Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BROKEN (12/06/18)
TITLE: I Will Not Be Broken
By Allison Egley
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“Come in,” he said.
“I...” Esther paused. She had not yet been given permission to speak.
“Yes, Esther? What brings you to my office?”
“I... was sent here by Elder Nahum. He... will be joining us in a few minutes.”
“I see. Please step back outside, Esther. Elder Nahum and I will come get you when we are ready.”
Esther sat on the bench down the hall, reciting scripture to herself. Not just the assigned and approved scripture. After the rest of the family was in bed, Esther would read her Bible on her own. She knew there was more than what The Holy Anointed was teaching her at the commune. She wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but finally she was called back into the Headmaster’s office. When she walked in, in addition to the Headmaster and Elder Nahum, there were a few more elders in the room, including her father.
Esther took a deep breath. This was going to be more difficult than she thought. But they would not break her. The scriptures came flooding back to her.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
“Esther,” the Headmaster began, “Elder Nahum has informed me that you questioned his authority. Is this correct?”
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Esther knew there was only one answer to this, no matter how she felt about it. “Yes, Headmaster.”
“He further reports that you questioned the rules of The Holy Anointed. Is this correct?”
Her father’s voice is the next one she heard, but the voice seemed... foreign. Was this really the voice of her loving father?
“Esther, is your dress untied?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“Yes...” her father left the sentence trailing.
“Yes...” Esther knew what he was looking for, but she wasn’t sure how to address him in this situation. Father seemed too personal. Elder seemed too formal. “Yes... Sir.”
“Why?” her father asked. Esther hesitated. There was no right answer to this question. Apparently, silence was also the wrong answer. “Young lady, I asked you a question.”
“I untied it, Sir. On purpose.” There was a murmur of disbelief among the elders in the room.
Elder Nahum, who she hadn’t heard speak since she left his classroom, spoke. “Esther, the headmaster, some of the elders, and I have already discussed your punishment. We merely wanted to give you a chance to recant and repent. But it seems you have chosen otherwise. You will spend the rest of the day and tonight in the isolation room.”
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Esther shuddered. She had heard about the isolation room, but had never experienced it herself. Her next meal would be lunch at school tomorrow.
The headmaster spoke again. “I will escort you there now. Esther, if this defiant and insubordinate behavior continues, we may have to take this before the full elder board, and you may be excommunicated. Do you understand the gravity of the situation?”
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
“What are you saying, Esther? We can’t quite hear you.”
Esther considered lying – saying she was reciting her penance. Or the rules of The Holy Anointed. But she didn’t. “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Psalm 56:11.”
She knew now that nothing would stop her from studying the scriptures on her own. If she was excommunicated and thrown out of the commune for it, then that was okay. Then she’d be free to learn more about the parts of the Bible that were not taught by the elders. Their view of the Bible and salvation may be broken, but they would not break her.
Verses in order of appearance (all KJV)
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