can’t hear you? Of course I can hear you. It doesn’t make it any easier. Not now anyway.”

“You’re listening, but you don’t hear me. I had other business along the way. You know that. And I am here now. Everything is in control. All I ask is a little patience.”

“It’s too late for patience. Much too late. He’s dead, and there’s nothing now that anyone can do, but you could have, you could have, if you’d been here. I know, I know, your heart is here. I know your heart is here. But that can’t help us now. Not now.”

“Go and get Mary, and follow me.”

“She’s upset too. But not the same way I guess. I’ll get her.”

“Martha told me to come, that you were finally here. Why did it take you so long. Our brother would still be alive now. And why are you crying?”

“Take me to your brother. Take me to Lazarus. He’s only sleeping.”

“Yes, we know he’s sleeping, until the last day, the day of resurrection. But we will miss him now, on this earth. If only you’d been here…”

“He’s only sleeping. And I was here. I was always here. I am here now. ”

“Yes, but . . . .”
Taken from John 11:1-45 (NIV)
Note: This is the author’s interpretation of Mary and Martha’s response from a modern view, from the way this Martha would have probably reacted. No disrespect for their obvious devotion to the Lord.

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This article has been read 727 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Chrissi Dunn08/09/07
Well done. I love the way you interpreted this reaction, which reflects what we know of this character. It took a while for me to realise which story it was, and I liked this.
Lynda Schultz 08/10/07
Oh, I liked this - especially the phrases that Jesus keeps repeating like an echo of the heart that we should always hear even in the darkest of circumstances. The switch from Martha to Mary kind of dulled the edge of the story for me, but other than that the story is great. And there is no disrespect in how you portrayed the characters. Martha could very well (and probably did) react just as you described.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/11/07
You didn't have to tell the Reader who was speaking...we knew immediately who, when, where and what was happening. Great Bible story retold, and beautifully done! I really liked it! God Bless, and thanks for sharing your insight with us.
Kristen Hester08/12/07
Very nice. I enjoyed this and it was fun when I realized it was the story of Lazarus.