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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)

TITLE: Wordless Lines
By Elizabeth Baize


Pain clenched my shoulder. Pausing only for an instant on the strong fingers digging

into my flesh, my startled eyes flew up to meet my master’s gaze. Instead they

encountered a disfiguring snarl that was twisting itself across his visage. Paralyzed with

fear and pain, I hung like a rag beneath his hand as his expressions slashed wordless

scars across my soul. His arm shoved me forward. I stumbled, clawed the air for

balance, and dashed in the direction of his pointing finger. As I felt the soft dirt of the

garden replaced by the solid road, I deduced my master’s wish – fresh fish from the

market. Speed was essential if I expected to taste a morsel of supper myself.

I increased the rate at which I felt the sharp impact of my sandals colliding with

the road and focused on forcing the evening air to appease my desperate lungs.

Up ahead the ancient olive tree reached out with an offer of rest. From the depths of

my being I longed to throw myself at its base and trace with my fingertips the wordless
stories etched into its gnarled trunk. Lines! They possessed a language of their own –

a language I could understand. Although the friendly grooves of the olive tree invited

me, the twisted lines of my master’s face drove me onward.

The village lay just ahead. Impatiently, I pressed forward through the crowd

assembled near the water’s edge. Only a rare catch attracted a multitude of this size. I

pushed my way between two women and staggered forward when their resistance

suddenly gave way. I felt myself falling – could almost feel the Galilean sand brushing

my face.

Unexpectedly, a hand gripped my shoulder, and I sensed the same hand gently

restoring my equilibrium. Pausing only for an instant on the strong fingers that now

barely rested on my shoulder, my startled eyes flew up to meet the Master’s gaze. The

lines of His face spoke like no other lines had ever spoken to me in my entire existence.

They spoke of a love I had never before experienced and reached out to heal the scars

on my heart. Ignoring the twisting lines on faces around me, I stood with my eyes

transfixed on the One who was conversing with my soul. His face told me He knew my

need and could end my wordless existence. My soul answered in belief. I saw and felt

His hand reach out to touch my ears and tongue. In that instant sound bombarded my

silent world and language rushed to fill the wordless void. I opened my lips

to communicate my gratitude through the eloquent words that were flooding my soul,

but as my eyes met His I could only whisper, “Thank, you, Lord.” I read the wordless

lines of His smile as His reply resounded in both my ears and my heart, “Go in peace.

Thy faith hath made thee whole.”

Note: The words used as Christ’s response to this fictitious individual are the same that He used in response to another woman in Matthew 9:22. Although this woman was suffering from a different affliction, she was also healed without audibly verbalizing her request.

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This article has been read 592 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sarah Heywood10/21/10
Beautiful! I so enjoyed the contrast between the cruel master and the kind Master.
Francy Judge 10/22/10
Excellent job creating this scene with description and contrasting masters. I loved the way you showed your character's believable emotions.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/24/10
Wow it took me a reread to really understand it but once my fog cleared wow is the only word that I could think of. Beautifully done.
Beth LaBuff 10/26/10
Wow! Surely you captured the thoughts of this deaf servant. This story wrapped itself around my heart, especially when the Master healed him, and he could truly "hear" for the first time. You so creatively spaced your lines, perfect for your title.