Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)
- TITLE: Sacred Silence
By PamFord Davis
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Freeing myself from warm tangled covers, I crawl out of the bed and step on frigid floor tiles. The apartment manager promised to repair the furnace. The only promise he kept is the raising of my rent. Slippers, where are my slippers? I remember now. I dropped jelly on them yesterday morning. Shuffling to the kitchen in my bare feet, I yearn for a long steamy shower. Where is the coffee? Great, the can is empty. I push things around my cluttered cabinet and discover one package of instant hot chocolate. It will have to do. At this point I’d settle for tepid tap water. Chocolate is stirred in a micro-waved mug of water. The first warming sip soothes jangled nerves. I notice the mug picture of a woman downing her coffee inside a barred cage. The caption reads: “Do not feed the lions!” I resemble the remark.
The shower rescues me. Hot water cascades down my tensed neck and shoulders. Scented lilac body wash relaxes tight muscles. At least the dinosaur hot water heater isn’t on the blink again. The private retreat is cut short. Grabbing a Downy scented bath towel, I dry off, and dress. Brushing my teeth and flossing is abbreviated to save time. Make-up is minimal. I splash on Red Door perfume. Good enough, I’m only going to work. Quickly eying the apartment in total disarray, I heave a sigh of discouragement, and lock the door behind me.
As my foot cautiously steps from the curb, I see the bus approaching. Ohhh! I almost missed it. That’s all I need. Showing the driver my bus pass, I slump into an isle seat. I must get over this melancholy mood. This is no way to start a week. Where are you Lord? I need you. The only sound comes from a sputtering diesel engine polluting the environment. Maintenance must have been put off. Lord, my dismal life needs a complete overhaul. The bus stops at my corner; and I step directly into a cold murky puddle. OK, that makes the morning complete. I can either wear these wet shoes and hose all day or go bare-legged.
I enter the Social Services building, meander to the ladies room, pull off soggy pantyhose, and throw them in the teetering trash can. I duck into an empty stall, wishing to bar the door and hide all day. Instead I soon exit, wash my hands with hot soapy lather, run a comb through neglected hair, and make my way to the elevator.
A smile almost appears on my face; the elevator is empty. I push the button for the second floor and take a long, deep breath. I’ll don a phony smile, and greet my supervisor. She is oblivious to my stress. The elevator lurches, comes to a sudden stop, and the light goes out. My pulse races and I mumble out loud. “Why am I still afraid of the dark?” Control yourself… It will start up in a minute. I wait. I wait. It is not coming back on. I am trapped alone in a pitch dark elevator.
“I am here.”
I remember asking the Lord for solitude. What did I say? Sacred silence… Lord, I hear your still, small, sacred voice. You have my belated undivided attention. It’s not about me. It’s all about you. Take away my grumbling. I wait in your presence.
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