Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)
- TITLE: Whispers in the Storm
By Lyn Churchyard
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For the past few months, Erin had become more and more disenchanted with her faith. Not whether or not she had faith, but why it wasn’t as real and as vital as her fiancée’s.
“What’s troubling you Erin?” Mark was concerned that Erin had decided to spend the weekend alone in her grandmother’s house on the edge of the moors.
“I just need to think some things through.” She hesitated as she saw the look on Mark’s face. “No, it’s not about us, it’s... I just need to be alone for a few days.”
The wind picked up as the snow began falling heavily and visibility dropped to no more than a foot in front of her outstretched arm. Erin began to panic; she had to get out of the storm. Her heart was pounding and she stumbled over a branch and fell face first in a snowdrift. Lifting her head, she saw a dark shape looming through the trees at the edge of the lane.
“The church.” Her voice was snatched away with the wind.
She struggled to her feet and pushed through the trees towards the building, falling time and time again. Sobbing with relief, she pushed the door open and staggered inside.
Better disappointment rose up and threatened to engulf her. The church was empty. No pews, no altar... nothing. Not quite empty, Erin thought as she realised the old wooden cross still stood in the corner. She sank to the floor and leant against the wall. “Oh God, I feel so lost.” She whispered. The silence mocked her.
How long she slept, Erin was not sure, but the interior of the church felt warm. The wind had stopped and there was a faint light outside. No, that wasn’t right; the light was inside the church.
“Hello... is someone there?” her voice trembled as she sensed a presence nearby.
“I’m always here child, always with you.” The voice was soft and filled with love that wrapped around her like a warm, soft blanket.
“I don’t understand; who... who are you?” Erin already knew, but the reality was hard to accept.
“Do you not know, child?”
A sob escaped Erin’s lips. “I thought...”
“Mark knows who I am. He rejoices in My friendship as I rejoice in his.”
“But I go to church. I say grace before meals...”
“Do you love Me Erin; do you desire My presence and friendship more than Mark’s?”
“But I go to church...”
The sense of love was overpowering.
“Erin, Erin...” Mark’s voice broke through her sobs. “You’re safe darling, you’re safe.”
“I didn’t really love Him; I thought I did, but it was all from my head and nothing from my heart.” She threw her arms around Mark and buried her head in his shoulder.
“You don’t mean that sweetheart; I know you love me.”
Erin shook her head. “The Lord, Mark. I didn’t love the Lord, as He deserved. I was a phoney. I thought going to church was enough. Then I saw that your faith was so different to mine. You had a personal living relationship with the Lord, while I just went through the motions of church and good deeds,” she sat up and looked at Mark while her tears continued to fall. “Then He showed me His hands; He smiled at me Mark and said how much He loved me.”
Mark looked at her in confusion. “Are you saying you saw the Lord, here? Here in this church?”
Erin shook her head, “Not saw Him, like I’m seeing you, but yes... He was here. His love was so overwhelming. He said He rejoiced in the friendship that you and He had and wanted me to have the same friendship. Oh, Mark! I want that more than anything else in this world.”
“Then we’ll do it together. As our relationship with the Lord, grows, so will our relationship with each other.” Mark smiled and kissed her. “Come on, let’s go home.”
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