Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Pen and Paper (07/17/14)
- TITLE: Battered But Not Beaten
By Phillip Cimei
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James triumphantly descended the stairs checking on his spoils. His chiseled Adonis body flaunted Marine from head to toe. Just back from Iraq, he had a hard time distinguishing the enemy. His eyes still aflame with the fury that inflicted his rage on Gail, he went over and grabbed her arm.
“Writing a letter to child welfare?” he asked while wrenching her arm downward. “The last time they took Jasmine and gave her to your mom. Do you want them to take Kate as well?”
“No...no I was just angry and was writing something stupid to myself.”
James snatched the paper out of her hand. As he read it, his demeanor immediately changed. He wrapped his arms around her and said, “Oh baby, I'm so sorry. I don't know what gets into me. It's the war thing and... and... you know I can't help it. I won't hurt you anymore. I promise.”
The next day Gail's neighbor and friend Barbara came over to visit. Barbara wanted to invite Gail to a woman's church retreat. The door was ajar and she could hear someone whimpering inside.
“Hello. Hello. Gail are you alright?”
Her face bruised, chunks of hair missing, Gail lay prostrate on the floor clinching pen and paper in one hand and a loaded 45 in the other.
“I...I... couldn't do it Barbara. I couldn't do it,” said Gail as she handed Barbara the paper.
Barbara cringed at the noxious words:
I have been a failure as a mother and a wife.
I lost both my babies and now my husband.
I can't live like this. I just want to...
“Gail, what happened? What do you mean you lost your baby and your husband? Where is Kate and James?”
“Oh Barbara, James is in jail. He got mad at me last night because I went over to a friend's house. He came over to her house and dragged me by the hair to the car. Before the police could get there, he went crazy and punched me all over. Child Welfare placed Kate in protective custody because of the violence in her presence.”
Barbara sat down next to Gail. She grabbed both of her hands and said, “Gail, God didn't create women to be doormats or punching bags. He created women to love their husbands and to be a helper to them. But listen to what the bible also says, 'For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.'” Eph. 5:25 NLT
“I'm going to go down to the jail and tell them it was all my fault. Maybe they will let him come home.”
“STOP! Gail you have to stop this. It is not your fault. It is his. This will continue until you do something about it. Did you know that women just like you get beat up, bruised and bloodied 17 times before they finally seek help or die? God can help you overcome this.”
Barbara fervently prayed with Gail seeking deliverance and power to face the hard road ahead. Gail went to the retreat with Barbara and came back saved, filled with God's Spirit and ready to meet all the requirements of domestic violence classes, parenting skills and counseling that she needed to get her children back.
One day, about nine months later, Barbara went over to visit with Gail. The door was ajar and she could hear whimpering. Her heart fluttered, “Deja vu,” whispered the Devil. “NO!”. Barbara's faith took charge.
She rushed in. “Gail, Gail are you alright? Gail was kneeling by the couch. In her hand was a pen and paper. The other hand wiped tears from her cheeks.
“Oh honey what is wrong. You have come so far. You got your babies back.”
Gail handed her the paper and said, “I was just thanking the Lord for His help through these tough times. I wrote James a note.”
Barbara's soul was flooded with joy. It said:
I forgive you,
Jesus can also.
He is your only hope.
They hugged, they cried, and they reveled in the victory through Jesus.
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