Yea, it's time for Fiction Friday over at Patterings today. For more great fiction or to post some yourself, go knock at Patty's door.
Along The Sidewalk of Silence
It was a breezier day than usual at the park, but with the sun shining brightly above me, I felt nothing but joy. Even the dust blowing in my face would not weigh me down. I was about to belt out my favorite praise song, when I was interrupted by a young woman--maybe early twenties or so. She spread out a magazine on the bench beside me, protecting the linens of her fine ivory pants as she sat. Oddly enough, she planted herself securely in the middle of a featured title that read, “The Bottom Side of Love.”
After fumbling through her purse, she grabbed her cell phone, glanced down at the screen of it, and then shoved it into the pocket of her silky burgundy blazer. She held a steady gaze at the bubbling fountain across the sidewalk for a few minutes, let out a sigh and began to shake her head slightly and slowly, as if in total disbelief of her daydreams.
Her stare turned in my direction, but it felt like she was looking right through me. I wanted to say “hello,” but the timing wasn't right. Tears welled up in her tired hazel eyes, and she finally let her head give way to her hands, which forced her elbows to thrust into her dainty thighs.
I wondered, Should I speak to her? Comfort her somehow?
Many walked along the sidewalk, oblivious to the hurting one silently sobbing. A tall bald man stopped, looked at her and hesitated. As he stroked his chin, the cross ring he was wearing glistened in the sun. He took a step toward the woman, but then turned and shuffled away with seemed uncertainty.
Three college-aged gals bounced along directly in front of her feet. Their Bibles and bulky armloads of textbooks did not seem to affect the brisk skip that guided them along the path through the park. The one with sandy blonde hair glanced back at the crouched-over woman but quickly rejoined the topic at hand with her friends.
I waited--waited for just one person to speak up to her, comfort her, give her some hope. No one did.
That was my cue.
Without hesitation, I cried out that I couldn’t possibly know of her pain or despair, but that I did know of a Rock higher than I that could wipe her tears away. I spoke of a Love so deep and so complete that It would reach into the very depths of her heart and soul and fill any cracked or empty gap that existed.
“Jesus was battered, bruised and broken for you,” I tenderly uttered.
I cleared my tired voice and bellowed, “And when He rose from the dead three days later, why, He raised all who would believe with Him. That’s why I can’t help but praise His name to you now.”
She may have already known the Lord, I don’t know. But that day my Creator called me to speak His name no matter. If indeed she already knew of His salvation, then perhaps she needed to be reminded how it would apply to her even now in her distress.
Only He knew for sure.
Her head came up and over a bit, and she eyed me. Her pupils seemed bitter and lost, yet looking and longing.
What will her response be? I wondered.
To my surprise, she turned away, grabbed her purse and dug through the clutter. She took out a mirror, as well as a pocket-size tissue package, and began the clean-up process of the mascara damage that had been done. She sniffed, wiped her nose and took a deep breath before she stood. After one last glance at me, she went back the same way she came, leaving “The Bottom Side of Love” on the bench behind.
I prayed for her that instant and wished that I had a living, breathing soul to care for her, along with two legs to join her on her journey.
Some scurried, many meandered, and handfuls of humans engaged in conversation all around me that sunshiney afternoon. I couldn’t help but shout out to everyone about that which had been left unspoken:
“The LORD has made His salvation known...
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth!
Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
The world, and all who live in it!”
As the day faded, I continued to praise the Lord for His salvation to all people and hoped that someone else—anyone else—would do the same. My own voice could certainly use the break.
Until then, I thought, this rock will not be silent.
“But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these (His disciples) become silent, the STONES will cry out!”
Luke 19:40 (NASB), emphasis mine
***(Verses coming from the rock inside the story above from Psalm 98:2, 4a & 7--NIV)
In the Key of HE,