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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)

TITLE: Operation : Soul-Cabinet
By Sara Harricharan
09/15/10


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I screamed and cried as the operation progressed. I’d refused anesthesia and now I was paying for it in a way I couldn’t escape. In the dimly lit room, I was held captive to my promise, lying upon a slab of wood, awaiting His expert touch.

His expression was solemn, his eyes were wise and with a soft dust cloth, He wiped away the dust from the doors of my soul-cabinet. I offered Him the key, but He reminded me of a spare copy I’d given him long ago.

I blushed and lay down, waiting for Him to begin.

It was a process I’d never forget.

The doors of my soul opened easily. I could not see a single thing within, but His piercing eyes saw everything everywhere. He dusted the corners and settled down to work.

At first, it didn’t hurt, then the first pangs of pain began. Things I had wanted. Things I had known. Things that I didn’t want to let go of. All of them, He removed, one by painful one. My voice was hoarse by the time He paused to allow me a break to catch my breath.

I couldn’t hate Him. I had finally asked. A fresh start, a clean heart and a soul-cabinet stocked for Him. A shudder passed through me and I felt my head swimming in circles as He tugged out another painful chunk of my sorry reality.

With careful, practiced hands, He drew out a battered, forest-green cube, the fancy script on the side read ‘resentment’.

The cube was tossed towards the recycle bin as He continued on. I waited for the next scream, but it was longer in coming. When the next cube was removed, I didn’t feel emptiness.

My voice was stuck inside my throat as I wondered what He’d taken out this time. Calm, quiet moments passed and for a moment, my senses returned enough for me to take in the soothing interior of His workshop.

A faint trill of happiness surged through me and I found myself taking slow, careful breaths.

“This one wasn’t so bad, was it?”

The handful of tears spilled out of my eyes and I found myself nodding. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. He was gentle. He was kind. He was more than I could have dreamed of. I didn’t deserve this. I was unworthy.

He wiped away the tears with strong hands that were soft to the touch. When I dared to raise my guilty face to His forgiving eyes, somewhere amidst them, I found grace. I also found that I didn’t have any tears left to return to Him.

The cubes piled up on my left side as I craned my neck to read them. Squinting, I could make out words and phrases, inscriptions that drew fierce blushes to the surface.

Disappointment.

Anger.

Hate.

Refusing to let go.

Selfishness.

Incorrect justifications.

Denial.

Depression.

White Lies.

Dirty Thoughts.

Jealousy.

Temptations.

He reached for the chisel and I braced myself for the impact. It wouldn’t kill me, but it would still hurt. The pain melted away as I felt wet, warm drops spattering on my hands.

His tears flowed freely down His face with an expression of love too beautiful to behold. My head ached and my throat ran dry. I had no emotion left to project. I had nothing worthwhile inside of me.

The ache in my head moved into my heart and it began to mourn in tandem with my soul-cabinet. I couldn’t bear it any longer. I sat up and threw my arms around His neck. “Daddy!” I hiccupped into my shoulder. “I’m empty. I’m so useless.”

He rubbed my shoulders and kissed the top of my head. “No, my child. Because I can fill you, now you are useful.” He pointed towards a stack of cheerful, colored blocks on a rolling cart. “Would you let me fill your soul-cabinet?”

I nodded and closed my eyes.

He began to pack the cubes, with gentle, expert hands.

Love.

Hope.

Peace.

Strength.

Transparency.

Kindness.

Honesty.

He filled my cabinet until I was sure I would die of happiness. I couldn’t feel a single smidge of emptiness and I felt so light and full that I could float.

“Daddy? Are you finished?”

“Almost.”

“Hmm?”

“As your heart grows, and you grow, more good things will be able to fit in there.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Really.”

“Am I better now?”

He held me close. “You’re just fine.”


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This article has been read 913 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/16/10
Wow this is the most beautiful piece I've ever read!
Lillian Rhoades 09/16/10
This is a story-sermon, a real knee bender. Thanks for such great, creative insightful writing.
Karen Pourbabaee 09/17/10
Such a beautiful picture of the intimate relationship between us and our Father who is the creator of our inner person, if we but trust Him...revelatory message full of hope!
Gregory Kane09/18/10
Highly creative with a good message. I felt that you could have developed some of the carpentry analogy a bit further, particularly in the very middle. But it's clever and it still works as it is.
Amanda Brogan09/18/10
One of my favorite parts is where God is crying as He works on the person. He knows the pain that we must submit to in order for Him to remove the junk and fill us with His characteristics. He knows and He loves us enough to put us through it.

What a wonderful story! Beautiful and relevent for all who continually let God clean their "soul-cabinet."
Genia Gilbert09/19/10
Very very good! Great approach to the topic and much depth but so readable.
Sarah Heywood09/21/10
This was amazing! As I started to read it, my first thought was to wonder who would agree to an operation with no anesthetic. Then, I realized where you were going with this.

Excellent work!
Kimberly Russell09/21/10
Really well done. Your imagery was captivating. Great writing.
Christina Banks 09/21/10
I liked your take on this. Nicely done. I wonder... would it have been better to throw "resentment" into the trash, instead of the recycle bin? I'm not sure that God would want to recycle resentment. Just a thought.
Rachel Phelps09/21/10
Love this concept. I felt a few pieces were a little rough - like the recycle bin, for example, but the story is sound and wonderfully done.
Loren T. Lowery09/22/10
Very creative- the visual elements greatly enhanced the story; and, that you used the word "Daddy", speaks volumes as to the true relationship we all share with our Heavenly Father. A very profound insight, indeed.
Catrina Bradley 09/22/10
This has a lot of emotional impact! I was wincing at times! A little red ink: The first paragraph is contradictory and confusing - instead of leading me into the story, it made me stop and read again. You could cut the first sentence, or even the first paragraph and the beginning would be stronger. And this is just me, but I think a different image than "cubes" would be better. I love the way your mind works, and you have such talent at making fiction come alive. I wouldn't be surprised to see this one place - loved it.
Amanda Brogan09/23/10
Yay Sarah! I knew this piece would be placing high. :) Congrats on Second Place and your Editor's Choice!!!
Joanne Sher 09/23/10
This is AMAZING, girl! No wonder you ECed. SOOOO proud of my Sawa!!!! SOOO proud.
Christina Banks 09/23/10
Congratulations Sara!!!
Loren T. Lowery09/23/10
Way to go, Sara. Congratulations! Loved this and can see why it won.
Yvonne Blake 09/23/10
Wow! No wonder you got an EC! WooooHoooo!!!
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/23/10
Woo Hoo for sweet Sara! This was a wonderful piece and well deserving of EC!
Joyce Morse09/23/10
Congratulations! This was an awesome piece. I loved the reference to "Daddy". It made it so much more personal. I loved the description and emotion you brought to the story. I think it made the moral of the story memorable for the reader.
mick dawson09/23/10
congrats on your second place win Sara
Julie Arduini09/24/10
Sara!!!! Congrats on your win, it is so well deserved. This is my new favorite piece of yours. Tears rolling down my cheeks. Amazing story by an even more amazing writer!
Holly Westefeld09/28/10
Sara, I always enjoy your creativity. Congratulations!
Rita Garcia10/19/10
WOW!! Intense! This is amazing and wonderful writing! Congratulations!