Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
TITLE: Along The Sidewalk of Silence
By LauraLee Shaw
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After fumbling through her purse, she grabbed her cell phone, glanced down at the screen of it, and then shoved it into the pocket of her silky burgundy blazer.
She held a steady gaze at the bubbling fountain across the sidewalk for a few minutes, let out a sigh and began to shake her head slightly and slowly, as if in total disbelief of her daydreams.
Her stare turned in my direction, but it was as if she was looking right through me. I wanted to say “hello,” but the words didn’t come yet.
Tears welled up in her tired hazel eyes, and she finally let her head give way to her hands, which forced her elbows to thrust into her dainty thighs.
I wondered if I would be compelled to speak to her soon.
Many walked along the sidewak, oblivious to the hurting one sobbing silently. A tall, skinny, balding man with jet black sideburns stopped and looked at her, hesitated, and then scuffled away slowly with a sluggish uncertainty.
Three college-aged gals bounced along directly in front of her feet. Their Bibles and bulky armloads of textbooks did not seem to affect the brisk skip that guided them along the path through the park. The one with sandy blonde hair glanced back at the crouched-over woman but quickly rejoined the topic at hand with her friends.
I waited--waited for just one person to speak up to her, comfort her, give her some hope.
No one did.
That was my cue.
Without hesitation, I told her that I couldn’t possibly know of her pain or despair, but that I did know of a Rock higher than I that could wipe her tears away.
I told her of a Love so deep and so complete that It would reach into the very depths of her heart and soul and fill any cracked or empty gap that existed.
“Jesus was battered, bruised and broken for you,” I tenderly uttered.
My voice grew more powerful. “And when He rose from the dead three days later, why, He raised all who would believe with Him. That’s why I can’t help but praise His name to you now.”
She may have already known the Lord, I don’t know. But that day my Creator called me to speak His name no matter. If indeed she already knew of His salvation, then perhaps she needed to be reminded how it would apply to her even now in her distress.
Only He knew for sure.
Her head came up and over a bit, and she eyed me. Her pupils seemed bitter and lost, yet looking and longing.
What will her response be? I wondered.
To my surprise, she turned away, grabbed her purse and began digging most deliberately. She took out a mirror, as well as a pocket-size tissue package, and began the clean-up process of the mascara damage that had been done.
She sniffed, wiped her nose and took a deep breath before she stood. After one last glance at me, she went back the same way she came, leaving “The Bottom Side of Love” on the bench behind.
I prayed for her that instant and wished that I had a living, breathing soul to care for her and two legs to join her on her journey.
Some scurried, many meandered, and handfuls of humans engaged in conversation all around me that sunshiney afternoon. I couldn’t help but shout out to everyone about that which had been left unspoken:
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth!
Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
The world, and all who live in it!”
(Verses from Psalm 98:2, 4a & 7--NIV)
As the day faded, I continued to praise the Lord for His salvation to all people and hoped that someone else—anyone else—would do the same. My own voice could certainly use the break.
Until then, I thought, this rock will not be silent.
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