Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)
TITLE: Sliver of Moonlight
By Teresa Hollums
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The tiny child alone in his bed whimpered slightly. Only tears from its many whippings remained on the child’s small pillow. The heat in the room was almost unbearable. In the bedroom next door a filthy man lay with an empty bottle still clutched in his hand. His ragged snores, along with the clock ticking, were the only sounds from the rest of the house.
The exhausted mother from keeping two jobs could be found--asleep at her kitchen table. Dirty dishes were stacked high in the sink. Her checkbook showed no balance. Marked in red was yet another bounced check she last held in her hand. A glance at the check revealed not her first name, but her husband’s. On the table also was her Bible with well-worn pages—especially around the Psalms. It was her one comfort and solace. Her hands in her lap were still held together tightly as though she had fallen asleep praying.
Thus the scene was set—a play that too often was repeated. On the wall were pictures of Christ in Gethsemane Garden. The Christ in the painting had witnessed this play of the work of addiction too often. Christ praying for human kind seemed to even extend to today’s new reenactment.
Entangled in fruitless searching for life’s meaning, the wine had become the man’s only comfort—or so he thought. In his drowning self-pity, he once again had rehearsed his failure of never being able to keep any job long enough. And alcohol, not God, ruled his life. His alcohol god created a worshiper that over and over again blamed all his troubles on his wife, his child, and his several employers. The world simply was too much. Alcohol had seemed a more immediate answer. The God that his wife worshiped was blind to his needs, he had decided. He never actually saw that perhaps it was he that had decided to not fully worship, study, and pray everyday. His relationship was based only if God served his needs immediately. In his self-deception, he had blinded himself to the needs of his wife, his child, and his own self esteem.
Outside, the cold winter wind howled incessantly as it too mourned another hopeless night of hurt. It rattled the weak window panes. The sleeping baby almost woke again. Finally, a sliver of moonlight broke through the clouds from the open window. It lingered for a moment and gently touched the fitfully sleeping mother. It seemed to light up the “Psalm 23” she had marked and then entered to calm her fevered mind. Another sliver of moonlight broke through the clouds and created a halo around the child in the bed. The halo silently became a warm blanket over the child and it no longer whimpered nor felt the remaining whelps left by its father’s hand. A restful sleep finally came. Lastly, the sliver found the man. A barrier of drug- created resistance fought the entrance of the sliver of moonlight, but the sliver pierced the deep fog and began to heal the worn out nerves, and now subtly worked to create new desires. The sliver had inserted itself because of a prayer answered. New beginnings were coming.
And God answered a prayer.
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