Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: India (02/12/09)
TITLE: Women Be Wise
By Chely Roach
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No matter how many eons he ministered, it always broke his heart anew to witness such conflict; such agony.
He observed Bhavna push away her morning tea, and rest her head in her arms and sob quietly. “My heart is telling me that it’s another girl. Another daughter. We are only permitted two children, and Rishi will only permit male offspring. I cannot bear this again…”
He whispered, “Do not be afraid. The Lord your God will not give you more than you can handle. He will provide an answer.”
“I have had three daughters slain. One still wet from my womb, and two more ripped from it! What was God’s answer for them? I cannot stifle this terror...”
“I realize that you have only known me for a short while, but I have heard the trials of your heart. I can taste your tears. I am here for you, Bhavna. Your faith is a babe itself, but it will strengthen you.”
Bhavna wiped her tears on the sleeve of her sari. She rose from the table and carried her cup to the sink. He followed. Her voice wavered, “My faith is as repugnant to my husband as the daughter in my womb. I cannot form the words to tell him about either.”
“I will give you the words…”
“If I tell him about my conversion,” she glanced at the photos on the wall, “he will surely take our son from me, too.” Bhavna ran her hand across her still smooth stomach, “And when I tell him that I am pregnant, he will bribe the doctor to tell him the sex of the child. He will make me…again, he will…” Her chin fell to her chest, and her shoulders slumped from the weight of the memories. The grief. The guilt.
He waded in her avalanche of tears. Witnessing this child of God, wallowing in despair, melted him. As they stood at the small kitchen window, watching the brightly colored fabrics dancing on the clothesline, he wrapped himself around her. He enveloped her entire being; his embrace so warm and comforting, that it penetrated her very soul. “I know your fears. Be assured, child. You asked the Father for forgiveness, and you are forgiven. Your precious children are present with the Lord.”
The weight upon her grew, her sobs racking her frame violently, making her crumble to the floor. “I didn’t know the Lord when I lost my daughters. I had no covenant with Him yet…”
“Oh, precious child…He knew you a thousand years before you knew Him; since the foundation of the world. You have always been His. Let me help you in your unbelief.”
“Please, help me in my unbelief…”
His warmth stroked her spirit, “You must speak the truth in love to Rishi. You must be brave, my sweet Bhavna. I will be brave for you.”
“Give me the words to tell him about this child…and help me to be steadfast in securing her safety, her very life.” She pleaded, “And please, please give me the boldness to tell him about You.”
“I promise I will. Woman, be wise as a serpent, and gentle as a dove.”
Bhavna’s head wearily rested on her knees, and she was consoled. But as she heard Rishi’s key slide into the door, her courage evaded her. She whispered aloud, “Lord, be with me…”
And like a brightly colored fabric dancing across the recesses of her heart, entwined with her very essence, the Holy Spirit breathed these words across her soul, “I will be with you always, until the end of time.”
Author’s note: In districts all over India, the elimination of girl children—either through sex-selective abortion or female infanticide—goes largely uncensored, undetected, unpunished and unmourned. In India alone, it is estimated that sixty million girls are now “missing”, victims of this demographic vortex. Even with new laws banning sex-determination testing, it is feared that these numbers could increase as much as forty percent in the next generation.
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