Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)
TITLE: Shades of Grey (The Little Girl Within)
By J. C. Lamont
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She longs to come outside. She longs to come out and play. But it’s not safe. As she peeks out over the walls, she can see a stream of light. She can feel a hint of the sun’s warmth. Oh, how she longs to come out. But, alas, she knows it is not safe.
Behind the walls, she is safe, secure. These walls, she built, protect her from the world. The world which betrayed her. The world that screamed at her that she was worthless. That no one would ever want her. She hides behind her walls, behind the many masks she wears. Locked deep within herself.
On the outside there is color. Crisp, blue skies, wisps of pinks and yellows and oranges, flowers dancing in the wind. A park with its rustic bench, a wooden fence, and tall oak trees. But on the inside, behind the walls, are many shades of grey. Tears behind every smile. Scars behind each laugh.
Eyes of innocence, the eyes of a child, peer from behind the walls. Is it safe yet? Can she learn to trust? She listens intently, but in the brutal chill of the wind, all she hears are echoes of the past. No, it is not safe. She’s better off alone, locked deep inside. Safe, but very alone.
The very thing she fears the most, the terror that rips through the holes in her soul, is the abandonment she now thrusts upon herself. If she doesn’t allow anyone to get close, if she doesn’t allow the pain to burst through, she can not be rejected. So she locks away the little girl inside and pretends she doesn’t exist. She creates a new identity, of strength and confidence and joy. She buries the weakness, the insecurity, the pain. She mimics the only world she knew as a child. She abandons and rejects herself.
Her soul cries out, God, help me.
But the voice of evil rips through her mind. “God can’t hear you. He can’t hear the prayers of the wicked. You are worthless, remember. You’ll never be good enough for Him.”
“But, I’m a Christian. I --”
“You are a worthless Christian. You will never measure up. You’re a moral failure. If your own parents couldn’t even love you, what makes you think God can?”
And so, yet another layer of stone forms itself around her. The voice is right. It’s what she’s always been told. It matters not where she turns. The message is always the same. Shame crashes down around her and angrily she blinks away tears.
But the little girl inside won’t die without a fight.
“What about what Jesus said, about never leaving or forsaking me?”
“You know God can’t look at sin, so He can’t look at you. You are a worthless, vile sinner.”
“But every one sins, that’s why Jesus came. He died--”
“You sinned! That’s rebellion against God. God hates rebellion as much as he hates witchcraft! Therefore…”
She crumbles to the ground. “Therefore, God hates me.”
The face of evil grins. He has won yet again.
And so she cries dry tears of pain, as she goes about the motions, mechanical and alone.
In desperation she screams out aloud. “Are you there? Are you listening? Do you even know I exist?”
A calming presence kisses her cheek and a voice as gentle as the breeze replies, “I’m here, I’ve always been here. Can you trust me enough to come out?”
She shakes her head. “I can’t come out. You come in here.”
Sadness flows from His voice. “I can’t. There is a wall between us, and I will not violate that.”
She can not hide the tears, as they shamefully run down her cheeks. “I’m locked in here. I don’t know how.”
“My child, in your clenched fists, you hold the key.”
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