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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

TITLE: Beyond Tears
By Ann Grover


Soundlessly, the glass door slid open, admitting BenMicheal127 into the receiving area of Sensoria. The atmosphere was serene, soothing, the muted colours of the paintings on the walls, calming, comforting.

“Ah, greetings, BenMichael127. I’m Capillion10X. You’re right on time. Come this way, please.”

BenMichael127 followed the slim assistant into a small office and sat in the indicated chair.

“Now, let’s see. You’ve attended Church Universal all your life?”


“You received Elementary Corporate Learning and graduated to Adult Corporate Learning when you passed the appropriate requirements. You participated in Corporate Worship on a weekly basis. Everything looks quite satisfactory, BenMichael127.”

“Thank you.”

“You’ve been giving in acceptable tithing units, as well. Yet, in spite of these ideals in your spiritual life, it appears that we’ve evaluated a level of discouragement that exceeds acceptable levels. That’s why you’ve been asked to come to Sensoria. Were you aware that you were suffering from such a low level? Are you sensing discouragement or demoralization in any form?

“ I’m not sure. How would I tell?” BenMichael127 felt defensive and uncertain as to how to answer.

“Are your thoughts inhibited? Are you disquieted in your spirit? As you know, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and our sensors are able to detect the slightest change in any individual’s demeanour. On our last First Day, there was a noticeable downward spike in your energy level and a plateau in your personality curve, so our analyzer prescribed a session for you with TEARS.”


“You are not familiar with TEARS?” Capillion10X inquired.

“Never heard of it.”

“Transforming Empathetic Audio Response Sensory device.”

BenMichael127 looked baffled.

“Not to worry,” reassured Capillion10X. “You’ve been booked for a Level Two Intensity Session. That will be sufficient for restoring the encouragement deprivation our sensors detected in you at Corporate Worship last First Day.”

Capillion10X stood and opened the door of the office for BenMichael127. “Shall we proceed?”

The treatment room was dimly lit. Capillion10X commanded BenMichael127 to sit in a luxurious recliner, and he placed him in a comfortable horizontal position.

“You’ll be given all your instructions by the TEARS device, BenMichael127. Simply relax and do as you’re directed. It will actually be very pleasant.” Capillion10X left the room.

A few gentle musical tones set the mood and BenMichael127 experienced an easing of the tension in his muscles, the anxiety in his spirit. He felt slightly calmer and more peaceful. Maybe, his fears would be alleviated, his doubts quelled.

A tranquil voice permeated his awareness.

“Progress beyond your perception of your current circumstance.”

My perception? How do I progress?

A heavy silence enfolded BenMichael127, the unanswered question hanging in the air, a dark cloud, cumbersome, weighted, dark.

“Engage yourself in effectual enterprises that will enrich the lives of others.”

Busy myself in more activities to further numb my pain?

“ The torment you envision as unbearable reality is not comparable to the oppression and affliction that encumbers your associates.”

I’m to deny the existance of my anguish, that which has torn my life apart?

The door opened and Capillion 10X entered. As Capillion10X approached, BenMichael127 realized the session was over, and hopelessness gripped him.

The unspoken question hovered in the air, suspended, expectant. Capillion10X raised an eyebrow, waiting for the answer.

“Will it be better in the morning?” asked BenMichael127.

“You need to understand TEARS was created for optimum emotional and spiritual requirements. If we over-stimulate either of those, we will generate a co-dependent dimension that will have exceeded one’s capacity for receiving and implementing encouragement for oneself...”

BenMichael127 didn’t wait to hear any more. The acrid words magnified his burden of guilt and bruised his throbbing soul. Like bitter bile, futility rose from the depths of his ravaged being as he left through Sensoria’s ethereal front door.

Pausing to breathe, he closed his eyes, letting the velvety darkness envelope him as he sought solace in silence. Then, he became aware of a warmth, a presence. He opened his eyes; a young man stood before him, concern shadowing his face. BenMichael127 gazed into his eyes and recognized the mirrored pain. As they responded in a mutual soundless embrace, encouragement welled from God’s touch.

Beyond tears...

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This article has been read 935 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Seema Bagai 11/15/07
Very creative. A unique take on the topic.
william price11/15/07
Superb creativity! Enjoyed it. I like reading fresh voices delivering God's words in anointed and unique ways. bravo. God bless.
Joanne Sher 11/16/07
I'm speechless. Wow. Masterful.
Beth LaBuff 11/18/07
I really enjoyed the science-fiction aspect of this. No matter how far we progress in technology there are just some things it can't do. This is so incredibly creative.
Jan Ackerson 11/18/07
Ouch, the best kind of satire--the kind that bites! As one who has been on the recieving end of some mindless, mechanical "encouragement", I'd say you've nailed this...
Deborah Engle 11/18/07
The true source of any comfort!
Janice Cartwright11/18/07
A unique and creative approach to a timeless truth. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for encouragement. The Holy Spirit knows and comes alongside with comfort that is tailor-made for each child individually.
Peter Stone11/19/07
Oh, very good. Excellent approach to the topic with this satire.
Holly Westefeld11/20/07
I love this approach. We must be careful, as our lives are more and more intertwined with technology, not to become like it ourselves. Nothing will ever be able to replace a living, breathing hug.
Dee Yoder 11/21/07
Heaven help us if encouragement takes this form someday! Good story.
Loren T. Lowery11/21/07
I have to admit it took a couple of reads of the George Orwellian anecdote to understand it. Your acronym for TEARS helped and at the end, all I could do was whisper to the MC to surrender all, because that is the only way. Hope this isn’t too obtuse because I really enjoyed your article
LaNaye Perkins11/21/07
Whoa... this was great. I love your creativity in writing.