>> Friday, July 4, 2008
I wrote this piece for a FW challenge, “every dark cloud has a silver lining.” It is my life. I live a life filled with physical pain and I have attempted to put a face to that pain, which helps me so much. The blue parts are newly written, just specially for the Friday Fiction. August 25, just the black parts will be highlighted in the Faithwriters Front Page Showcase. I am very excited about that!
The sun peeked in through the drawn curtains, waking me from a restless slumber. I roused myself off the couch, where I had finally dropped off to sleep. Five hours is not much to rejuvenate this tired body. I whispered a prayer, “Another day You have made – Lord, will you please help me rejoice in it?”
I did my everyday morning activities. Meanwhile, the critter, the varmint that grabs hold of me every single day, latched on, attaching itself to my head and squeezed with all its might, with its two paws. I said, “You’re not welcome here today, Old Pain.”
The life-sucking varmint cried out, “I deeeelight in causing you pain, my Pprreeettttyyyyy. Just try to do your tasks today. I will torment and cajole you until you run back home, screaming for me to let go.”
“Not today,” I cried, “Be gone, in Jesus’ Name.”
“Boogertiboo – I have my talons in YOU!”
I gave in, head down, having lost the fight once again. I spilled out my morning medicines into my hand and swallowed the colorful variety in one gulp. I trudged out the door, splashing through the squishy wet yard and climbed into my van to drive to work.
“Okay men! The perpetrator is called, Varmint. It will leave the subject for a time but will start the attack once again.”
I turned the key and music automatically filled the space. Lifting one hand to Heaven, I belted out songs of praise, certainly making a joyful noise. For a time, the varmint fled, knowing that the van ride to school was not the place for it.
One young teen with keen eyes caught sight of the pain. “Sir, I see it up ahead. What do you want me to do?”
The officer in charge gave orders to stand their ground and wait for the next assault.
But occasionally it would return, in spite of the music. Offering me an out, it would whisper in my ear, “You could end the pain now. It would appear as an accident.”
“It’s snuck back in. How can it get by us so easily?”
Gabe shushed the young man. They both listened and studied the Varmint’s every move.
“It wants the subject to kill herself, Sir. What can we do?”
The blatant wickedness from this ugly varmint caused me to tremble. I shook my head to break up the thoughts that sought to ravage my mind. I continued on with my drive, calling out to my God to keep me safe, and to keep others on the road safe from me.
“No worries there. She has Christ living in her. The thought may cross her mind but she would never give in to Satan’s evil ploy."
Making it to work, I walked down the corridors, teens coming at me on all sides. Lightheaded, I grabbed for the wall. The critter, the pesky varmint had found me once again. It affixed itself onto my head, poking its grimy fingers into my ears. It made them ring. I wanted to fall to the ground to stop the world from moving at such a dizzying pace, but I didn’t. I continued on. I trudged, barely picking my feet up off the floor. I got to my destination, God led me there.
“Good work men. The key is to keep her moving. If she stops and thinks about the pain she’s in, all is lost. While she’s going about her business, let’s get a good look at the perp.”
I did my work, but had to force myself to do these things I love. I smiled; I said I’m fine. Meanwhile, the varmint stepped up the attack. It worked its way into my body and caused my heart to race and my blood pressure to skyrocket. My face grew red and hot to the touch.
“It’s lying to her, Sir. Making her think she’s having a heart attack.” The young man’s face grew hot with embarrassment. To see the enemy that close and not know what to do was a hard thing for him to swallow. What was the point of standing down? Why not attack?
I let it win every time. For some reason, God was allowing this creature the freedom to harass me. Or was I allowing it? I finally gave up, but I couldn’t run fast enough or far enough. It clung to me – screeching in my ear – delighting in my pain, delighting in my discomfort, delighting in my desperation.
Alarms sounded in the ear pieces of the young soldiers. All stood at attention, alert, hands on their weapons, waiting for their marching orders.
“God help me!” I got home and crawled into bed, tucking my blanket to my neck. Tears formed in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks. “I can’t do this anymore. I’ve tried to be faithful, tried to learn what You’ve been teaching me. Can it be over yet, Lord, please?”
“Men, hold your ground. Hold on.”
“Hold your ground.”
A soft IM chime came from my laptop. It was my friend Shirley.
“We’ve got outside help.” All looked up at the monitor. What they saw was a young boy on his knees praying for a woman he had never once met. His only thought was that it was his mommy’s friend and she hurt.
“But we could easily stomp it out, Sir. Why aren’t we allowed to? Its right there! I can see it. One shot and it’s gone.”
“Men, watch and learn.” All eyes moved to the monitor again.
The varmint cringed in fright as a seven-year-old stormed the Gates of Hell. It howled and stomped its feet. It turned purple and steam flowed out its ears. The varmint then threw itself on the floor: shaking, writhing, and twisting itself into strange contortions. I smiled while watching this creature in pain for once. I whispered, “Jesus. And then I said it louder, Jesus!”
“Men, go! Chase it now! Go but you are not allowed to kill it.”
Heaviness was lifted off me. I laughed aloud as I watched the varmint let out an ear-piercing scream and fly out the window.
The men did as they were told. A massive attack was made on the varmint. It turned tail and ran screaming and writhing in pain.
"Shirley, tell my small prayer warrior ‘thank you.’ I’m going to sleep. I know I’ll be able to rest easy in my Daddy’s arms now.”
The men returned to their post, arms at their sides, relaxed, but on guard.
It is with tears in my eyes that I write these blue parts. I don’t know why God doesn’t just stomp out my pain. He is Ruler of all things. He has dominion over the varmint. He gives the orders and they are carried out. I started a new pain medicine today. Am hoping and pray that it helps me much more than anything else ever has but whatever. Whatever happens, I know that God is with me and because of Him I will be able to stand my ground and win the battle. -- Laury
15-17So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech. (2 Thess. 2:15-17, The Message)