Sunday, August 10, 2014

Short Story, Part 2


Anguish howls within me and the storm begins. I cannot remember His promises. My soulmate is no longer alive in Him, but soul-less and in this world. Perhaps the deadening brown is creeping through my veins and will consume me next? Forget the corners where His Spirit resides. There is no huddle, no whisper. I am afraid in the shadows of a rocking faith. Will it capsize in this hurricane of my doubt?
Yet, my hand pierces the surface of this drowning sea and I beg Him to save me once more. “Do not forsake me.”
He clasps my hand, and I walk into the brewing brawl.
“I'll bring you beauty from these ashes.” And I believe what He tells me, and give no attention to the storm within me.
I call home after a quiet time at the lake, trusting the Spirit to arm me for another conversation with Steve. “What are you doing?” I am careful with the phone to my ear as I drive.
Steve sighs on his end. “We gotta get off that call list at church. Seems they keep wondering where we're at.”
An army of dark clouds marches toward me in my rearview mirror. “They just care about us, Steve.”
“Do they?” His tone smokes with cynicism. A chuckle tumbles—the same laugh which chars our battles of belief, and lack thereof, every night. I imagine the same sneer which usually sets an eruption of anger within me. The spewing mess only hardens into guilt in the morning.
I swallow away the brewing bile. “How's Jack?” I manage.
Another sigh from Steve. I hear an apology coming on. He always apologizes. It's as though he's tossed between a wave of hatred and a rocky coral of remorse. To and fro his emotions go. Not much different than mine. Shouldn't I be the stronger one in this, though? He's the one who abandoned the Rock upon which I stand. But what strength is there when I grip it with fingernails, ready to slide off?
My strength crushes beneath the foaming surf of his turmoil day in and day out.
“Jack's fine,” he mumbles. “I am sorry, Lisa. It just makes me so mad.” And he makes me so mad, but I tighten my frown and flutter my lashes. “You should read this article I just found. It might open your eyes—”
“I gotta go. The storm's picking up.” I'll not sit and listen to him, knowing the Truth is rooted in the silence and unhearing. He's blocked his ears with the buzz of atheistic arguments. He'll not block mine.
“Okay. Be careful out there.” He ends the call. Howling wind follows me home and the rain pounds upon my car.
A crack of lightening accompanies the thunder of my overwhelmed heart.
“I want it to be over.”
Will there come a point when the lies he believes take seed in my own heart and grow so rampant that, like a creeping vine they cross the divide and intrude the silence with their destruction? They come for me and I cannot grow deaf. I can not protect the divide much longer. It consumes me like a mighty fire. Will I heed the lies and become what they say? Godless, hopeless, deceived?
“Do you hear me God?”
What was it that God just spoke to me an hour ago?
The storm is too loud to understand my heart's murmur anymore.
A loud blaring signal comes across the radio. “Severe thunderstorm warning.”
Pings of hail pelt a ferocious ruckus on the hood of my car, just like the memories of all Steve has declared untrue. I feel the clay pot break...the one He made in His image but no longer withstands the piercing accusations of a godless man to his faith-filled wife.
“I am finished?” I mutter upon my lips, and my journal slides across the dashboard as I turn onto our street. What did I write? How I forget when the storm rages within me. Is it over? Will I shatter? Just like Steve?
The clay destroys the clay with its shards, sharp and slicing.
“Are you there?” One last cry to the Potter before the lies obliterate the vessel created. And the hail stops. I am beaten with cracks creeping across me wide and deep. But the hail stops and leaves me with....silence.
And He is there in the silence. A wide and vibrant rainbow sprawls across the quieted sky.
“I love you.”
Love? “Why do you let me hurt? Why break me so?”
 Silence. But a sneaking peace. A deeper understanding of some underlying plan. My soul is too weary to ponder, though. I gather up my journal, my devotional, and my bruised heart, and breathe in deep before facing my husband once more.

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