Picture it & Write
Words cut deeper than the sharpest razor or sword, piercing a person’s heart, and severing his/her very soul, killing his/her as the life just drains out of him/her like blood gushing from an open wound…
Wanda sat in the middle of her bed, trembling and hyperventilating as she rocked back and forth. Her stuffed animals and school books were strewn all over the floor, where she had thrown them all in a fit of rage when she got home from school. “I can’t take it anymore,” she said to herself, as the tears that she’d held inside all day began to pour down her cheeks in a steady flow, mingling with the snot that freely flowed from her nose, as though the floodgates had been opened. Grabbing a tissue from her nightstand, Wanda blew her nose, though the tears and the snot continued to flow unchecked.
Grabbing a piece of paper and a pen, Wanda began to write…
I’ve been thinking alot about things, and I’m sorry I’m such a screw up. I really want to be good and do the right things, but it’s like everything I touch turns to crap, you know? I wish I could be a daughter as good as Samantha is, but even though I try, I’m just not as pretty or as smart and thoughtful as she is.
It really hurt me this morning when you called me a stupid b!%#& and said I’m too lazy to breathe. I thought a lot about that, and you’re right. I am stupid and lazy and bad. When you said you wish I was like Samantha, I wished I could be like her too, because then I would be good, and everybody would love me.
I know this letter will make you really mad at me, but I’ll be gone by the time you read it, so at least I won’t have to worry about you and him beating me anymore. Sometimes, when you all are mad at me, I’m scared you’re going to kill me, especially when you keep coming into my room and waking me up to beat me over and over again and again. Well, I won’t have to worry about that anymore either, because I won’t be here for you to beat me. And he won’t ever be able to touch me in that nasty way again either. I really do love you, Mommy and I wish I could be better.
You’ll probably get a call from the school tonight, because I got in trouble today for fighting. I didn’t want to fight, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. Jamie kept making fun of me, calling me stupid and ugly. Then everybody started laughing at me and making fun of me, like always, and I don’t know what happened. It was like I just couldn’t laugh with them and act like a clown anymore or take anymore today and she still kept right on making fun of me, so I hauled off and punched her right in the face. And I started hollering and cussing her out, because I was so mad.
Then Mrs. Wallace came over to me and asked what was going on, and everybody said I started cussing and that I hit Jamie for no reason. They were lying about me, and Mrs. Wallace believed them. She wouldn’t even listen to me when I tried to tell her what really happened. So I had to go to the principle’s office and he paddled me five times for fighting and swearing, and suspended me for three days.
That’s why I have to do this, ’cause I can’t take anymore beatings and I can’t bear to see the look of anger and disappointment on your face. I’m sorry I’m not the person you want me to be, really sorry. That’s why I’m doing this because everyone will be better off without me. I love you Mommy.
With tears continuing to flow down her face, Wanda carefully folded the letter and put it in an envelope, writing Mommy on the front of it. Then, sobbing, Wanda got up from the bed, and carrying her envelope, she walked to the dining room table, and placed the letter on top of the unopened mail.
After completing her task, she walked back towards her mother’s bedroom and grabbed a chair, dragging it towards his side of the closet. She knew exactly what she was doing. No one knew that she had found it, when she was snooping around. She hadn’t been looking for that when she was snooping. She was just trying to discover more information about her past and her birth father, because no one wanted to talk about him, except when she did something wrong. Then they would say she was just like her father.
That always scared her, because she was already a loser, but what if he was really bad? What if he was a killer or something? Would she turn out to be a killer? She’d heard them say he was a drunk. Did that mean she was going to be a drunken loser and abandon her children too, if she ever had any?
“No,” she spoke out loud. “I’d rather die than be like that,” and climbing on the chair and standing on her tip-toes, she reached up for the shoe box, pulling it down so she could open it up and see it. There it laid, carefully nestled in the shoe box, surrounded by tissue paper, a pistol, with a container of bullets gently placed beside it. She knew nothing about guns, other than what she had seen on television, but she knew that she must be careful with this prized package, as she gingerly laid it on her mother’s bed so she could put the chair back and close the closet door. Even though she would be dead and gone, she still feared angering her mother and her stepfather.
After straightening the room up, she quickly picked up the box with the gun and walked back to her bedroom, where she first placed the gun on her bed, picked up her favorite stuffed animal, a cute little moose that she had carried around and slept with since she was a baby, then climbed in, settling herself in the middle of the bed. Gingerly, she reached inside, lifting the gun from the shoe box, while carefully holding the trigger away from her. She didn’t want it going off and hurting her before she was ready. She wanted to be sure it did the job quickly. She didn’t want to feel any pain. Then, she opened the container of bullets and cautiously loaded the gun, placing a bullet in each chamber, as she had learned to do on YouTube.
Everything was ready now, and she still had an hour before her sister came home from school. Drawing in a deep breath, Wanda laid the gun down on her pretty purple bedspread, moving the shoebox to her nightstand. She didn’t want to wait too long, because she wanted to be sure she was dead before Samantha got home, so they wouldn’t be able to revive her.
Still, there was something that Wanda needed to do before she ended her life… “Dear Jesus,” she prayed, “please forgive me for killing myself. I wish I didn’t have to, but I’m such a loser that I don’t deserve to live. I ruin everything for everybody that knows me, and if my mom and my stepdad are so disappointed in me, I can only imagine how You feel about me…”
“Child, I have loved you with an everlasting love,” a voice spoke audibly to her. Startled, she looked around, for the voice had been deep and rich, full of authority, while at the same time, His voice was still and small.
