Received a Highly Commended from the judges for this story.
I am writing this letter for you today with a fractured and broken heart. I have known for a long time that you suffer with a burning fire in your soul, one so out of control that you can’t make sense of it. I wish you would have come to me with your problems, I was here and waiting for you.
You have become reclusive, spending your time reading articles that would only bring you insurmountable problems and looking at things on the internet that are worthless. You have built a wall around your heart and mind so mighty that a
full army regiment couldn’t have broken through it.
You think no one see’s or cares what is going on in your life, but I’ve always been here for you. I’ve wanted so desperately to talk to you, to help you, but you kept pushing me away.
You got so caught up in how people were treating
you that you became a victim of your own mind. You needed a way out but couldn’t find one. In your pain you decided that the best course of action was
to get revenge on those who had hurt you most so you started making plans.
I continued to try and get your attention but you refused to let anyone help you. You pushed everyone away, even classmates that used to be
close friends. You closed your ears so you couldn’t hear anyone and hardened your heart until you could feel nothing.
I watched today as you entered the school, your duffle bag packed, your retaliation in process and
nothing was going to stop you from doing what you thought had to be done.
It was ten minutes until time for the first class of the day to start. With sweating hands you watched the minutes tick by like a slow dripping faucet. Each drop hitting so hard that it shook your entire body like a leaf on a tree.
The bell alerting students to get to their first class rang out, the halls turned into a flurry of activity like a colony of ants rushing to get a job done.
Walking to the classroom, it seemed as if
someone had pressed the slow motion button on your life, it became difficult to take those final dreadful steps.
You carefully unzipped your bag and pulled out the first of five guns that were concealed inside. You walked into the room and stood in the doorway waiting for them to see you, they needed
to see you and remember who you were and what they had done to you all these years.
I saw you jump when the girl in the front row let out a
blood curdling scream of GUN!
You opened fire showering the room in a ferocious spray of bullets and didn’t stop until the clip was empty. With no emotion at all, you laid the gun down, picked up your duffle bag, selected another gun and walked out into the hall headed for another class.
I saw the police swarm the building; they were everywhere fast like bee’s swarming to protect their hive. You were restrained shortly after the
officers entered the school; they placed you in handcuffs and put you in the back seat of their cruiser.
Lying in the aftermath of your horrifying actions were twenty two of your classmates and two teachers with
I want you to know that your classmates and teachers are with me now. They want you to know they have forgiven you and they hope that you will one day find peace.
I will close this letter to you stating that I love you and I will forever love you.
If you will allow me to, I will walk through this valley with you.
Knock on the door and I will open it and enter in to abide with you.
You can lay all of your burdens at my feet and lean on me for comfort and support. I’m available to you anytime day or night, we can talk whenever you want to.
I’m yearning for you to call on my name so that I may live within your heart and soul. To build an everlasting relationship with you and work through all the confusion and hurting you are going through.
Have faith my child, I have a plan for you and your life, one that will give you hope and a future.
All my love,
by Cynthia Dawson
Why is the sky blue? Why are the trees green? Where do baby puppies come from? Why is my hair yellow? Why am I a boy
and you are a girl? Riding in the car with a chatty two year old can be quite amusing. One sunny summer day my young son and I were out for a car ride, we had been in the car for maybe 5 minutes when the questions began.
“Mommy?” It was the sweet voice of my two year old from the back seat.
“Yes dear?” I replied.
“What is that?” he asks.
“What is what dear?” I said as we were traveling down the road at
fifty five miles per hour and he is pointing out of his window in the back
“That tall thing, there are lots of them.” There is agitation in
his voice, after all I’m supposed to know what he is talking about, and I
should have used the eyes in the back of my head to see what he is pointing at.
“Do they have green tops?” I ask, hoping against hope he was talking
about all the trees lining the highway.
“Yes, they do have green tops.” He said.
“Those are trees dear. “I was happy to realize it was
indeed the trees he was pointing to. I had located the object of interest this
time and was happy to have found it so promptly.
“Why is it a tree?” He wants to know. He is sincerely interested in this topic, how I love his curious
“God made it a tree,” I’m happy to answer, after all, he couldn’t argue that point.
“Why did God make it a tree?” Great, it was a response he could argue.
What was I thinking? He is two he can argue any point.
“He knew we would need them, son,” came my unacceptable answer
“Why do we need them?” he ask.
“God made them to help produce the
air we breathe. We also cut them down sometimes for the wood furnace to keep
the house warm in the winter.” Again very pleased with my answer, surely this
would satisfy him.
His response was an acceptable, “Oh!”
We possibly had three minutes of silence when the next round of questions began
and we started talking about why the sky is blue.
Our trips in the car were always full of these answer and question sessions. I’ve always been
astonished at how many questions a child can ask.
I realized early on that small children are question machines. It’s how they grow mentally and learn
about the world around them.
After raising four children the one question they never ask me was “Is Jesus real?”
They never felt a need to question Him or His love for them.
How I wish the children could have stayed in that mental age where Jesus was good and it wasn’t questioned. Where others
didn’t try to make them believe He wasn’t real. To have protected them from a teacher that told them we are evolved apes.
The Bible says unless we
have the faith of a child we won’t enter heaven.
My children were
beautiful teachers on that topic. There was no need to question God or Jesus.
They made us, they were good and they loved us, what else did they need to
I strive daily to be like my children were when they were young;
to never question what I know is true. To have the faith that God is there and
looking out for us and that He loves us so much that His own son was crucified
to save us from our sin.
To know that God longs to fellowship with us on
a daily basis, my children knew this, accepted it and didn’t question it.
When you are young and
live your life with reckless abandon, only thinking of yourself, where you need
to go and what you want to do, you never considered those around you. On
September 17, 2009 you got in your car and head out, driving faster than you
should have. When your cell phone rang you answered it, never thinking twice of
the risks you were taking. Never once thinking about me or anyone else you
would encounter during your drive.
I left for work that morning headed south. I tuned the radio to my favorite Christian station.
Singing and praising God I knew it was going to be a great day. Before I realized what my eyes
were seeing I had to react. A car, wait…jerking the steering wheel to the right
I screamed out loud…GOD HELP ME! The first impact was to the front quarter
panel of my car. It felt like I had run into a brick wall. The car was spinning
out of control when the second impact hit the driver’s side of the car. I felt
like I was on a rollercoaster, my body lurched back and forth in the car for
what seemed a very long time.
Darkness…silence…there is nothing now.
What is going on?
Slowly my eyes focused as realization dripped in like the slow
flow of syrup.
The car isn’t running…when did I shut the car off?
Again, the veil of fogginess started to raise a bit more. Someone has hit my car. I
need help, cars are driving by but no one is stopping! Why aren’t they stopping
to see if I’m hurt?
Before I knew it the ambulance had arrived. The driver
was at my door asking me questions.
My daughter-in-law is here, why is she
Once I was in the ambulance waves of pain rippled through my body with
every bump they hit and every turn they made. The pain gripped so hard on my
body that I started holding my breath trying to brace myself for the next wave.
This was the beginning of a three year long journey. Life would only be
consumed by doctor appointments, therapy and surgeries. In the end there would
be a life-long physical disability and chronic pain. Every day for the rest of
my life this day will be a constant reminder of what happened and how I will
suffer because of it.
It’s hard to understand and it seems so unfair.
The young man that took all the risks, drove so irresponsibly was not injured and
his car had only minor damage. I was driving with due diligence to be a safe
driver on the road and was left terribly injured and my car was totaled.
Oh, the young man did get a citation for failure to stop at a posted intersection.
Somehow that doesn’t bring me any comfort.
I battle physical pain and depression today as I will until my Heavenly Father calls me home. I’ve learned
to lean on God and wait for his grace.
I thank Him for waking me up each morning, and for being able to stand on my own two feet. In time I won’t be
able to use my legs so each day is a precious gift.
Although I’m not sure I deserve as much love as they show me, I thank Him for my husband and children.
They have rearranged their lives to care for me, more than I ever expected.
Though all of the facts are not stated here, this is a true
story about me.
I had a mixture of emotions today. I was shocked and amazed. It never ceases to
amaze me when God takes a verse I have read so many times, even memorized and
teaches me a new understanding of it. I can’t wait to share with you a new
truth God graced me with today.
I was reflecting on The Lord’s Prayer
and one part really hit home. In saying The Lord’s Prayer we pray that God
would keep temptation and evil away from us.
Where is the evil? Evil is
everywhere. All one has to do is turn on the local news or pick up a newspaper
to hear or see about all the evil that is taking place.
has been kidnapped and another child is dead. A drive by shooting, some country
threatens war against their neighbor and a bank has been robbed. Angry teens
have burned down a school, a homeless man is found dead in an alley and
horrible crimes against our elderly in the homes they live in that are supposed
to be set up for their care. Children being abused by the parents who are
supposed to love them, the crime rate for rape has a drastic increase and even
preachers who abuse their positions.
Evil is everywhere! This is the
point that caught my attention. If evil is everywhere doesn’t that include me?
I am human could I not be capable of stealing from someone? Is it impossible to
think that life could become so stressful that I could be driven to do
something I wouldn’t under normal circumstances? My spouse or child could upset
me today and I could snap back at them with a verbal assault. Satan is
everywhere and he is a deceptive soul. Without proper protection I could become
one of those people I hear about on the news or read about in the newspapers. I
believe there are things we must do to insure we are safely under the umbrella
of God’s protection.
We must give our lives to God. That means all of
ourselves, heart, body, soul and mind. We must put on the armor of God as well.
We must study and be in God’s word daily. Reading is
not enough, we must study and memorize so that we can put what God teaches us
to use into action as we live each day. We cannot live a life that will bring
glory to God if we don’t know and understand what the word says about how we
are to conduct ourselves in our daily lives.
We must have daily
fellowship with God and build a lasting relationship with Him. God desires to
fellowship with you, read 1 John 2:27. He wants us to lay our burdens down and
let Him carry the load for us, to lean on Him in times of trouble.
church home, one where the pastor is truly preaching the Word of God. Where you
can learn and grow spiritually and put the gifts God has given you to use
according to His will.
Pray! One of the last things I do before I go to
bed is to pray for God to protect me from evil, whether that evil is of this
world or inside me. Evil comes in many forms. It’s easy enough to say I would
never rob a bank or abuse my child but what about “smaller” things. The same
rule applies to evil as to sin. There is no sin that is better or worse, a sin
is a sin, just as evil doings, thoughts or something said that is verbally
abusive is bad. I think the one most of us need to watch is our thoughts and
words. I’m speaking to myself as much as anyone else on this topic. We are
warned in the Bible that the tongue has the power to wound and kill. (Psalm
10:7, 64:3) What ugly things have you said to someone in the past that may have
left a lasting hurt or killed their spirit? I not only remember the horrid
names kids used to call me, I remember the names of the kids who did the name
calling. I have forgiven them, however, that hurt still resides to a degree
even at my age.
The next time you ponder or pray about the evil of this
world take time to do a self-examination and assure there are no seeds of evil
within you. Pray often that God would help you recognize if there are any and
to help get rid of them. Pray that He stop you if you start to say or do
something that would help those seeds to sprout and grow into a really large
issue. Ask God to give you a tongue that only speaks and thoughts that only
think things that will glorify and give glory to God.
13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the
fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. [NIV-The Learning
Heavenly Father I pray that you help us keep our thoughts and
words in check and that you allow no seeds of evil to sprout within us. Father
I pray that you make it known to each of us when we begin to stray off the path
that leads to you and salvation through you. That we not turn into the evil of
this world but that we are shining lights of your love and glory especially to
those who don’t know you yet. In Jesus Holy name I Pray. A-Men
A Fragmented Mind
It was a warm summer
day, Susan set in her chair on the porch with a soft breeze floating across her
skin, pondering one of her favorite verses from the Bible. Isaiah 40:31 “But
those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings
like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not
Memories of long ago gripped her heart. They rolled through her mind
like the ripples in a wheat field on a windy day. Oh, how often she would sit
at that window and day dream of working in her garden. The feel of the soft
earth in her hands as she prepared the ground. Planting her flower bulbs and
waiting for them to break through and make their tiny appearance known.
Sometimes the flowers would come up so fast it reminded her of a ground
squirrel popping out of his home in the ground. One minute there was nothing
and the next there was.
How Susan longed to walk among the flowers, to
lean down and smell their sweet fragrance. The aroma of summer mixed with pure
beauty was overwhelming. To be out in the garden picking fresh vegetables or
wondering through the strawberry patch and enjoying the liquid sunshine that
enveloped her mouth when she ate one of the bright red berries.
could never understand how some considered the care of a garden to be
troublesome work. It refreshed her so to go and take care of the seedlings. To
pamper and water them, to provide support when they were in need or removing
the weeds that threaten to steal the water and nutrients her precious plants
needed to grow and mature.
Then her memories flowed to the evening
hours she would spend in the gardens. To listen to the choir of birds and
insects as they sang their symphony of love to one another. Butterflies
flittering from flower to flower, taking a moment here and there to stop and
sip the abundance of nectar available there. Hummingbirds speeding around like
the gardens as if it were their own version of the Indy 500. Darting back and
forth, chasing one another and stopping for a brief moment to get a drink,
their wings moving so fast that the naked eye couldn’t see them
It had been three years since Susan’s accident. Three
years since she has been able to fully enjoy the beauty of this world God has
given so freely to her. Susan was weary from watching and wishing for a change
in her situation, the thoughts and memories wore her out and exhausted her mind
and body. The memories were all she had left, she didn’t have the strength to
get up and move about. She had no strength left in her broken body to do the
things she longed to do. Her mind so focused on what she couldn’t do that it
was drained and only useful for dragging her through her memories of the past.
How she longed to find different ways to enjoy her garden, different ways to be
a part of God’s miracles and beauty.
While sleeping very peacefully one morning I
was jerked out of my sleep by the most gut wrenching screaming you have ever
heard! It scared me to death. I fumbled out of bed so fast that I nearly
slammed my head into the dresser as I tripped over a shoe.
my bedroom to the kitchen I now realize my 2 yr. old son was the one screaming.
As I rounded the corner, all wild eyed and my hair standing on end I saw my
small son crumpled on the floor. He was crying so hard his tiny face was purple
and his body was shaking like a leaf on a tree during a terrible storm.
As I landed on the floor next to him, nearly falling on him because I
was moving so fast, I start searching. I see no blood; no bruise nothing to
indicate a wound or anything else that would indicate a reason for this
Calming down I pulled him into my lap and said “son what is
The jumbles of attempted words coming out of his mouth were like
trying to understand someone speaking a foreign language. So we sat there and
we rocked. I kept telling him he needed to calm down so I could understand what
Finally between waves of tears this beautiful blonde hair,
blue eyed baby of mine finds the strength to talk. He points his tiny finger
toward a kitchen chair and said “Matthew killed my Bo Bo monkey”.
I sat there for a moment thinking that I have certainly misunderstood this
little darling. How could his brother have killed his stuffed toy?
Slowly I turned my head in the direction of the chair that was holding
the beloved Bo Bo monkey.
I nearly choked to death when I saw the monkey
laying there. Trying to hold in laughter and maintain some sense of being the
adult in control was like trying to not breathe.
There lying on his
back was Bo Bo, one arm hanging off of each side of the chair and both legs
hanging off the other side. His lifeless little face covered in red blood. His
mouth was full of blood. The blood was running down each cheek with the speed
of frozen molasses.
Standing on the other side of the kitchen was
Matthew looking at me like he had no clue what my problem was or why his little
brother was crying so hard.
I grabbed the reins of my emotions and ask
him what on earth was going on.
His first response of course was that he
had done nothing. After an interrogation that would have put an FBI agent to
shame I discovered that there had been a conversation as to whether the stuffed
monkey could swallow catsup or not. Trying to solve this scientific question
Matthew and our middle son Jonathan took BoBo to the kitchen and proceeded to
test their theory to see who was right and who was wrong. Shawn walked in
during this testing faze and assumed the red to be blood.
It took several hours to clean all the catsup off of BoBo’s face, to get the stains out
of his yellow shirt. Finally he was returned to the land living stuffed
animals. This task was made even harder because of having a small child glued
to my leg the entire time.
Yes life with my three boys has always been
entertaining. Days like this happened more often than not. I never did come
into the world I dreamed of. Fame and fortune were not to be mine. There would
never be thousands of adoring fans or more money than I knew what to do with.
The fame I searched for came to me, not in the manner I dreamed of but in the
hearts of my little boys. They could have cared less about movie stars and
models. Their focus was on mom and that made me famous to them. Now when I sit
back and think about the fame I once sought and the fame I ended up with I
realize I was blessed by God to get the latter. That meant more to me than
fancy clothes, money or my name in lights could ever mean.
This is a
true story, no names have been changed. We still have BoBo Monkey. That is the
only major incident he was involved in, I can’t say the same for the boys. He
now rests comfortably in his old age and is quite content.
The Boxes in My Mind
I was taking
inventory of the things in my mind one day. There were so many boxes
sitting around. As I went from box to box I would lift the lid to see what was
inside. Oh yes, I remember these things.
The day I married my
husband, the births of our three children, oh and
the many Christmas
memories. On, and on I went. Then I noticed a box sitting in the
had seen it before, all wrapped up in pretty paper with a large bow on
I wondered to myself why had I never opened this box. Today was different
something was tugging, even pulling me to open the box. . My desire to open it
kept growing greater by the moment. As I approached the box I thought I
hear voices….someone was saying something. I just couldn’t quite
grasp what it
was saying. My excitement was now nearly uncontrollable as I
reached for the lid
I just couldn’t imagine what beautiful memory could be
inside this pretty
package. I touched the lid and ever so carefully began
to lift the lid. My
excitement started fading quickly. The voice was coming
from inside the box.
Still muffled but it was certainly within. Then to my
horror as I finished
removing the lid the voices became very clear. You are
worthless! You are not
the person you used to be! What was this? Where were
all these ugly things
coming from? You are a stress and strain on your
family. You have put all the
financial pressure on your husband. I couldn’t
stand this, I didn’t want to hear
any more so I tried to replace the lid
but it wouldn’t go back on. I backed away
from the box but the insults grew
louder. You are of no use to anyone. No one
has a need for you and your
broken body. I’m certain I screamed as I ran from
the box. The faster I ran
the louder the voices became. I raced through my mind
trying to find a
place to hide but there was nowhere to go. I kept running until
I ended up
in a small corner of my heart. I hid there, covered my ears and
myself trying to make the voices go away. But the voices keep pounding on
me, drilling those ugly words into every pore of my being. I don’t recall how
long I set there in that tiny corner of my heart but then one day things
to change. I could still hear the ugly screaming voices but I could
also hear a
faint whisper. It was different than the ugly screaming voices.
This voice was
soft and gentle. I couldn’t hear it well over all the other
voices. In my
frustration I yelled for silence so I could hear this soft
voice. Finally I
could just hear this calm voice telling me I was special,
made for a purpose.
The other voices said the opposite of this kind voice.
This kind and gentle voice said the nicest things, you are my child. I
have a plan for you. There is a work for you to do. The more I listened the
better I could hear this beautiful voice, it soothed me. Finally one day the
voice told me to get up, stop hiding in my heart. Go put the lid on that
destroy it. I tried to leave but I found I was unable. During the
time I had
hidden in my heart it had become hard. Trying to move around was
impossible. The calm voice said you can’t do this alone but I can
you will let me. After a great deal of struggling I finally
conceded to the
voice that I needed help. I ask the voice to help me soften
my heart so that I
could move around easier. As my heart softened I made my
way out of my heart and
I headed directly for my mind I was closing that
box once and for all. As I
neared the box I started becoming afraid again.
I can’t do this. The soft voice
started talking, repeating over and over
again. I can do all things through
Christ who strengthens me. Then I
started repeating it as well, I started believing. I became stronger by the
moment. I became aware that it was God; he was building me up as I learned to
lean on Him and not rely on my own strength. Finally the lid got put back
on the box. I realize the
ugly voices were the voice of Satan, and his
voice was quieted. I could still
hear the low grumble of his voice but the
sweet voice of God overpowered his
ugliness. If you have boxes of ugliness
sitting around in your mind rely not on
yourself but on God. Alone we can
do nothing, through Christ anything is
possible. I can do all things
through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians
4:13. I don’t know for sure
if the box was destroyed but I do know that if the
lid ever comes off again
I know that God and God alone will help me conquer it.