Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Time (11/15/12)
By Arlene Showalter
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“No, you haven’t.”
“Then why did he leave me?” I cried, picking non-existent lint from my sweater.
“Because he chose to,” God replied.
“But there has to be a reason,” I argued. “Perhaps if I’d kept a cleaner house, or given him more attention, or….”
“Wouldn’t matter,” God said.
“You knew this would happen?” I gasped.
“Yes, daughter, I knew before you were born.”
“I allowed you to marry, knowing the outcome?”
I fell on my face, expecting the worst. “O, God, I’m so sorry.”
“Get up, daughter.” God’s voice wafted over me like a downy quilt. “You’re not to blame.”
“I went to the pastor. He said I wasn’t submissive enough.”
“There’s a difference between submission and servitude.” Impatience edged God’s voice. “Some of my servants refuse to see that.”
“Maybe if I’d just loved him more.”
Daughter, hear me.” God’s voice firmed, but remained tender. “When you think you can love someone enough to change him, you put yourself on my throne.”
“That’s what I’ve been doing?”
“Yes, dear one,” God answered. “I, and only I, have the right to change people’s hearts. Not you or any other human being.”
I mulled it over before pouncing on another worry. “What about the children?” I wailed. “Won’t this cause their faith to weaken?”
“What if it does,” God said. “Is their faith in their parents, their church or in me?”
“I know you love your children,” God said, “but I love them more than you do. I sent my son to deliver them from eternal death. I formed each one in your womb, just as I formed you.”
I chewed on my lower lip, pondering. Another thought settled on my anxious mind. “What will become of me?” I sniffed. “How will I get by?”
“I managed to feed millions of complaining people every day for forty years.”
Did I hear God chuckle, or only imagine it? My mind flitted to a new fret.
“My group leader said you hate divorce. She read the verse in Malachi.”
“Yes,” agreed the Almighty, “I do, but did she read the whole verse?”
“No.” My voice faded like a morning mist.
“The husband who misuses his wife covers himself with garments of violence,” God said. “I find that offensive.”
I kept my peace.
“I hold your husband responsible, not you,” God continued. “Can you understand and accept this?”
I lay silent before my Lord. He seemed to lay a gentle hand on my bowed head.
“It’s time,” God whispered.
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