Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: DRIZZLE (03/05/20)
TITLE: Sweating Tears
By Chiazo Obiudu
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All cried to heaven for the rains to come down, because then, hopefully, the temperature too would come down. And heaven answered; it poured and poured, and the heat spell came to an end, at least temporarily.
Another night not long after that first rain of the year, Zizi was dining with her three young ones. It was hot again, given the fact that electricity supply was out, again. Zizi kept wiping what was presumably sweat from her face.
But her little girl was not fooled. She had been peering into her mum's face, obviously worried. Finally, she bravely asked, "Mummy, why are you crying?"
Zizi had hoped the dim light from the battery-powered touch on the table would mask the tears streaming down her face. She was barely able to push past the lump in her throat and answer in what she hoped was a strong voice, "I am not crying, just cleaning the sweat off my face."
To which her slightly older son responded, "Don't you know that when it's hot, people also sweat through their eyes?"
She wasn't sure if he intended it to be a joke, but it made her smile. She needed it, even if it was just for a few seconds.
When the kids were finally done eating, she sought out the solitude of her balcony where she let it rain. Her tears poured, her silent screams for help resounded in the heavens. She could only hope God heard her. Does He care? Will He answer?
She felt she couldn't go on, move an inch further, if things continued going the way they were. She was going through a rough patch. Ailing marriage. Almost zero money. No job. Failing confidence.
Her youngest could sense there was something wrong with her, though his limited vocabulary meant he couldn't voice his concerns. He tagged along though, always one step behind. Like he was trying to protect her. At a point, he pulled over his teeny seat, and sitting by her side, put his head on her laps.
Zizi wanted to be alone, not just to bare her soul to her Maker; she wanted to shield the kids from her sorrow, protect them from her pain. But the little one following her, mirroring her every step gave her some reassurance; she wasn't alone.
Her life for almost a decade had felt like a lonely wilderness, a drought-stricken land. She had been praying for an out-pouring, an overflow. She had hoped, even against hope for change in the proportions of the big bang.
But as she wept her heart out to the Lord that night, she stopped asking for the dramatic answers.
I feel helpless. I have hoped for years and years, and I have been living on hope. But I'm not asking for the big stuff anymore. I can wait for the nice job, you can take your time in fixing my family, hold back the financial security, the house, the new car. But please just give me something real, a lifeline to hold on to, some solid assurance that all will be well.
And God answered, as He always does, because He cared, as He always has. His ways are not our ways, neither His thoughts our thoughts. So He gave her, not what she initially wanted, but what she needed to make it through the night, with some lessons for days to come.
He came to her in her brokenness, met her at her weakest, and did not despise her. He reached down, showed her His Love in a way only she could get. He put to flight the gloom of that night, and gave grace for tomorrow.
Her faith was strengthened, and she learnt that though the journey may be far and hard, she knew that God was with her, like her little baby. He would remain with her every step of the way, providing the help she needed to scale one hurdle at a time.
It was not an out-pouring that she received that night, but a light drizzle, just enough to quench the thirst of her parched soul and create an oasis in her broken places.
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