Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: RAIN (04/18/19)
TITLE: God's Tears
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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Wrigley peeked down the hall and shrugged. “Nah, that’s nothing. Camden and his piggy friends are way grosser.” Shay’s face looked almost gray, and Wrigley noticed she was shivering. She handed her a blanket.
Taking it, Shay scurried out to the hall and started to mop up the mess. Wrigley tugged on her blanket. “Hey. Stop! You’re getting my favorite blanket all muddy.”
“Why’d ya give it to me then?”
“Cause you’re shaking. I thought you were cold. Plus I told you not to worry. If Mom gets mad, she’ll just blame Camden.”
Shay stared at Wrigley. “But--but that’s wrong.” She started to cry. “Camden shouldn’t get a whooppin’ cuz of us.”
Wrigley thought about Shay’s words. “Whoopin’? Whaddya mean?”
Shay’s cheeks turned pink. “Nuthin’”
Taking her hand, Wrigley gently guided her to a sitting position on the bed. She glanced around to make sure Camden wasn’t lurking and whispered, “Do your parents hit you?” Wrigley felt like puking when Shay nodded and mumbled, “Just my dad.”
As Shay sobbed, Wrigley sat quietly, not knowing what to do. After what felt like forever, she put her arm around Shay and wiped her face with the blanket.
That seemed to bring Shay out of her funk. “I thought it was your favorite. I’m getting snot all over it.”
Shrugging, Wrigley tried to smile. “Snot’s not as bad as mud.”
“You’re bonkers.” Shay nudged Wrigley playfully.
Laughing awkwardly, Wrigley stood up and grabbed a towel from the floor. “I’ll clean up the mud with this.”
After swiping up the mess, they went back into the bedroom. Shay stared at the posters on the wall. A lot of them had sayings about God. She pointed to one and said, “Ever wonder why God gives some kids cool parents and…” Shay hung her head and gulped.
Wrigley plopped her arm around Shay’s shoulder. “Yeah, I think everyone does. I asked Grandma once. She didn’t really have a good answer; she’s like, God lets people make their own choices, and he’s there to help them during bad times.”
“But, I didn’t choose Dad.”
“No, but your Dad chooses if he’s gonna get mad or not.”
Shaking her head, Shay nibbled on her fingernails. “I don’t think Dad chooses to…you know. It just happens. He’s always sorry afterwards. Maybe God just doesn’t care.”
Wrigley thought about what she should say. She wanted to make Shay feel better but wasn’t sure how. “Once, during a wicked thunderstorm, I was sleeping at Grandma’s and was really scared. She let me crawl into bed with her and told me thunder and lightning was just clouds bumping into each other. So I’m like, what’s rain?” Wrigley took a deep breath and prayed she’d say the right thing. “I remember Grandma’s voice getting real soft, and she said that rain was God’s tears. I bet it does make God sad that your dad…you know. It makes me sad.”
Shay sighed. “But why doesn’t God stop him?”
Tears started filling Wrigley’s eyes too. “I don’t know. Another thing Grandma says is what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Maybe God’s helping you be strong.”
Just then, a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky and thunder rumbled so loud, both girls jumped. Shay pointed to the window. “I guess God is really sad right now.” They watched the rain pound against the glass.
Shay turned and looked into Wrigley’s eyes. “Promise you won’t tell.”
“But--maybe my parents can help.”
Shay shook her head so hard that her hair slapped her in the face. “No! Promise!”
Wrigley cracked her knuckles. It was a habit that drove her mother crazy, but it calmed Wrigley down. “Okay. I promise. But just for right now. I’m gonna pray about it. I might have to tell later; but if I do, I’ll let you know before I tell. Okay?”
Shay shrugged. “I guess.” They turned to the window again and saw a rainbow. Shay asked, “What does your grandma say ‘bout rainbows?”
Wrigley grinned. “It’s a promise from God. Everything’s gonna be okay.”
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