“Jesus?” she questioned incredulously, as a warm peace swept over her.
“Yes, beloved,” He replied. “Fear not, because you are precious in My sight, I am with you. If you will give your heart to Me and trust in Me with all of your heart, then I will deliver you and I will direct your paths.”
Her tears, which had been ebbing, now began to flow freely this time, as she heard the Lord speaking to her. “You love me?” she asked in amazement. “Don’t You know how bad I am? Don’t You know what I’ve done?”
“I know what lies in everyone’s hearts. Child, I know every thought you have ever had, every sin you have committed, and every hurt that you have endured, and I love you with all My heart. Believe Me when I tell you that nothing could ever make Me stop loving you. I will keep on loving you when you die, and I’ll keep loving you while you’re alive. Neither angels or demons can ever separate you from My love, and neither can your fears for today nor your worries about tomorrow. Child, not even the powers of hell can separate you from My love! No power in the sky above or the earth below, not even anything in all of creation will ever be able to separate you from My love.”
“So, will you forgive me for killing myself then?” she asked softly, in awe of her Savior, whom she now saw before her, in all of His glory and splendor.
“It is written,” He replied, “you shall not commit murder.”
“Lord,” she said, “I don’t understand. I don’t want to kill anyone else, just me.”
Jesus gently lifted her chin, so that she was gazing up into His marvelous eyes. “Beloved,” He softly spoke to her, “do you really want to die?”
“No,” she choked, “But it’s the only way to make everybody happy. They will all be happier when I’m gone.”
“Child, I’m going to tell you the truth, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Taking her hand, He led her out of her bedroom, and into the living room, where both sat on the sofa, as He continued, “Beloved, if you kill yourself, you will be guilty of murdering someone I love.”
“But Lord,” she cried, “I’m such a loser! Everybody says so.” She had already cried so much today, she was surprised that she still had any tears left to cry.
“Child,” He replied. “I don’t judge you by your outward appearance or height, for I have rejected many that the world admires. I don’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but I look at your heart. Beloved, man has rejected you, but I chose you.” Cupping her face in his hands, Jesus looked deeply into Wanda’s eyes. “Wanda, you are the apple of My eye. You did not choose Me, Child; I chose you. Be careful lest you destroy that which I have chosen!”
Gulping, Wanda nodded her head, whispering, “Yes Lord.” Then, as fear once again began to envelop her, squeezing the very breath from her lungs and causing her to hyperventilate, she gasped, “But Lord, I am so scared of what will happen when my mom and my stepdad come home. They’re going to kill me for what happened today!”
“Wanda, My beloved, don’t be afraid of those who want to harm your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Child, two sparrows aren’t even worth a penny, but not a single one can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. Don’t you know that all the hairs on your head are numbered? So don’t be afraid, because you are much more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
“Beloved, fear not, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. You are precious to Me, Wanda. You are honored and I love you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
Wanda nodded, as the Lord continued, “Wanda, don’t swallow your tears when your parents mistreat you. Let them see the truth, that they are harming the one that I love. And when your classmates and your teachers or others make fun of you, putting you down, don’t hide your tears and laugh with them at that which is not funny. Stop hiding behind a clown’s mask, and let them witness the truth. Let them see the damage their cruelty does, so that when they stand before me, they cannot say that they did not know that even clowns cry when they are mistreated.”
“Yes, Lord,” Wanda whispered softly, as the Lord lifted her to her feet.
“Now go put that gun away, My beloved, and face your foes, for though you don’t see Me, I am with you always, to the very end.”
“Yes, Lord,” Wanda said, as she turned to walk to her room and retrieve the gun. “But Lord,” she cried as she turned around and He was gone. With enormous tears slowly rolling down her cheeks, she wept. “I’m still so afraid.”
“Be still, My love, for I am with you. I will never abandon you,” she heard His still small voice speak from within her heart, though she no longer saw Him, nor heard Him audibly.
Then, setting her face like flint, Wanda returned the gun to its perch on the shelf in her parent’s closet and removed her letter from the table, gently sliding it between the pages of her bible, which fell open to this verse of encouragement…
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
Words are extremely powerful. With them, we have the power to build and give life or tear down and destroy life. With just the Word, God spoke, and all of creation was formed, and life began. With His Word, Christ gave Wanda, and others like her… people like me, life — life abundantly!
Likewise, with our words, we can destroy the lives of others, as we crush their hopes and dreams, convincing them that they are nothing and nobody. With our words, we can actually become just like the devil, as we steal, kill and destroy the lives of others by our words, which cut like a knife.
The truth is that we can also destroy the lives of others by not saying a word. Think of those times when the crowd was laughing at someone else’s expense, and though you weren’t the one to speak the words, and though you might not have even laughed at the cruel words that were spoken, your silence and refusal to speak in defense of the victim, pierced the victim’s heart as deeply as those who were laughing and speaking… If the victim thought of you as a friend, your silence could have even cut him/her deeper…
Lord, forgive me for the people that I have destroyed with my tongue. Have mercy on me Lord, for I know how badly words can hurt and destroy, and yet, there have been too many times when my sharp toungue has lashed out, slaying everyone in my path. Likewise, there have been too many times when I didn’t speak up, for fear that someone would slash me with their tongue, and by my silence, I deeply, perhaps even mortally wounded someone.
Father, I ask You to give me words of life. Help me to be ever mindful of the words I speak, listen to and smile at. Help me to never put another human being down again, with my words. Rather, let the words of my mouth speak healing. Let my words rebuild those who were demolished. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, O Lord, for You are my strength. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Cheryl A. Showers