Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ENVY (jealousy of another’s advantage) (02/12/15)
- TITLE: Open Your Hands and Let Go
By Pauline Carruthers
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Grey blue waves lapped at wet brown sand; the gentle rhythm of a calm summer tide. White gulls soared effortlessly overhead, shrieking and swooping in leisurely flight, intermittently diving for rich pickings left by tourists.
Adam sat on a bench gazing out to sea, hands clenched tightly, knuckles straining beneath suntanned skin. Piercing blue eyes glared beneath floppy brown hair. A frown creased his forehead and pursed pale lips uttered sounds carried away on a light breeze. He watched her, crimson sails stark against a pale blue sky. She was beautiful. His Jamie Lee, named after his still-born daughter. He had built her and lost her, as he had lost his precious daughter. Daniel was a good sailor. He handled her well and had paid a fair price for her, not taking advantage of the financial crash of Adam’s boatyard. Yet still the familiar fierce anger and covetousness rose as tears from his soul, at the sight of Adam and his small daughter, their laughter carried on the wind.
“How do you feel when you see Daniel sailing her Adam?”
John, his counsellor, was speaking quietly to him and he desperately wanted to assure him that he was in control. Yet he knew that he wasn’t. He knew how much he tortured himself every time he watched her scudding across the water, red sails in perfect harmony with the elements. He tried to sound casual, but was painfully aware of the angry bitter jealousy that poured from his very soul, at the thought of her belonging to someone else. He didn’t expect John to understand. How could he when he floated on a cloud of self-righteousness. Completely unaware of what it felt like to lose something that loving hands had built and nurtured into submission. Years of putting in every spare hour to make her perfect. Then forced to relinquish her into another’s hands; having to watch her respond to the experienced hands of a sailor every bit as good as himself.
“I hate him John. And I hate these feelings of helplessness and jealousy every time I see him leave the harbour. It’s eating me up inside. All I can think of is trying to find a way to take her back. To sail her again, my Jamie Lee by my side.”
A shroud of uneasy silence wrapped around the room. John got up and wandered over to the window, looking out at the beautiful old antique shop he had once owned, until his father’s gambling debts had swallowed it up. His heart thudded at the thought that he could have ended up bitter and twisted inside, envious of the one who now owned it. But he hadn’t. Instead he had given it to Jesus over and over again, until one glorious day he had finally been able to let go. The torturing bitterness now just a faint glimmer in the light of surrender.
“I once had to let go of something that was precious to me Adam. It was agonising, but I knew that if I didn’t let go it would destroy my life. Coveting what someone else has can cripple the soul. Let go Adam. Hold your beautiful daughter and that boat in your hands and surrender them to Jesus. Let your Jamie Lee go and give thanks for what you have, before it slips through your hands.
Adam turned sharply and walked out of the door. He didn’t want to hear it, yet he sensed John spoke from experience and that made it somehow easier to take. He walked down to the harbour, lingering to consider John’s words, to grieve one more time, before making his way home. It was late and they would all be sleeping.
A clock on the wall ticked in the silence as he made his way upstairs, reminding him of the night they had been born. A similar clock had chimed the hour as a nurse had led him to the adjoining cribs. Two tiny boys, sparse dark hair, red faces, little mouths wide open, hunger cries. The boys and Louise were all that really mattered now. Squeezing between two little beds, he bent and kissed each precious face. Then kneeling beside them he held out his hands.
“Jamie Lee is Yours Jesus.”
He could feel her slipping away, but he knew in his heart that this was just the beginning. He would give her back many times before he allowed her to stay.
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