Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: WILD (11/16/17)
TITLE: Wild Joy-ride
By Rebecca Lunn
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When Rachel sashays anywhere, heads turn and guys trip over themselves. Rachel was gorgeous and she knew it. But her father Laban kept her under his harsh thumb and made her watch sheep along with her brothers. Life was a joy when people adored her lovely looks. But all that pleasure would slowly melt away as she sat out in the hot sun watching her father’s scrawny, spotted sheep munching grass day in and day out. Like other girls, Rachel daydreamed about a handsome young man suddenly appearing to rescue her from her menial work.
And one day it happened just as Rachel dreamed. A young man Jacob appeared! He was radiant! Later, she found out that he had just seen angels at the gate of heaven—and God!—and there was a conversation about tithes, of all things. Rachel absorbed Jacob’s rapt admiration as they tended sheep side by side in the fields. They laughed and talked of living happily together ever after, of riding camels into the far-off west where his wealthy father and mother looked for his return, and of tithing—hmmm…maybe.
Rachel’s seven years of blissfully coasting along with Jacob suddenly screeched into seven days of dismay. Her very own father craftily crashed her week-long wedding festivities: he had the audacity to bundle her sister Leah into the waiting arms of Jacob in the darkened bridal chamber. Laban brushed off his insensitivity with a snide remark, “It’s how it’s done in our part of the world.” Rachel’s heart flipped over with outrage: her rival sister is now Jacob’s first wife, and she, the second! Her dream of riding off into the sunset just went over a cliff. Joy was gone; only the wild thumping of a bitter heart kept pounding.
Every month, Rachel skidded into misery when her period came; the entire household could feel the shaking of her silent sobs. Leah easily produced four sons in seven years for Jacob; and Rachel was still childless. Insane with jealousy, Rachel threatened Jacob unreasonably, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Jacob locked horns. “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” Rachel was shocked back into begging God to give her a child. God acquiesced, and Rachel cradled the most beautiful baby boy in her arms—tiny Joseph. Ecstasy.
Rachel’s exhilaration did not last long. Jacob whispered to his two wives that he planned to go home to his parents to get away from the grip of devious Laban. Rachel was already more than ready to flee from her despicable father; even Leah agreed. Yes, the time for running away on swift camels was long overdue. Little did Rachel know she was riding into a death trap set ignorantly by Jacob, her God-fearing, tithing husband.
Just as Rachel feared, her enraged father with his posse of relatives were fast closing in on them in their venomous pursuit. Hiding inside her tent, Rachel overheard her father disputing with her husband. Laban was out for blood—Jacob’s blood. “I have the power to harm you! Why did you steal my gods?” Jacob declared meekly, “If you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live.” Now Jacob did not know that in their furtive escapade, Rachel (his wife he still loved more than Leah) had stolen the gods.
Laban charged into Rachel’s tent. Startled, Rachel said to her father faintly, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I’m having my period.” For the first time ever, Rachel was never happier it was her time of the month. When Laban’s determined, thunderous searching for teraphim came up empty, Rachel became convinced those gods were lame-ducks against Jacob’s God. Who could have miraculously used the very bane of her existence—her monthly bleeding—to be the very thing that saved her from death? Which of Laban’s gods could have synchronized the timing of her period, with herself lying in a tight ball, cushioned on top of the very gods Laban venerated, at the very time he rummaged through her tent, and to have him accept her very words (for the first time)? Who could have spared her from a shameful death except for her husband’s God? Jacob’s God even made her father kiss and bless all eleven of his grandchildren, and his two daughters, and then left them all unharmed to go home. Rachel’s heart raced wild with joy.
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