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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)

TITLE: Words of Air
By Marita Vandertogt
10/21/10


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Helen felt tears like blood coming straight from her heart, draining it till there was nothing left to feel. Then she sat down on the wicker deck chair and watched the sun move slowly into its place for the night. The night. Finally. A place to hide, to feel safe, no expectations, no phony smiles. She could allow herself to hurt. Is there a worse feeling in the world than having no control. There was nothing she could do.
Nothing more she could have done, but somehow she felt it wasn’t enough.

She took the glass of water in her hand and let the liquid run out in a tiny stream beside her foot. This she could do. This she had control of. She could empty a glass and watch the water slide away, or she could keep it in the glass. The choice was hers, insignificant as it was.

“So Lord,” she said to the night air. “What do I do now?” She tried to listen for his voice, but all she could hear was the heavy beat of her own heart against her rib cage, that housed a monster she didn’t dare let out. Where once joy welcomed His voice, now the hurting seemed to stop it.

The spilled water created a narrow little stream at her feet. It glistened for a second and then thinned out against the boards. “If only I could see You for a moment, just one moment. If only we could speak from another place than the one inside my heart, what would you say?” She spoke the words out loud, against the air. It blew soft against her skin and for a moment she stopped long enough to feel the gentleness of it.

Then “Be still and know that I am God,” the words were soft, but they made her angry.

“Be still?” she stood up and grabbed the rail of the deck. “Be still. How can I be still? And what does it mean to be still. To stop praying. To just let things happen. Well, it’s too late now?” She turned around to go inside, and as she did, caught her foot on the side of the chair, hurling her headlong against the deck boards.

“Great!” was all she could say grabbing her knee in pain. She lay there, a heap of defeat, rocking now, back and forth under the light of a new moon. This was too much. He was asking too much. And on top of that, He was asking her to be still. To trust Him with it all. She hobbled back into the house and made her way to the couch where she let the thick warm cushions cradle her tired body. The silver frame on the coffee table held his picture taken only a few months ago. She thought back over the prayers, the petitions, the praising, all the things she thought He was telling her to do to allow Him to answer. But nothing seemed to work. He grew sicker each day, with the occasional day showing some promise of getting better. But not for long. Helen was tired now, tired of praying, tired of listening, of trying to make things happen.

“Be still and know that I am God.” The voice persisted inside her head. “Okay,” she said with a sigh and fell asleep. The pain would run its course and with His help she would make it through. She knew that, but it didn’t make it any easier right now.


It was hard to keep that relationship with God. To keep that two way communication when it felt like she was doing all the work.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Maybe He wasn’t asking for a two way conversation. Maybe He was just asking for her attention in a way we’re not familiar with on this side of Glory.

“Be still and know that I am God.” She snapped the light off, and let the dark hide her for awhile, until morning when she would try again to re-order her days without him now.

“Be still.” Not so easy God, but then, you know that and You ask us anyway.

These weren’t just words of air. They were her answer.


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Member Comments
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RuthAnn Cornelson 10/21/10
Different and interesting. Made me think of my friend whose husband was diagnosed with stage 4 melenoma a short 6 months ago. They were told he had 6-7 months and, indeed, the disease is running rampant through his body. What are her conversations with God like now? Can she be still and just acknowledge His supremacy? I imagine she feels like this woman at times, like she doesn't want to talk to God and she can't hear Him talking back. An interesting take on
"conversation". Maybe sometimes He can best converse with us when we are still, just listening and acknowledging. Anyway, this made me think. Very descriptive.
Beth LaBuff 10/21/10
I was fascinated with how you wrote this. The glass of water and the fact that is was her choice to empty it or not, spoke volumes. Your message is haunting. Excellent writing.
Beth LaBuff 10/21/10
I was fascinated with how you wrote this. The glass of water and the fact that is was her choice to empty it or not, spoke volumes. Your message is haunting. Excellent writing.
Kathy Ellis10/24/10
Good story. There are times in our lives when we can do nothing BUT be still when everything in us is writhing and screaming for the pain to stop NOW. How do we carry on during those times unless we know that whether we hear His voice or not, He is with us. He is hurting with us and holding us when we are so numb that we can't even feel His arms around us. Again... good story.. thank you for the reminder of God's love in the hardest times of our lives.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/24/10
I could feel the MC's despair and frustration. Nicely done.