Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: REFUGE (08/29/19)
- TITLE: Imprisoned
By Dave Walker
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The memory of his mother's body spread-eagled on the kitchen floor like a discarded doll, compounded his terror as he looked desperately for a place of refuge. Trembling and sobbing, he plunged through a broken door and huddled in a corner of the room.
As suddenly as it started, the bombardment stopped. Dust settled on his clothes, hair and face, highlighting streaks of tears coursing down his cheeks. He sat immobile in the corner, trembling, staring straight ahead.
That was how they found him.
"Poor boy. He's shocked. What's your name, boy?"
Mahommed stared at the opposite wall.
A man in a white helmet shook him. Mahommed didn't move.
He spoke over his shoulder. "Rashid, do you know this lad? He's bad."
Rashid peered at him. "This is Miriam's kid. Their house was hit. Poor kid. He can't be more than ten."
All the while, Mahommed stared straight ahead.
------------ o ------------
The tall man stood erect and confident before a thousand men.
"When the shell shattered our house, and I saw my mother, one minute alive, the next a broken corpse on the floor, I ran in terror. As I stumbled through tumbling walls and the thunder of bombs, I needed a place to hide. I found a physical refuge, but it couldn't still the horror in my heart. So, I shut out the world. I didn't speak, didn't move. I didn't feel. ... As long as I didn't connect, I didn't feel.
Kind men from the White Helmets rescued me and got me to a Turkish refugee camp. Still I didn't talk or move, too afraid to come from my safe world into reality, even to eat. But it wasn't a haven. I was locked in a numb prison with images of my mother on the floor, and the sound of explosions rocking my mind.
Then gentle, kind Beatrice came. Patiently, she fed me, nourishing my wasted body. She fed my cringing mind with stories of kind men and women who loved children.
I'd heard my father calling to God before disappearing with his AK47 and seen God's destructive fury all around me. When I thought of God, I froze. Then Beatrice told me about a different God ... one whose favourite greeting was, "Peace be with you,"
"Come out of your hiding place, little Mahommed." Beatrice would say, "Come into the world of Jesus. You'll be safe with Him."
Slowly, over weeks, I peeped from my prison. She had a puppet. One day at his antics, I laughed for the first time. Things progressed faster from then. I fed myself and walked in the camp.
Beatrice told a story about Gideon who hid when God came looking for him. But God said, "Don't hide, Gideon. I've great plans for you." Then she said, "He's saying that to you, Mahommed, 'Don't hide in yourself. If you want to hide from the world, hide in Me. I've great plans for you.'"
That's when I decided. Kneeling beside her, I said, "Take me to Jesus."
As I prayed, I was back in that Syrian town, with crumbling walls and suffocating dust. Then a man in white walked towards me. As He came, the walls dissolved and the dust cleared. Before me was an emerald meadow and a tree-lined, reflective lake. I realised the walls were the acrid, shaky walls I'd built around myself. Jesus was inviting me into the safety of His green pastures and still waters. I took His hand and felt my fear dissolve. My soul had found true rest."
He looked across a sea of war-torn, weary faces. Yet here and there, a glimmer of hope lit their countenance. "We're all hiding from the memories of our past. Some of you have killed, some seen your beloved killed, others tortured.
"Where are you hiding from your pain? In alcohol? Women? Bitterness? In withdrawal, like me?"
His voice choked with emotion, he continued. "All these are not shelters. They're prisons. Deep down you know that. There's only one true refuge. He's calling you. 'Come to Me all who are burdened and heavy-laden. I'll give you rest.'
Come, now, let Jesus give you His true rest."
And the angels watched with joy as the crowd surged forward.
Note: Muslims are coming to Jesus in unprecedented numbers from the refugee camps in Europe and Turkey, often seeing Jesus in a vision/dream as a man in white.
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