Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GLUTTONY (overindulgence and overconsumption) (01/15/15)
TITLE: A Tale of Two Women
By Terry R A Eissfeldt
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Rain, pelting against the double-paned window, seems to mock her. Sighing heavily, dreading the day, Grace pushes herself out from the silk sheets. She sluggishly shuffles through the plush carpet of the master bedroom onto the gleaming hardwood in the large French Country kitchen.
George, her patient and loving husband, has the coffee made, her favourite china cup out, and a note saying how much he loves her.
Pouring herself a steaming cup, she heads to the large leather recliner surrounded by mahogany bookcases.
Grace chooses the New Living Translation from the shelf dedicated to her many Bibles. Sinking into the soft leather she flicks the satellite radio on. Music from her favourite Christian radio station fills the room. Grace is reluctant to believe it can ease her pain.
The loss of Bobby is evident wherever she goes in the 5000 square foot house; his empty bed by the fire, the designer leash hung on the brass hook, the doggy door leading to a yard and heated little dog house.
“Yes,” Grace thinks, “I made the right decision. I can’t lead the Soup Kitchen Ministry for at least a year. I’m so empty and hurting.”
She wonders where God is and what He could possible say to her particular loss. Too tired to care, she lets the Bible fall open where it may.
It opens to Ezekiel 16:49, “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.”
Slamming the book shut Grace begins to cry. She knew God wouldn’t speak to her pain.
She sluggishly shuffles back to bed.
Sleeping fitfully Grace dreams of a void trying to suck her under. It grows larger and the pulling grows stronger, trying to coax her to let go and fall into oblivion. She awakens with a start at the sound of air hurriedly being sucked into her lungs.
Rain, pelting on the tin roof, causes a prayer of thankfulness to escape her lips. Rising up from the bamboo sleeping matt, Grace tiptoes on the smooth dirt floor past sleeping children.
Reaching for the ladle Grace draws water from the bucket and pours it into the metal pot. She lights the Rocket Stove. Like the tin roof, it's a luxury she struggles feeling guilty over possessing . So many have much less.
After the tea steeps Grace carries the one chipped cup to her favourite corner. From this vantage point, sitting on her haunches, she can see each of the one hundred and forty-four square feet as she prays in the morning.
Allowing herself one brief sigh at the sight of the rolled up matt leaning against the far wall, Grace feels the heaviness of grief lurking. Ever in the shadows, it’s like a lion relentlessly stalking her.
Losing Bobby, her only son, to mighty Ebola, is hard to bear.
Why did she agree to continue volunteering at the Mission Hospital?
“No,” Grace thinks, “I won’t let this loss, this fear, this pain, control me.”
Closing her eyes she visualizes all the verses from the Good Book living in her memory. It’s like a library in her brain.
She stops at Ezekiel 16:49, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and the abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”
A tear trickles down her face. Papa God always has what she needs.
With purpose Grace stands and prepares for the day.
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