Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: India (02/12/09)
TITLE: Into His Arms
By Jennifer Wetter
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Shadows of pinks, purples and reds danced upon the desert floor as the searing Indian sun waved goodbye in the distance. The arid desert winds began coursing across the sand as I struggled to stay upright, clinging tightly to the tattered shawl around my shoulders.
Cautiously I peered into the distance as the sands began swirling around my face like a snake slithering towards its prey. Panic and prayer quietly ensued for shelter, perhaps some food and even some hope. Tears welled up in my eyes as I fell to the desert sand and raised my hands in utter surrender. Maybe I should plead for a painless and merciful death rather than await certain death here in the desert from exposure to the elements, starvation or the creatures that roam the desert floors. Then and perhaps only then could I be reunited with my family as the awaited my arrival at the Gates of Heaven.
My heart ached to see their faces, to touch their hands and bask in the light of the Savior. My eyes yearned to see to see His face and be eloped in the comfort of His embrace. Everyday my heart pleaded for death and everyday His heart pleaded for patience and just a little more time because it was not mine just yet.
Soon, perhaps soon, I thought wearily. Perhaps maybe even tonight but once again the familiar echo of His Voice ensued, not just yet. Have not I not waited long enough yet, Lord? I gazed upwards towards heaven unsure of what to do or where to go next. A small smile played across my lips as I thought of the story of the wiremen as they were led by the Star of Bethlehem to the baby Jesus. Perhaps God would send a star or an angel to light my way through the desert tonight.
Wearily I struggled to my feet but was overcome by exhustation; my own strength had finally given out on me.
"God," I helplessly prayed. "Please give me the strength, your strength to rise to my feet and continue on wherever you may lead."
With another exasperated sigh slowly I was able to rise to my calloused feet and continue. Unaware and uncertain of where I was supposed to follow. I simply continued staggering through the swirling sands and deeper into the midnight darkness. All the while an internal struggle ensued my head urged me to turn around and my heart urged me forward.
Steadily my eyes veered back and forth as my feet paced forward attempting to distinguish an outline of anything that was raised against the sand. Anything that could offer a siloutte of protection against what scurries across the surface of the sand. Blistered and blurred my eyes were drawn to a large boulder several feet in front of my blurry and blistered eyes.
"Thank you Lord," I muttered softly to no one except whom it mattered to most. With renewed strength I trudged forward towards hope and towards Him. Slowly I was able to climb the jetted edges of the boulder and onto its flat, smooth surface. Exhustation crept through every crack and crevice of my heart, my body and my soul and finally overtaken by the overwhelming blackness.
Finally for a moment time was frozen, it had no meaning, no plans and no excuses. I was free to wander through my memories of happier times unveiled and undeterred. Longingly I clung to the memory of the day I finally met Him, to the unexplainable joy when my mother, my father and my sister met Him as well and also to the unrequited pain of their deaths. My family was martyred by those who could not understand our passion, our purpose or our peace.
Slowly the darkness of the night faded and I was greeted by a shadow in the blistering desert sun.
"Is that you Lord," I cried.
A soft voice spoke, "No my child. I am sorry it’s not but He told me where I could find you."
Gently he gathered me close to his heart and carried me into the arms of the Savior.
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