Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)
TITLE: Home Again
By Dianne Janak
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At first you won’t give it to him. To do so would be condoning his action. To do so would be enabling his bad behavior. You feel justified taking a stand. You feel like you are standing for all women who find themselves in your position. You feel like it’s your new cause and you harden your heart against his pleas.
Down deep you know the truth. You have even spoken it to others. To not forgive keeps you in prison. You are finding out the truth of that. You are behind bars in your bitterness and misery. You are fighting for your dignity but losing your peace. You are making your stand but losing your ground. You are huffing your boundaries but losing your perspective. You are letting this control you and losing yourself. You can’t take it anymore.
You ask for God’s help and tell Him you forgive. You know you must tell him. You know to be free he has to know you forgive. You wrestle with it for the thing has taken your heart keeping its hold on your soul. You did your business with God. Isn’t that enough? Does he have to be let loose in order for you to be free? You know it’s true. You know you must speak the words. You hedge. You procrastinate until you can’t stand it anymore. You speak the words at first softly barely whispered in his ear at night when the TV is on and he can barely hear you.
But you must say it again. You must mean it with your heart and you think you do. You believe the words spoken can heal your heart, can change him, and heal your union. So you speak them louder this time. “I forgive you.” He looks at you and you realize he has forgotten what it was that has had this hold on you. He has moved on. He was sorry and he said so and has moved on.
You know you must tell him why, and as hard as it is to say it, you say the whole thing. You forgive him and why.
Silence. You wait for the peace you think is yours now. You wait to be washed over with joy again. You wait for the healing to happen quickly and you find yourself feeling the same.
You are confused now. Haven’t you taken the high road? Haven’t you done the hard thing? The very thing God has required? Is there really more? God says “yes.”
You struggle with that “yes”. What is going on? It’s your heart. You are holding back. You are going through the motions with God and him but not sincerely. Are you really sorry? Are you really seeing your part in all this? Why are you not fixing his favorite meal again if you have truly forgiven? Why are you holding back your loving words, avoiding his presence, and not sharing your feelings? You know why. Your words were there but your heart was the same. You cry out to God again.
“Please change my heart. Soften me. I’m falling and failing again.”
You know just what you need to do. You get the special table cloth. You use your best china. You buy a beautiful centerpiece and light the candles. Dinner tonight will be his favorite. You realize something has happened inside. It’s there. You feel that peace run through you singing. You smile and know once again you are home.
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