Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hot and Cold (04/09/09)
TITLE: Dictus Dictus per Sepulchrum
By Sonya Leigh
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And then it happened. The car accident. Your hot tears seeped into the pores of my cheek as your shoulders heaved forth the life and times you shared with your brother. Why? You asked. Why was my life spared instead of his? For this is how you saw it. I wanted to reach in and weave together the bare threads of your heart, to strengthen what remained, but I could not entwine what was not mine.
We belonged to God but clung to each other first. Gradually, our love for Him shrank and nestled between us like a fallen feather: out of place and unable to take flight. It was our displaced passion that cooled our hearts toward God. It was our displaced passion that melted away our love for each other.
Always agonizing over the thing that could not be changed, you adopted black and white vision in favor of your softer, Todd-Clyde azures (the name by which I had measured all other shades of blue). I can not live in a gray world, you said. But your black and white world left no room for grace. You dealt harsh judgment upon everyone, including yourself. And in your austere existence there was only room for an occasional nod of approval, which, in the end, turned out to be the same as your judgments.
There was something else. Judgment spread into man-made wisdom, fashioned by the devil himself, which convinced you to defy—and embrace—the thing that took your brother. Speed became your friend, from hang gliding to downhill skateboarding, from surfing enormous waves to drag racing on the streets. Oh, Todd, did you not know that man’s wisdom could not bring about the righteousness of God? Your defiance could never right the death of your brother. Broken limbs and severe abrasions never once made you consider that you were but flesh and bone.
And yet, you longed for a warm fire to melt your shivering soul and so we plunged into the tepid waters of marriage without God at its center. And even in the sacredness of our bed I yearned to, but could not close the gap between us. I was not meant to fill your being with what should have coursed hot for God. Neither could you fulfill in me that which was intended for Him alone.
I knew it then. I knew that if our marriage was to survive the accident I—we—needed to follow hard after Him. But I could not change you. So I knelt in prayer. And I placed you as an offering in the hands of God.
But you left me.
And as you left, I, a frozen vortex once suspended within your arctic world, began to melt. Like blocks of ice upon a fiery furnace, I sizzled and popped from the pain of feeling again. At times it was agony, but at least it began with the honesty of a mustard seed faith in God. From it, He has grown me nearer to Him and he has also called me into ministry; I’m in medical school now, making ready to be part of Doctors of Mercy. It’s what God has made me for. Only the Latin is killing me.
So here I am, five years after it happened again. I am once more reduced to a speech by the grave—dictus dictus per sepulchrum. Only it is you, this time. It is you, my love. Do you know how I’ve ached? I’ve wanted to scream at you; I’ve demanded to know, why—why did you allow your obsession to hunt you to the grave? Only two hours before it happened I read your letter. You hoped it would find me, you said. You hoped we could talk again, you said. You had never stopped loving me. So you said.
Here I sit, heart aflame for God amidst your cold ashes. I also have never stopped loving you. Five years have passed since we buried you in this columbarium. And I am content to see with my own eyes that you are not here; vos es per Deus—you are with God, in His warm, loving hands.
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