Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Work (07/27/06)
TITLE: So Many Questions
By Glenn A. Hascall
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There are moments when someone comes in to turn me over. I feel like I am some steak on a grill. I’m humiliated and I can do nothing but weep.
In my mind I can conjure up anger and rail against the injustice. The term ‘if only’ is a dark companion as I lament the might’a beens. There once was life outside this room. There are places I go to in my dreams that were once tangible, warm and welcoming.
Now there are just the tortured taunts; perhaps they come from me or maybe some other – darker – place. “You will never be able to do anything.” “You are worthless.” “Why don’t you just curse God and die?”
I often believe the inner accusations. What good am I strapped to this contraption? What will I be able to do with my life now that I’ve been shattered? Why shouldn’t I tell God what I think and quietly slip into something dark and final? Why!?
The moments of my bodily betrayal are lost to me. One moment I was enjoying life and the next I am incapable of even the simplest task.
I gaze at the sheet covering my feet and I concentrate on making them work. This is ridiculous – they’ve always obeyed my will before. I gaze at my arms and they hang limp mocking my efforts.
This was the type of thing that happens to other people. This is the kind of thing that happens to those who are gifted at taking adversity and making them into motivational speeches. This was not the kind of thing that should happen to someone who just wanted to get through high school without being noticed.
The flowers and balloons were reminders that I had been noticed. I suppose I should have been grateful that so many had expressed interest in my welfare, but I just wanted to be left alone. Then again, I had – hadn’t I? Left alone?
Where was God when my neck cracked like a rotted limb? Where was He when my mind asked my legs to work and they refused? Where was He when my weeping heart found it hard to breathe? Where was He!?
I can’t even shake my fist at God. I am hopelessly broken. The inner well of anger is being anesthetized. They tell me this is to be expected, but I don’t really care about some magic formula for improved mental health. I’m in no mood to learn a new skill.
What do they know about what I feel? Have they gone weeks without the use of their body? Have they gone through the humiliation of a catheter and personal cleansing at the hands of another? Have they waged an inner war of pain and frustration? Have they?
Who will want me in the shape I’m in? Who would marry someone like me? How could I parent a child? Who would employ someone like me? Is there any hope? Is there?
If only these legs would work. If only my fingers would move. If only my knees would bend. If only.
I am a prisoner in a worthless body. My entire future is clouded by the inhumanity of a life depriving moment. I am not strong. I cannot face a life this hard. IT IS NOT FAIR! Do you hear me God? Do You?
Do You care?
Where were You when I needed you most? You could have stopped this from happening. You could make my legs work again. You could wake me up from this nightmare. You could.
I’m tired of looking at the floor and I am tired of seeing useless limbs. I’m tired of probing nurses, and doctors who talk at me instead of to me. I’m tired of the pitiful stares of others. I’m tired of the circus atmosphere my life has become. I am tired.
In the midst of the pain I’m unnerved by an unexpected whisper, “Come boldly to the throne of your gracious God. Here you will receive My mercy, and will find grace to help when you need it most.”
Oh, God, make my heart work. I can’t see it, but I’m reaching. Do You see me? Will You help me?
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