Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SICK (05/09/19)
- TITLE: Pieces of Hope
By Karen Dick
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My stomach lurched and I bent over when the familiar sharp pain shot across my abdomen. Air squeezed from my lungs and my body convulsed as I coughed. I steadied my breathing when it subsided as tears coursed down my cheeks.
“Jehovah,” I cried, “why did you take my husband? Can’t you see that I need help?”
I lowered my head and pushed up with both hands until I was on my knees. I crawled across the dirt to my chair, grasped the back, and pulled myself up slowly. The room spun as I stood and I sunk into the chair, resting my head in my hands on the table.
As my body calmed, I stayed still, then splashed water on my face from the washbowl. With eyes closed, I leaned back and breathed.
He’s coming today. I need to be strong. I need to see him.
I picked up a hard crusty piece of bread left from supper and pulled off a bite. It was dry and stale. I swallowed it with a sip of warm water. My hand covered my mouth as the coughing erupted once again.
After several moments, when my body had calmed, I pushed up from the table and stood. Once I gained my balance, I peeled off my soiled undergarment, and I pulled on my only clean one. Carefully, I shuffled toward the door. I slipped into my robe and tied it securely. My head covering fell loosely around my hair and covered most of my face.
The sun felt hot as I left my small home. I leaned heavily on a walking stick as I headed toward the lake. As I got closer I saw crowds of people moving in that direction. I pulled my head covering around my face.
On the shore of the lake was a huge throng of people. I lowered my head as I approached. Shouting rang up as more people arrived. I stayed behind to keep hidden and moved slowly. My breathing was labored, my legs were weak. I stopped and wiped perspiration off my forehead.
A large group of people was not far from me. A man wrapped in bandages and a blind man next to him stumbled behind the crowd as it moved. They shouted, “Heal me, Jesus; heal me!”
I moved toward the crowd. People continued to join the mass. I stopped, staying behind while trying to see the healer; Jesus. The sun beat down on my head, the crowd moved. How I longed to see him.
A man stopped next to me and stared into my face. “Get away woman. You are unclean. Surely Jesus will have nothing to do with you.”
A woman next to him turned. “Go home, you filth. You smell.”
I ducked my head but the crowd pushed from behind. My stick was kicked away and I fell to my knees. My head spun, sweat rolled down my face. I began to crawl, dust filling my lungs. A foot kicked into my ribs and I gripped my side as I peered through the crowd.
I saw him. He was walking in my direction.
I pushed through legs while dirt caked my face and pebbles punctured my knees. I continued to crawl until he was almost in front of me. Squeezing through more legs I was close enough to touch his robe. I stretched my arm out as far as I could. I felt the soft linen on my fingertips.
A tingling surged through my fingers, up my arm and through my body. The lightheadedness stopped. I could breathe.
A silence came over the crowd.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
My heart pounded as I looked up into his gentle face. “It was I, Lord.”
Tears filled my eyes when he smiled.
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