Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Elephant in the Room (12/05/13)
- TITLE: No Bigger Than a Mountain
By Karlene Jacobsen
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The air in my lungs thickened. If I could just leave . . . if we could do this another time . . . if only . . . if only . . .
If this whole thing could be postponed indefinitely, we could be better prepared for it. If it didn’t happen, we could avoid it altogether. But I knew better.
I knew that on the other side of that door waited a large, immovable beast that wouldn’t leave. Its weight and size dwarfed all of us and there was no avoiding it. Ignoring it wouldn’t make it disappear, either. It was there to stay. Every now and again, it would sit on my chest, threaten to squash the life out of me until I’d weep and sob for mercy. Then it shifted some to allow me to catch my breath, only to begin again in my grief.
Yes. The elephant was in that room. But it was also on my chest, and promised to remain for an indefinite period of time. It refused to be ignored. Believe me. I’ve tried. It was as though I believed that ignoring it would make it not exist. Ignoring it would make it less real, less foreboding, less painful. Less . . . Well, just less.
Now, I could hear it snickering behind the door. Mocking. Challenging. Shaming. As though it had some sort of device to read my thoughts, it replayed all the careless things I’d entertained, the selfishness of my attitude, the manner in which I’d failed. And there was no making it right. No redemption. No way to retrace my steps and retract those things that burdened me with guilt. Gone was the time of grace and mercy and forgiveness.
Somewhere, from deep inside, a voice rumbled upward. Its depth shook me, my heartbeat quickened, tears sprang to my eyes. I blinked to keep the others from knowing how badly I’d failed. If we didn’t talk about it, we could go on as though we were ok. If we didn’t go in there we could leave the beast to itself. I couldn’t face it. I didn’t have the strength, the energy, or the emotional stamina.
“Let’s just do this another day. OK?”
My brother wrapped an arm around my shoulders, and with his free hand reached for the door handle. “No, Sis. We’ve got to do it now. If we don’t it’s only going to get harder.”
I sucked in my breath and stiffened my back. This was happening, whether I wanted it to or not.
Together, we crossed the threshold. Together we faced that gray, leathery, over-sized beast. And still, it lingered in the room. Silent. Unmoving. Unbending. Unwilling to take back its painful glare. Uncaring that our hearts were shredding and bleeding.
Instead it bore holes into my soul. Its challenge hung in the air--you can do to stop me, I’ll continue to rob people of their loves. Its stare was intense. Revealing. It was also pushing a door open for me to hear that rumble again. The voice grew louder. Its strength, ever-increasing.
Guilt and shame melted away as I realized I’d done all I could. You’re right. I had no power against this beast called death. But I know Someone who has. And He’s promised me that I could move mountains with faith of a mustard seed.
An elephant is nowhere near that large.
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