Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)
TITLE: More Than I Can Fathom
By Laury Hubrich
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I cried out, “Why the pain, Lord? I can’t do this anymore. Why don’t you take it away?”
The room was strangely silent except for the fan’s vain attempt at keeping me cool. Sweat soaked my pillow. I could lay for a bit more and then it would be time to get up.
I stood in the shower. The water cascaded down my head. The tears again began to fall, mingling with the water. I cried out to God and even attempted to cover myself at the same time. I then remembered He sees all and it’s useless to hide anything from Him.
God knows my pain. He knows my nakedness. He knows my every weakness. My quiet sobs turned to moaning. I covered my mouth to try to smother the noise. After a time, I dried the tears along with my body and got dressed.
This day, like everyday, I had to decide how to handle the unrelenting pain. Do I succumb to it and go back to bed?
If I get up and go, do I answer the, “How are you?” question truthfully?
Do I smile and nod my way through a crowd until I can get away and be in peace? I can keep up the charade only so long. Well-meaning acquaintances have a way of asking but not really wanting to know the truth. Sometimes it’s hard to discern which is which.
I managed to get through my short time away and then made a four-point landing into my rumpled, unmade bed once again. My computer rested on my upright legs. Through Instant Message, I let feelings go to a friend who lived far away.
I can’t stop crying, I wrote.
What’s going on? she responded back.
I don’t know, I typed through tears. I whispered to no one. “I honestly don’t know.”
I got off the internet before she had an opportunity to respond. If only I could vanish off the face of the planet so easily. I wanted to escape the oppression that fixed itself so firmly in my head. So many things I want and cannot have.
My IM friend caught me with a phone call. It’s hard to run away from these loving friends of mine. She had a verse to share from Psalm 56:8 in The Message. She whispered it into my ear:
“You've kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.”
I got off the phone as quickly and politely as I could. I’m good at spilling out my true feelings in writing. Catch me face-to-face or on the phone and you’re lucky if you get a smile and a half-hearted, “I’m fine,” as I choke back the tears.
My friends who have been with me through most every step of this know what’s going on. Many can even discern the hurt while reading and listening to what isn’t shared. In order to continue to play the game, I have to stay away. But to isolate myself from my online friends is more than I can bear. So instead, I slowly write it out, tap, tap; tap it out onto the screen. It may take a minute or it may slowly come out throughout the day or a week, but out it comes, much to my dismay, because you see: I like the game of charades.
But when I stop the game I receive texts messages such as these:
I know it’s so very wearing on you, precious one.
O baby, wrapping arms around U.
And a card came in the mail that set off a fresh bucket of tears. I’d rather play the game. I’m very good at hide-and-seek and the ever-popular charades. But instead of struggling alone, God softens my heart and allows me to share. And even though tears begin again, they are mostly tears that come from knowing I have friends who care.
The battle is ongoing, the game continuous, tears never-ending. To live this life is more than I can handle but to do it without my faith is more than I can fathom.
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