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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

Seeking the Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

by lifetalk

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a piece of a longer writing project. You can view the entire project here: Seeking the Peace that Surpasses All Understanding

The following is a piece of writing submitted by lifetalk on May 13, 2009
"Elana learns humility as she turns her problems over to a higher power. "

Celestial 9-1-1

Driving to the Adoration Chapel Elana knew that the plan to save her family had to begin with the family. Finances were only a part of the rescue operation. Elana drove with the highest of expectations to the church.

The stone steps of the chapel were uneven and the heels of her shoes made a clicking sound as she climbed the steps. Elana stopped to touch one of the apple blossom branches that tickled the top of her head as she reached the front door of the chapel. She paused to take in the perfume -- a fragrance so fresh that it purified with each deep breath Elana took. And as she opened the door to the chapel, the perfume from the blossoms mixed with the smell of burning candles. Silence and strength waited beyond the door; she was steps away from help.

Elana entered the little room. It held only fifteen people. She knew that the Adoration Chapel rules stated someone must be with the Lord at all times - He was never to be left alone. This morning, it was an elderly man with a round, large face who was on watch. He looked up as he heard Elana enter, and he briefly acknowledged her with a nod of his head before he lowered his gaze.

The room was cool. The stained glass windows were cranked open to allow fresh air to circulate. The flowers in the crystal vases below the small alter fluttered in the breeze. The gold monstrance held the Body of the Lord, glistening in the soft light. Elana knelt and exhaled as her knees hit the soft leather cushion of the kneeler. She bowed her head and waited. Waited for the words to come to her. Waited for peace to flood over her. Waited for discernment from the Holy Spirit.

Elana picked up a rosary and began the first Hail Mary of the first decade. Her tears spilled onto her cheeks as she prayed. Elana turned her swollen eyes toward the Lord, realizing that she must tie her suffering to the cross. Was this redemptive suffering? What was she supposed to be learning?
She waited.
Elana asked for help again.
Her quickening heart slowed.
She wondered if she should bargain.
Should she negotiate a swap?
Elana realized she was clutching the rosary so hard she was bruising her skin. Why, she thought was it taking so long to get an answer?
She narrowed her eyes and stared harder at the Lord.

What was she supposed to do. Elana began a silent dialogue.
She told Him the bills were stacked as high as a log pile, the car was repossessed, her husband's company was floundering and his paychecks were going to stop for the summer. There wasn't even money for her son's high school graduation party. Her son who struggled to learn, and who never gave them an ounce of worry. How could she not celebrate his graduation and his accomplishments?

On top of it, there was Carla, their teenage daughter who was barely passing her freshman year and was at risk of failing. Carla, who was so talented but scattered that she couldn't focus. Her teachers had started emailing Elana suggesting that testing was in order. They didn't know how to help her anymore. She wasn't turning in work, not studying, and seemed to be overwhelmed. Carla's behavior was an SOS that required immediate attention.

Elana sighed. She was ready to scream. What's it going to take to get an answer?
And then she thought she heard something.
Start with your house.
Help your daughter. Set her path straight.
Elana looked around the room. Did the man hear what she heard?
It didn't appear he heard anything. He was praying.
Elana looked up at the Blessed Sacrament.
She had heard the instruction but didn't know if it had really been uttered or if she had imagined it.
She waited.
Help your daughter.
That was it. She picked up her things, made the sign of the cross and knelt again before the altar.
Thank you.
Running toward her borrowed car, Elana ran across the blacktop.
She slid across the seat and picked up her phone, dialing the number to the one man she knew could help her. The phone in the rectory rang. Elana waited for Father to pick up . Help was as close as his hello.

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