Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: ZENITH (04/21/16)
TITLE: From Depth to Height
By Elaine Hemingway
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“Another Rum and Coke, please.”
The guy offering me another drink looked strangely blurred, but I was getting used to faces like his. One face morphed into another just as each day ended like the previous one, in oblivion.
“You know, I think maybe you’ve had enough.”
“But you just offered, thatsh why we’re sitting here isn’t it?”
I waved my arm expansively, and I remember hitting his glass off the counter. Well, I thought it was his glass, but apparently it belonged to someone else. The someone else was quite angry. He knocked me off my stool. The first guy helped me up. That was the beginning.
I don’t recall much else except that the guy with the blurry face helped me outside, and it seemed expedient to allow that. I do recall some heavy swearing following us out like smoke billowing from the warm interior to the minus zero outside. If the weather had been better I should have been taking my fishing boat out with the tide, but the Harbour Master would have stopped me anyway. If some fool wanted to buy me a drink, who was I to complain.
“I had no intention of buying you a drink,” he said, and that’s when I passed out. Well, I must have, but if I hit the cement I didn’t feel it. I only know I woke up in a strange bed, in a strange room, and I was being offered a mug of black coffee by a stranger standing beside the strange bed. Another strange thing was that he was smiling. Normally if I wake up in an unfamiliar place it has the familiar sound and smell of a police cell, but this was different: extremely different!
“Come on! Sit up, and get yourself outside of this,” and he thrust the mug at me. I felt I had no choice as he was bigger than me, much bigger. His smile was friendly but it had a hint of steel that somehow shone through his big brown eyes.
I managed to focus, and even found a shred of voice. “Where the blazes am I and who the heck are you?” I didn’t echo his friendliness, but he didn’t seem to mind for his grin got wider and I noticed his enormous white teeth. They looked as if they could chew an elephant’s ear.
“I guess you are where the Good Lord means you to be,” was his reply in a voice as deep as the ocean and just as challenging.
“Are you some do-gooder? What? Sally’s Army?”
“No, my friend! I’m some-one who has been where you are, just about as deep as you can get. And I aim to pull you up and out with the Good Lord’s help.”
I swallowed some of his coffee and spluttered at its potency, as strong and black as him.
“Why? I’m doing fine as I am, thank you very much. I don’t need your help to get where I am going. Let me get back to my fishing boat and my own life.”
“Who has woe?” he intoned. “Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?”
There was a mirror on the opposite wall, but I couldn’t see myself in it. When I sat up the shooting pain behind my eyes stopped my attempts.
“You see?” With one hand on my shoulder he eased me round to a sitting position.
“Your mind imagines confusing things. You are like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. You feel bruised and unsteady as if you have been beaten, but all you can think of is another drink.”
Weirdly I wasn’t looking for another drink. I wanted to hear my new friend’s story. He knew that because he started to tell me.
It was a long story the gist of which was that he had been maybe lower than I was, but someone helped him, just as he was helping me.
“I was introduced to Jesus Christ,” he said, “Who taught me wisdom that I had been too foolish to listen to in the past. He lifted me to the highest heights, the zenith of which I will only reach when I meet Him face to face.”
I wanted what he had, so he introduced me to the Way, the Truth and the Life.
I haven’t looked back.
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