Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Worship (corporate) (10/04/07)
TITLE: Thank You Jesus
By Marita Vandertogt
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The morning was cold. Dark. The sun just a thin red line that she could see from her window blurred by the thin layer of frost that was forming on the inside. She’d turn the heat up when her next pension cheque came through, but for now, the extra blankets would have to do.
She could hear Seth down the hallway, his baby breath heavy with cold. She slid from the covers, slipped her feet into worn mules and shuffled her way down the hall to where he slept. Seth’s little face was warm with fever, his cheeks red circles against the soft light in the room, the one he insisted on having on every night so the dark things that he saw just before he fell asleep, wouldn’t be there. He knew they hated the light. So Beatrice kept the light on for him. His mother never did. She told Beatrice not to let him get away with it when he came to visit, but she didn’t have the heart. She knew what it was like to have the dark things threaten to appear, to hear them more than see them, and she knew how bad it felt, to feel the scared. Especially now.
His eyes fluttered at the touch of her cool hand on his forehead. “Grandma, that you?” his sleepy voice rose in a question, crackling at the end and then breaking into a cough.
“Shhh” she whispered, “keep sleeping. Yes, it’s grandma.” Her heart swelled at the love she felt for this tiny human being, one linked to her in blood, and she tucked the covers closer around him. “When you wake up, I’ll give you some more medicine.” She said to the air, more than to him. “And then we’ll call your momma and tell you feel so much better now.” She patted the head once more and went back to her room.
Beatrice knew they wouldn’t be calling his mother. His momma had left him when he first got sick, dropped him off at Beatrice’s door with a running car waiting in the background. “Can you take him for just a few days,” she’d pulled his little hand into his grandma’s and with a quick squeeze around his tiny body, ran to the car, and drove away. So far, Beatrice hadn’t heard a thing from her daughter.
Pulling the Bible from the nightstand, she flipped the pages, looking for verses of comfort. “I know Lord,” she said to the dimly lit air. To the frost covered windows where now the light of day was starting to come through. “I know You hear me, but sometimes Lord, it doesn’t feel that way.” Tiny thumps of tears hit the thin worn pages. She closed the book and slid to the ground, stretching herself out on the cold wood floor, face down, her hands extended out, the slightly gnarled fingers opening as best they could in outstretched worship.
“Here I am Lord,” she raised her face slightly to speak the words. “This act of worship, is all I have to give you right now. I bow to Your Lordship, and call upon Your comfort to help me through this time.”
With that, Beatrice lay still, feeling the cold of the floor around her feet, against her knees, her head resting face down, barely breathing.
Then she began to sing the verses, mere whispered breaths at first.
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art.
With each word, her voice grew stronger. She could almost feel a choir of angels joining her, singing around her bed, lifting their voices with hers.
“Then sings my soul...” she continued to sing as she rose up from the ground, now standing straight up, hands extended into the air. The words grew louder, her faith stronger, until by the end of the song, her time of worship with the Lord, complete, she sat at the edge of the bed, and called out, “Thank You Jesus, for hearing my song. And thank You Jesus, just for being that light that shines the dark things out of my life.”
With that, she climbed back under the covers. And just before she felt asleep again in the early morning light, heard the soft sound of sleep from the bedroom down the hallway.
“Thank you Jesus,” she said again, and drifted off.
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