Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL article (11/27/14)
- TITLE: That Stubborn
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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In addition to the physical strain, my estranged father had been in the hospital for two weeks and had been relocated to a nursing home. I had driven the thirty miles one-way twice over the weekend only to feel disappointed and unwanted. Every few years, I’d had a chance to reconnect with him, but it only had taken a few minutes of watching and listening to realize Dad had chosen someone else over me years ago. Again, my bed tempted me, but I decided that after the past week, I desperately needed to go to Bible study.
As I climbed into my car and headed down the hill into town, I prayed. Dear Jesus, You know exactly what I need. Please take all this garbage floating around my head and help me get through this tumultuous time. Also, I’d really appreciate a message or sign that I’m doing the right thing. Amen.
Sighing, I looked up and goose bumps popped out on my arm as my eyes focused on this amazing sight that I can only describe as a rainbow; except it didn't bow, there was no rain, and the colors formed the widest vertical band I’d ever seen. Rolling my eyes, I giggled. Seriously, God, do you need to be that obvious with me?
In my heart, I heard him answer, Well, you are known for your stubbornness.
Laughing, I decided God did know me pretty well. I ruminated on this as I drove deeper into the valley.
Chancing a quick glance up, my heart thudded as I realized the band was getting shorter. Apparently, the best vantage point to see this symbol of hope was on top of the mountain. Again, I spoke with Jesus. Oh, come on, I’m not that stubborn, am I?
This time, I didn't hear God’s answer, but noticed the sky darkening the farther downhill I went. With one last look, I realized the band was too far to the right to be pointing to my church. I could feel the hope being sucked out of my soul. Maybe it is nothing more than the light refracting off droplets of water.
I turned the corner and almost crashed the car into the ditch. When I followed the colors to the ground, I realized it was shining below the silos from the farm located right above my childhood home. The sound of sucking hope quieted. Okay, God, are you trying to tell me that there is hope for my dad and me to reconcile; that it isn't too late?
This time, I heard a raspy, mean voice in my head. Look around, you loser, where is your symbol of hope now? You’re so stupid to think God would send you a sign. Don’t you see how dark it is? It may have looked cloudless on the top of the hill, but once you get down in the valley around real people, the darkness overwhelms any light and stomps out all hope. There’s nothing here but despair, and that’s all you deserve.
Tears coursed down my face. The negative voice kept torturing me. By the time I reached town, I was begging God. Please, make it stop, Give me a sign that you love me, that I’m doing the right things. I turned the corner to pull up next to the church and was blinded by the sun. The light was so bright that I had to shield my face. As my eyes adjusted, I felt that warm feeling again. I glanced at the church; I couldn't help but notice the glow surrounding it. I had found my way to my real home.
Wiping away my tears, I looked up once more. Thank you, Jesus. You’re right; I am that stubborn.
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