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

TITLE: I Can't Let It Go
By Pam Carlson-Hetland


There was a time when a heavy door had slammed shut in my life. Finality rang with its closing. Many visited over the following days: shock, denial, pain, and fear. One by one, they disappeared––no longer welcomed. But one tenacious visitor stayed. I did not bid it farewell. The longer it stayed, the more comfortable it became as a companion.

I walked with My Friend daily. He gently nudged me and asked about this newest companion.

"Oh, it's not really a problem." I answered. "I can handle it. It will leave fairly soon."

The new companion followed me everywhere. It accompanied me to work and made it difficult to concentrate. At home, its presence made me short-tempered and sarcastic with those I loved.

My Friend spoke to me again. "Give your companion to me and let me carry this burden." He offered.

"No!" I refused. "I'm not ready for it to leave. I have a right for it to be here!"

It began to grow. It talked to me of past hurts and assured me that I had been a victim and treated unfairly. It reminded me of dreams that had died with the closing of the door. Each time we would commune, I became more dependent upon its strength. Though my back ached from its weight, yet, I carried the companion with me.

At times, I would refuse to meet with My Friend. I listened more to the companion's whispers.

Soon the load of the companion made it difficult to sleep at night. It gripped my heart, tangled my mind, jostled my emotions, and made me physically ill. It grew. It told me more. It said that my child would suffer; but that I would find rest and justice in revenge.

My Friend reminded me of His love and asked once again to take my burden. He told me that He only wanted the best for me, but that I needed to let go of the companion.

"You want the best for me?" I accused. "You could have kept that door from closing. Why didn't you stop it?"

"The one who closed it has free will. You know this to be true. But, I am able to take your burden...if you are willing to give it to me." My Friend's voice was tender.

"I can't let it go." I whispered.

Gradually, the mirror no longer reflected my image but that of the companion. Then one day, I looked into the face of my child and saw the companion there. I ran to My Friend.

"You were right!" I exclaimed "Oh, My Friend, please help me. I can't carry this any longer. But I don't know how to let it go."

"Just lay it down at my feet."

There--on my knees--I let Anger go. Oh, what sweet freedom when Jesus picked up my burden.

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This article has been read 859 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Chrissi Dunn08/09/07
It seemed that the anger had turned to bitterness, which was the real companion, as it stayed with her and even comforted her. A good allegory.
Lynda Schultz 08/10/07
Oh how true! Well done.
Kristen Hester08/13/07
Wow, this hits home. Why do we hang on to such things as anger instead of giving them to Jesus? It is so frightening when we see our faults in our children. Great message. Great writing.
Jan Ackerson 08/14/07
What a wonderful idea--to personify anger!

There were a few pronoun issues--if you wanted the reader to feel as if anger were truly a poor companion, it might have been best to use "him" or "her" rather than "it." Easier to sustain the metaphor that way.

Wowsers, though, your little essay sure hits the nail on the head! Lots of us have been there, that's for sure!
Julie Ruspoli08/14/07
Such a creative idea and a great lesson. Calling the anger 'it' was a clever idea.
Good article.
Mariane Holbrook 08/14/07
Wow. After reading this, I sat here and thought,"At one point in my life I could have written this. I wish I had." I didn't think about a critique of it. I was too engrossed in the message, in the personalities of the characters, of the writer being pulled in two directions. Only when the thought "the sins of the (parents) will be visited upon the children," did the writer see how devasting anger can be. You could teach a college course on this piece. It's brilliantly conceived and even more brilliantly written. Wow!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/14/07
What an opportunity we have to lay every burden, including anger, at Jesus' feet! You expressed the effects of letting anger be our companion wonderfully.
Joanne Sher 08/14/07
Excellent allegory - very powerful.
Betty Castleberry08/15/07
A great reminder to let go of our anger. This was a good read.
Joy Faire Stewart08/15/07
You make excellent points for all to remember. Anger robs us of so much energy. I like the twist you put on the subject.
Loren T. Lowery08/15/07
I really liked the way you wrote this, because it illustrates so well how anger can grow and distort and destroy if we don't give it over to Chirst! Great job.
Dee Yoder 08/15/07
Isn't it funny how we seldom think we have a real problem with unpleasant emotions or how we handle situations until we see it reflected in our children? Then it seems appalling and obvious! I like that aspect of your story. The shame of seeing this anger issue in the child propelled your MC to make a change and finally let the Lord take this burden away.
Brenda Welc08/15/07
I felt such safety in reading this, great job! Keep writing for His purpose!
Jacquelyn Horne08/17/07
A good article on how we entertain emotions that should be given to God.