The photographs scattered like blackbirds frightened from their forest coverture by a hunter’s gun. The flames reached up their greedy hands and clutched at the images, drawing them down into the fire where they curled and charred around the edges, turning black, catching fire and dying upon the blazing logs. Nina watched them burn until there was nothing left except for ashes. She glanced up at the night sky, watched gray clouds pass over the moon, inhaled a deep breath of the cool night air tinged with smoke. The smoke of her past. If only the memories could burn up and die as easily as the photographs. The pain was tangible as the images flashed through her mind. She could see it all, feel it all. The stench of liquor. His fists crashing into her face. The pain. The hot tears that rolled down her cheeks at night and wet the fabric of her pillowcase. The scars on her body had healed, but the scars inside still burned like open wounds, suffocating her at times. She could still hear his hateful words reverberate through her head. Worthless. Piece of trash. Vile epithets that seared her soul like a branding iron. The years had etched them in her brain and she’d begun to believe them. The crack and sizzle of the fire hissed in her ears. The clouds passed by the moon. The liquid silver light washed over her.
Lord, give me peace. Take it away. Restore the years the locusts have eaten. Help me, save me. Lord, I surrender, I surrender it all to you.
She stretched her arms out to heaven and she felt the peace and beauty of new life washing away the charred remains of her past.
She took a deep breath and a voice spoke to her in the silence.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
A tear trickled down her face as the truth soaked into her being.
The old pain, the old life had passed away. Her life had been made new. God had restored her hope.
© Whitney L. Schwartz
(Written for Thursday 360)
Scripture is 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV