Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SLIP OF THE TONGUE (01/26/17)
- TITLE: Like an Eagle
By Ellen Carr
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“People who don't have children are selfish.” It was a Jodie Griffiths statement, Jodie who had three children and one on the way.
As soon as she said it Jodie looked over at Marita and a blush spread up her face. She clapped her hand over her mouth and stammered an apology. “Sorry, Marita. I wasn't thinking of you.”
“That's okay,” said Marita. But it wasn't okay. Just today she'd had the monthly reminder that she wasn't pregnant. And today, at her younger sister Sue's baby shower, it wasn't okay at all.
She had held herself together and joined in the “Guess the baby's birth weight” competition, nibbled a couple of savouries and then excused herself, muttering something about the bathroom.
Now, on this swing of many memories, she whispered to God, as tears dripped onto her blouse. “Please God, help me to cope with this. I don't need to tell you the details; you know them better than I do. I want to accept things as they turn out, but, oh Lord, it's hard.”
An eagle took flight from a craggy rock way up the nearby hill, spreading its massive wings, rising up and up. Then it soared effortlessly, catching an invisible up-draught. It circled around above Marita and disappeared behind a stand of trees.
This is my promise. You will soar like an eagle when you wait on me, when you put yourself and your future in my hands.
The words were clear in her head. She turned her face to the sky and whispered a response.
“Thank you, Lord. I do want to soar. I don't want to be bound down by this desire for a child. I will trust you to do the best for me. I want to be like that eagle, soaring and confident in you.”
A patter of footsteps brought her little niece, Alisha, around the corner of the house at a run.
“Aunty Marita, Aunty Marita! I've been looking for you. Will you be my partner for the Baby Crawl race? You're so funny, and … you're my favorite aunty. Please, will you? Please!” She grabbed Marita's hand and dragged her back to the front lawn. Marita grinned.
“Better not tell that to the other aunties! Yes, I'll be your partner. Just tell me what to do.”
“Well, when the whistle goes we have to take it in turns crawling, and the first pair to get to the end wins. Mum said that's to save the older knees.”
“Your Mum's right. You go first. You've got young knees.”
“Not much soaring here,” whispered Marita. “But I will soar! Praise the Lord!”
“What are you whispering, Aunty Marita?”
“Just a little prayer, Alisha.”
“Great! Then we'll probably win.”
Marita grinned. “Maybe not in this race. But God is helping me to be a winner.”
Alisha gave her a strange look but then burst into a huge grin.
“Marita's no cheater. No one can beat her!” she yelled.
“Well, let's see. Are you ready to crawl?”
Sue blew the whistle and the race was on. Alisha was so excited she kept crawling and Marita didn't have to do her part. But Alisha came in second last. She raced to Marita and burst into tears.
“I wanted us to win so much,” she sobbed. “Sorry I forgot to give you a go.”
“I would have been slower than you, sweetie. It wasn't our turn to win. There will be a time when you'll be a winner. There are good things ahead for you that only God knows about, just as there are for me. Come on, let's get some lemonade.”
“Look Aunty Marita! There's an eagle way up in the sky.”
They both turned their faces up and watched the eagle soar across the sky.
“I'd love to be able to glide across the sky like that eagle,” said Alisha.
“Me too, Alisha. Me too.”
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