Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Irritated (11/08/12)
By Arlene Showalter
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“You sound irritated.”
“Look at the mess our country’s in!” I cried.
“Yes,” he agreed, “I suppose from your angle it looks rather bleak.”
“Bleak?” I stifled a sigh. “You promised if we prayed, you’d heal the land.”
“You refer, of course, to the recent elections,” God replied, “does look bad at that.”
I squelched rising frustration. “Those who won are against your laws.”
“So, you want to know why I let it happen.” God answered the question I hadn’t the courage to ask.
“I don’t punish honesty. I can handle it.”
“Okay.” I sucked in a deep breath and released it like a pricked balloon.
“Why didn’t you deliver?” I ducked, expecting a divine slap.
“My child,” he began, love caressing every word. “I’ve allowed humans to shape their own course since the beginning of time. Solomon said ‘there is nothing new under the sun’. He was right.”
“How,” I asked.
“For those souls privileged to live under democracy, the time comes when they discover they can vote in perks. From there, life becomes easier and the people slip into complacency. As long as their own little world is secure, they don’t concern themselves with what their leaders do.”
“You mean like taking prayer out of the schools?”
“Yes, and much more,” answered God. “Think about it. You’ve allowed your freedoms to be chipped away an inch at a time, all in the name of the ‘good’ for society at large.”
“So, in passing all these laws that are good for us, we’ve lost freedom?”
“Yes, and with the same determination, I’ve been removed, one word at a time, from the consciousness of the people.”
“What comes after complacency?” I asked.
“Isn’t dependence on you a good thing?”
“Not on me,” God said. “On government, expecting it to solve all their problems.”
“We’re there now, aren’t we?”
“Yes,” he agreed. “And yet people still have not turned to me. Not with their whole hearts.”
“What will it take for that to happen?” I asked.
“Whoa … God,” I said, “are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
“Yes.” God’s tone dripped with sadness. “For some reason, humanity never awakens to their true need of me until they become oppressed.”
“So you’re telling me it’s all downhill from here?” Panic nibbled at my innards.
“Quite the contrary,” God answered.
“When is the best time to see the moon’s brilliance?” God asked.
I struggled not to roll my eyes at the Almighty. “Um … midnight?”
I scratched my head, scowling.
“My child, you are focusing on the physical discomfort tyranny brings,” God said, “while I focus on coming spiritual illumination.”
“Okay.” I’m unconvinced.
“Read history, child,” God continued. “And the Bible, especially Judges.”
“You’ll see that my people only turned to me 100 percent when they were truly desperate. Then they gave me their hearts and experienced my supernatural deliverance. This cannot happen in a secure world.”
“You mean like parting the Red Sea?” I asked.
“Of course,” God said, “that and so much more. What about the woman who singlehandedly brought down the enemy with a millstone? Or Jael, who defeated an army with one well-placed spike?”
“I’d forgotten.” My voice shrank.
“I long to show my people my love, my strength, my protection,” he said, “but they must yearn for it, or they’ll not appreciate it.”
“Like when I gave my kid that expensive cellphone for Christmas? He broke it in no time and whined for a better one.”
“Exactly,” God agreed. “He had no vested interest in it.”
“The pilgrims and the founding fathers put everything, even their very lives on the line, for freedom,” I said.
“That’s the commitment I’m looking for,” he replied. “You can’t know my full love unless you are completely devoted to me.”
“Rough concept for Americans,” I said, chewing my lip.
“But necessary. Cheer up, child. America’s best days are coming.”
“How?” I asked.
“Not in how Americans describe prosperity, but how I do. Do you remember what I told Moses before he led my people from Egypt?”
“Let my people go?”
God laughed. It felt like a gentle breeze over my soul.
“I told him, ‘that the whole world will know that I am the LORD’”.
“The whole world?”
“Yes, the whole world. Get ready, my child, because my glory’s coming. Again.”
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