Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: WAIT (08/30/18)
- TITLE: Blemishes
By Seema Bagai
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Just like everyone else, they sighed.
Except for one thing. Emberlyn was also born with a quarter-sized blue spot on her left hip. Her bewildered parents were too embarrassed to ask the doctor. They figured nobody would ever see the mark and chose to pretend it never existed.
As she grew, Emberlyn wondered about the blemish. She tried asking her parents, but they simply changed the subject. At age five, Emberlyn’s grandfather passed away. The morning after the funeral, Emberlyn woke up and found a blue smudge on her right shoulder. The same appeared on her stomach when her puppy ran away. Again, her questions were met with silence.
At school, Emberlyn learned the other children did not want to hear about her blemishes. She wondered if she was the only person with this affliction. Nearly all her classmates were various shades of purple. There were a couple of green children, but they were in a different class and didn’t play with the others. Nobody else had any visible blue blotches. On her birthday each year, Emberlyn’s candle wish was for the spots to disappear.
In high school, Emberlyn frequently awoke to find another blue splotch somewhere on her body. Sometimes after getting a bad grade on a test or not being invited to the school dance. Other times for no apparent reason. She began wearing high-collared, long sleeved shirts and jeans, even in the middle of summer.
In algebra class, she sat across from a boy who wore a watch with a wide strap. One day she glimpsed a streak of blue peeking from the edge of the strap. It gave Emberlyn a spark of hope that she was not the only one afflicted with this condition. Yet when she approached him after class, he turned and stalked down the hall. Discouraged, she kept the blotches hidden even from her best friends.
During this time, Emberlyn learned of the Healer, the one who promised He could make all the blemishes disappear. Each night she asked Him to heal her and remove the spots. Each morning the most she noticed was a spot or two had lightened to aqua.
She tried many remedies to remove the blemishes. Lotions and elixirs. Physicians and advisers. Sometimes the spots faded and a few of the smaller ones vanished. When that happened, she would slip into a sundress and soak in the sunshine, grateful for a few moments of normalcy.
Despite her regular petitions to the Healer and diligent following of all the prescriptive advice, the spots would return. During one particularly difficult outbreak, Emberlyn contemplated running away to find the Healer’s home. Wise counsel instructed her she could not hasten the healing or the journey. He would call for her in His time.
As she grew older, Emberlyn found others who struggled with the blue skin stains and were willing to openly share their burdens. They offered one another solace during outbreaks following divorces and illnesses and celebrated when blemishes faded or disappeared. Together, they petitioned the Healer for relief and waited expectantly for relief.
At the same time, Emberlyn lived her life. She married, worked, traveled, painted, gardened, and hiked. Gradually she grew to accept the blemishes, not as a defect, but as part of how she was created. While she still experienced outbreaks, she clung to the Healer’s love and promises.
Finally, when she was 92, the Healer invited her to His home. She found herself in a large room surrounded by the purest light and echoes of praise reverberating around her. She knelt before the throne and bowed her head, unable to face His majesty and splendor. By this time, her skin and hair were a dusky gray and her eyes had clouded with age.
The Healer stood before Emberlyn and placed one hand on her head. In His other hand, he held a cup. With a gentle whisper, He poured the crimson liquid over her. As it dripped from her head down over her worn-out frame, all the blemishes melted revealing skin of dazzling amethyst. She was restored.
The Healer pulled Emberlyn up into His arms and embraced her, whispering softly, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
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