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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Walk (07/20/06)

TITLE: A beacon to the wise...
By Karen Ward


A beam of light flashed across the weather-worn boards. I noticed the big round studs that held them together, their colour dulled, some rusted. My hurried footsteps the only sound save the lapping of water on the pylons below the jetty and the slightly more distant rise and fall of the waves on sandy shores. It was a calm sea, the moon casting a glow across the water as the beam of light flashed again, and I slowed my steps to look at the lighthouse.

A beacon of warning. Wise men heed the signal, fools ignore it at their peril.

As my footsteps stilled, I realized I was breathing hard now, having run all the way from the end of Jaredís street, where the party was still in full force.

ďJust what are you trying to tell me?Ē I shouted into the darkness, desperation clinging to my voice. I sunk to my knees, dropping my head over the edge of the jetty as if to look for answers in the murky waters below.

Relentless as the waves lapping the shore, was the knocking at the door of my soul, yet I could not bring myself to turn the key. How could I now?

Two years ago today I closed that door in His face. The reason for that still remained, along with baggage that Iíd collected along the way. For some reason though, tonight I felt pursued.

A guttural laugh escaped my lips as the irony hit me. Why of all the places that I could have run did I end up here? This jetty. The place Iíd walked and talked with my mother, and given my heart to God. The place Iíd come to whenever I needed to feel close to God. How could I end up here now?

Why did I run anyway? Jaredís party was exactly as I had expected it to be. Phil was drunk, and ready for what I thought I wanted. I had seen my counselor at family planning, and I was prepared. Ha! Not as prepared as I thought or I wouldnít have told Phil I needed to go for a walk. Iím glad he was drunk enough not to want to come with me.

I straightened up and stared into the night sky. ďWhy here? Why now? Why tonight? If itís really you and you want my attention, why not before? You know what Iíve been doing! If you are real you have seen me breaking every rule that I ever knew. Why didnít you stop me before? If you care, WHY DID YOU LET HER DIE?Ē My despair had turned to anger, and my anger dissolved into tears as I recalled the last time I had seen my mother.

Pale against the white hospital sheets, she had spoken words of reassurance and hope. ďDonít let this harden your heart my darling. God knows best. Trust Him. He will be with you, even though I will not. Walk with the Lord and you will find peace.Ē

Peace. Ha! How could I have peace trusting in the One who failed me? The One who let cancer take my faithful, loving mother before her time.

No longer able to shout, I clutched my stomach and sobbed. ďWhy did you let her die?Ē

Time stood still as I waited for an answer. No audible reply, yet I relaxed. I closed my eyes, almost believing that loving arms were wrapped around me, protecting me from the harsh reality of life without my mother. Holding me close like a child in need of comfort. I gave myself up to the sensation, wishing it would never end.

How could this be? Could God really care after all that I had done to hurt Him? The moment I was told that my mother had died, a part of me died too, the part that listened to God. How could he want me back after the last two years? I despise the things Iíve done, and yet I did them willfully. Could I be forgiven? The whisper in my soul held hope...

Walk with me.

After all that Iíve done?

Walk with me.

Light flashed past and I lifted my eyes to the lighthouse again. A beacon to the wise.

ďOK Lord. Iím turning the key. If itís not too late, Iíll walk with you again.Ē

I stood, savouring the feeling of letting Jesus into my heart again. Certain that my mother, in Heaven, was rejoicing.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Suzanne R07/28/06
You've very skillfully brought us into the pain of this young woman ... well done.
Jen Davis07/28/06
Cancer took my own mother before her time, so this story really touched my heart. I could feel your character's pain. I loved the simple sentence "Walk with me" and the repetition made it especially effective. Great writing.
Marilyn Schnepp 07/29/06
This story spoke to my heart. I too lost my mother at an early age of cancer. This writer has depicted the pain and sorrow of loss clearly, and I loved the ending. I impatiently await resurrection day when I shall see my mother again! Great Job on this "walk" topic!
Lori Othouse 07/30/06
This is such a beautiful,touching story of God's love meeting us wherever we are and giving us exactly what we need. I really liked how she came full circle back to where she used to be and needed to be. Very well done!
Joanne Sher 08/01/06
My mom also died of cancer when she was young - I could totally relate to this - you did an exceptional job of sharing her feelings. This was extremely gripping!
Venice Kichura08/01/06
This really touched my heart! My mom's had both ovarian & breast cancer, so I could really relate to how you feel.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz08/01/06
This was very well done, and believable. Great job.
Brenda Craig08/02/06
No need to gulp, this is simply wonderful and such great descriptions. My heart was touched by her pain. Wonderful job.