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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Eternity (03/10/11)

TITLE: View from the Brink
By Linda Germain


Sometimes, when I stop and listen with my spirit and not my ears, I hear a nudging whisper calling me to hurry up, to complete my task, if I can figure out just what that is; to clear the mess and pack to leave.

Disharmony attacks my weary soul and screeches like an owl gone mad with the futility of routine. The march-march-march of foolish sameness, disguised as what I need to live and thrive, seems merely sound and fury, as the perceptive poet wrote, and signifying NOTHING.

Current culture’s whine seems to imply that nearly every human suffers some degree of hopelessness that must be addressed and relieved with pills, or senseless psycho-babble, or liquid draughts to numb the mind, or smelly smoke to offer lies of lethal comfort. Could it be there’s too much medication or enlightened issue chats designed to dull the right to endure a thing. How can we hear from God if we cannot feel the burden or the warning or the pain?

In the night, when unrelenting quiet provides no protection from my probing thoughts, I wonder what my life was all about. I played my part the best I could with the only script I had, but that doesn’t make me understand why I’m sure I failed so miserably in nearly every act.

“If all the world’s a stage,” I say out loud to God or just into the dark, “then, when the curtain falls and the lights grow dim and what props we were sure had so much worth have turned to dust, what is it like where all the actors really go to get their good or bad reviews?”

In the astounding drama of a world rattled to its core and exposed for all to see, did the victims who were grabbed mercilessly by death, believe, like most of us on this trembling earth, that there was time galore to indulge the senses and the flesh, to plan and do and love and write more of their histories. What does it matter now, each one’s goals or philosophies? The hopes and homes are gone, the dreams dissolved, their futures non-existent here.

With my fellow man around the globe, I sit glued to the colored screen and watch the cruel sea as it vomits back those nameless bodies on to a shore now barren and unkind. The hardest part, to me, is to imagine where their spirits might have gone on such short notice. This time last week, did it cross their minds to question things beyond a human’s grasp to think about the final place our spirits pass to rest, or to un-rest?

The horror in this sudden truth is that we do not control the hour when a trumpet blows and bids us stand before the Judge. Understanding should reverberate in every heart like power-hammers driving spikes, and send alarms from pole to pole…from soul to soul…until the arrogance inherent in our unwise selves is neutralized, and our reluctance to admit why we live and breathe turns inside out to show a tender and uncovered spirit, ready to surrender.

As we buy another toy, embrace another sin, take another hit, disobey another loving nudge to ponder on what’s next because it makes us scared of what we cannot see, why is it so hard to take the little time that’s left to think of deep and eternal things?

Nothing-nothing-nothing matters here on earth compared to that impending prize--so grand--the trip of a lifetime to a place we’ve never been.

My heart weeps and screams at my helplessness to get loved ones and strangers to believe that what I say is right. Make no mistake! Each will know the toll of that final bell, the long-distance call we kind of half expect (but only now and then when somebody dies and it gives us pause, but is too creepy for our tastes…which we’re convinced are so refined and up-to-date and worldly wise).

If the whisper that I think I hear grows stronger with its subtle note to pack my bags and anticipate with joy my most excellent adventure, perhaps one or two will recall what I preached and prayed and tried to make them value.

What Jesus bled in red, for all to read about our destinies, is true. I promise, with my hand upon His Word, it is really, really true.

The bottom line: Take time to listen and to heed. There’s simply no U-turnity.


On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake hit Japan. Thousands are dead or lost. Aftershocks, volcanoes and tsunamis swirl and hurl themselves in every direction. The dire threat of a compromised nuclear plant grows more serious by the minute. Unrest and fear and revolution seem to have a strangle-hold on all the world.

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Member Comments
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Sarah Heywood03/17/11
What a great reminder. I love your ending - the "u-turnity" part!
Charla Diehl 03/18/11
One word comes to my mind: AMEN!
Bonnie Bowden 03/18/11
It is true that pain is needed to grow and warn us against impending danger. I was listening to Focus on the Family; They talked about a girl without the sense of pain. She almost died because of the lack of this dire message.

Well written and thought out.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/23/11
This is a powerful read and a perfect reminder.