Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)
TITLE: Uncle Tick-Tock and Auntie Timeless
By Corinne Boback
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Now, to most children, a trip is an exciting adventure. I was not one of those children. Trauma was present in all situations of my life growing up, and occurred in every family home I visited. There may be a different “flavor” of what I would experience, but there was pain none-the-less.
Because our family was quite large, we were scattered among various relatives’ homes during our stay. My great-aunt and uncle’s home was always my place to be during the visit. Their home was a small, meticulously painted white house. Beautiful flowers and shrubbery were strategically planted in the yard. An inviting front porch with a swing welcomed me.
When I arrived, Auntie’s kitchen smelled of wonderfully strong brewed coffee and freshly baked bread. Hugs and kisses greeted me from my aunt with twinkling, smiling blue eyes and snow white hair.
Nighttime drew near. My eyes were heavy, yet I dreaded bedtime. Fear alone kept me awake. The adrenalin had my heart beating faster and faster, allowing me to fight for a while longer, as I tried to convince Auntie I wasn’t sleepy yet.
Holding me close, she soon tucked me into bed. I asked her to stay. She affectionately but sternly said that it was time to sleep. Asking Jesus to watch over me as we prayed, she left the room.
I fought sleep as long as I could, listening to the clocks chiming throughout the whole house. My uncle was a clock maker, and clocks of all sizes and shapes chimed in unison every hour on the hour. Every time I heard the chimes, I shuddered. I knew that the chiming clocks would eventually bring my fate for the night. I would be taken from my bed to a basement I despised, by an uncle I referred to as “Uncle Tick-Tock.” Trauma would come, over and over, a pain so severe I could not begin to describe it. With that pain came the threat that if I told, the next time the clocks chimed may mean death for the beautiful woman I called Auntie.
Auntie spent untold daytime hours telling me about Jesus and His love. She explained Jesus in a way that allowed my childlike mind to understand Him. She was oblivious to the clocks chiming all around us, and for those hours, wrapped in her love, I became oblivious too. She told me Jesus would never grow tired of loving me. I came to realize that God’s love was timeless, just like Auntie’s love. That is how I began to think of her as “Auntie Timeless.”
I asked Auntie is she told Uncle about this love that Jesus had for all of His children. Sadly, with a tear streaming down her cheek, she said, “He won’t listen honey. He said he doesn’t have time for my nonsense stories.”
If only he would listen, I knew he would stop hurting me. No one who knew the love of Jesus could hurt someone else. Even as a child, I knew that was the truth.
Uncle Tick-Tock became gravely ill when I was a teenager, and subsequently died. Auntie Timeless grieved for a man she only thought she knew. She told me at the hour of his death, she prayed over him, asking him to cry out to a timeless God who was patiently waiting. Even then he could not do it, and died cursing the Jesus she so loved.
Auntie died years later, and went on to a place she would love, a place with no clocks. I was happy for her, and glad that she died without ever knowing what Uncle Tick-Tock did to me.
Some things are better left in God’s hands, asking for His perfect timing. In Auntie’s case, God never showed me a time that would have been the right time.
Jesus is a God of love, timeless, for all eternity, to those who take the time to discover that love. Auntie is in His timeless eternity, where I will one day join her. We will spend endless hours, with no clocks chiming their interruption, as she tells me again the childhood stories of God’s love. We will rejoice together that His timeless love kept us both until the day we would meet again.
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