Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hacker or Virus (computer) (12/15/11)
TITLE: Locked Up and Blacked Out
By Amanda Brogan
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The answer should come like lightning, in a high-speed blur of Scripture-soaked truth and my latest update from God. But an error has occurred. I cannot run the program of His grace, cannot see the love that fills the screen of my life.
I feel ... vulnerable.
An unknown force of malicious strength and potency claws through every sinew, every nerve. It shreds through my faith, erasing the heavenly confidence that allows me to dare kneel before the throne room of an omnipotent God.
You’re unworthy. Hisses a message from an unfamiliar sender.
God could never use you.
You fail too often.
You don’t deserve to be called His child.
Each message invades with more gusto, building on the accusation of the last. The attacks meet no resistance for I have no defense. I have not taken the time to install His protection.
I should have seen this coming. Should’ve been prepared. Shouldn’t have ignored the warning signs that flashed and blinked and screamed, “Danger! Danger! Do you really want to proceed without Him?”
And when given the option to choose “now or later” to absorb His new insights for me, without fail I always chose “later,” not counting the cost. Not pausing to analyze how damaging the results would be of not choosing “now.”
So I am faced with imminent failure, faced with the gruesome fact that it may be too late, faced with –
“So...” My friend’s voice zones me back in to his original question. “What has God been doing in your life lately?” The query drones through my skull, its innocent asker waiting with patient, expectant eyes.
“I, uh...” I can say nothing. I have no story. No fresh new lesson, no miraculous tale of answered prayer. There have been no recent prayers for Him to answer.
Before my frozen brain can lock onto a proper excuse, my eyes lock onto something odd. My friend’s face seems to have grown completely still. Unblinking, unmoving.
“Hey, are you still there? Did we lose the connection?”
Blackness abruptly covers the face of the laptop, blotting out the Skype window and the image of my chatting friend. I slink back into the cool, leather chair, a defeated sigh lingering on my lips. This isn’t the first time my fully charged laptop has shut off without warning. Though I’ve tried, I know this is too complicated for me to fix on my own.
It’s time to call the computer technician.
With rising clarity my memory informs me of where I left the technician’s business card. Icy fingers move to open a drawer in my desk. They rummage through unfiled papers, forgotten envelopes, unused pens and highlighters until ... there it is.
Tucked between the pages of a large hardcover book is the business card. If only I’d been reading this book every day, my problems with viruses would be nil. Tenderly I stroke the cover and trace the binding with my fingertips. The business card is in my hand, dutifully urging me to pick up the phone and save the life of my endangered laptop.
Then setting the card down next to my laptop, I open the pages of my long-neglected Bible and begin to read.
Author’s note: Though this entry is written in the first person, it is a work of fiction and not based on any particular event.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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