Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)
TITLE: A Walk to Freedom
By Joyce Simoneaux
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A knock at the door woke Adam. He opened his swollen eyes. His head was pounding. It was dark outside.
“What time is it? Where am I?” he thought as he swung his legs over the edge of the bed and sat up slowly.
Scenes from a hazy memory seemed to flash through his mind like a strobe light in a smoke-filled room. He couldn’t quite figure out if the scenes were memories of a bad dream or something that really happened.
The urgent knocking became a banging. He stood up, head pounding, heart racing from the pain and dizziness that overwhelmed him. He could smell the stench of cigarettes, booze, and sweat that was coming from his own body. Running his fingers through his wet hair, he walked toward the door.
As he unlocked the door and turned the handle, several officers burst into the hotel room, knocking him to the ground. The whole scene played through his mind like a bad dream in slow motion. The officers were yelling at him. He could feel cold steel clamping around his wrists and was jerked to his feet. A detective in street clothes entered the room and read him his rights.
“What’s the charge?” he asked angrily with teeth gritted in pain.
“You’re under arrest for the murder of your wife.”
The scenes from the bad dream started to strobe through his mind again. He tried to remember, but the pain in his head left little chance of making sense of it.
That was ten years ago. The trial lasted two weeks. He was forced to endure the photos from the crime scene. Adam sat silently in the courtroom as the evidence against him was presented to the jury. He was guilty. The jury sentenced him to death. His chances for appeal were exhausted, and now he simply waited.
He could only find peace in knowing that no matter what he had done with his life here on earth, he would soon be in heaven. Adam reached over and picked up the Bible that lay on the bed beside him. Looking at the worn leather cover and pages, he wondered how many times he had read through it.
For a long time, he hated himself, but God's Word showed him the way to forgiveness. He longed to be forgiven by those who were gathering outside to watch his execution.
There were only two things he couldn’t make right in his life. One…he couldn’t bring her back, but he knew he would see here there. She had already forgiven him. She couldn’t be there if she didn’t. He asked himself many times why she had to die so he could finally find her Jesus.
The other…He wrestled with the heartbreak of those still living who could not or would not forgive him. He longed to know that what he had done did not cause someone else to be forever enslaved to bitterness and unforgiveness.
He sat up and opened the Bible one last time. Holding its open pages against his chest, he closed his eyes and prayed, “Father, please help them to forgive. Not for me, but in spite of me. Please do not hold it against them.”
He heard the footsteps of the approaching guards and opened his eyes. A guard turned the key in the lock, and his pastor stepped inside past the deputy.
“Adam, are you ready?”
Adam just nodded his head as he closed the Bible and laid it on the bed next to him. He didn’t want to take his hand off of it.
“Would you like to pray first?”
With that he stood and offered no resistance as the deputies placed the cuffs and chains on his wrists and ankles. Walking through the door of his cell, surrounded by guards and accompanied by his pastor, Adam thought he should be feeling so many things, peace not being one of them. He looked into his pastor’s eyes and took comfort in someone else knowing he was not walking to his death but to his freedom.
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