Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)
TITLE: If pigs could swim
By Sue Dent
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He fights the chains. His ankles, his wrists chafe as he pulls at the restraints. Anger consumes him, confusion too but mostly anger. They’d bound him before with no success. He always got free. Hideous, the voices whisper to him in the darkness.
Fight them, they said. Fight them wretched creature.
Why wouldn’t they leave him alone, the voices, the people? His anger complete, he pulled with both hands and the chains broke!
Run, vile humanity!
Screaming, he did just that, tearing at his garments, pulling them off. So badly he wanted to be free, to get rid of what was tormenting him. To the tombs, that’s where he’d go. The only place he wouldn’t be bothered. At home with the dead. Those with no life.
Breathing heavy, he sat, leaned, picked up a stone.
Wretched, wretched soul! You think you have the power to get rid of us?
Wailing he took the stone and cut himself, over and over. They had to go! Yet he was powerless. If it was his fault they were here, why then could he not get rid of them? And there were more than one. There were many!
Bleeding on his arms, his legs, he raised his hands and covered his ears. Yet the voices wouldn’t stop, the anguish. It was no longer his life but theirs. Standing, he ran. Screaming and wailing so he couldn’t hear them. It never worked but he screamed none-the-less.
* * *
A day unlike any other yet there was a boat and a man coming towards him. But not with chains, not with torches, not with hateful, despising looks. He had no idea who this man was.
But they knew.
“Jesus,” they hissed, forcing him to his knees in front of the stranger, stranger to him. What do you want Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!
“What is your name?” Jesus replied.
Legion for we are many?
They then began to beg, as he’d begged. Plead as he’d pleaded. Don’t torment us, they’d said.
Would this Jesus be merciful? Would he listen to their begging? Would he respond? Would he help? It was clear from their response they thought he could. Bleeding and naked, he wondered all of these things. Could this Jesus set his tormentors free? Would he?
They’d ask for permission to go into a herd of pigs. This Jesus allowed it.
Uncertain, he watched as the herd that numbered close to two thousand raced down the steep bank into a lake where they subsequently drowned.
In stunned silence, he watched.
In reasonably stunned silence.
In absolute stunned silence.
In incredibly, peaceful, glorius stunned silence!
They were gone.
Several others who'd been in the boat offered him clothes and he took them.
Shortly afterwards, everyone came to see what they’d only been told about, asked the one responsible to leave. Were they afraid? Indeed, it seemed they were. Having experienced the result of their fear, he headed to the boat himself, pleaded that he be allowed to go as well.
With reassurance beyond understanding, came the reply, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
“Yes,” he said nodding, believing. It would be alright. This was His life now.
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