Pages

To receive my blog posts, please enter your email address here

Saturday, April 7, 2012

On a Hill, Far Away

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom is a gifted writer and committed Christian. She has become one of my best friends in the Faith Writers group and a mentor for me. Shann is a Registered Nurse and used to work in Obstetrics. The following article was first published during Holy Week last year on Faith Writers.com and I would like to share it with you for this Easter season. Shann lives in New York with her husband and family. Chris is supportive of Shann's love of writing while his employers look to him to keep the computers working well for the lawyers of their five offices in that area. Their children include: Emily,  who will be married in October and works as a counselor for troubled kids and their families; Quinten will enter a United Methodist Church seminary in the fall; and, their youngest, Lydia, will graduate from high school this year, having already experienced a month-long missions trip to Nicaragua which began the day after Christmas 2011. Shann read this piece in the Good Friday service for her UMC church family and has given me permission to post it on my blog.

Sadly, Shann has struggled with severe, chronic pain for 23 years. Nevertheless, she has seen God in a real way during these difficult moments, which have been the inspiration for some terrific writing. This week Shann shared with me the inspiration for the article I am posting for you today. “I was having a bad pain day and trying to vacuum. As I pushed the cleaner ahead, I murmured, "If I can just keep going and not stop to think." Suddenly I had a vision of Jesus carrying the cross and how he managed to push through that pain. I dropped the vacuum and grabbed a pen and wrote the story.”

Be blessed!  Sojourner


On a Hill, Far Away
By
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom

If I can just keep going, and do not stop to think.

He stumbled and puffs of dirt billowed around his feet. A quick glance to his right and his eyes focused on a group of blind beggars. They were thrusting hands, cups, and bowls into the crowds hoping to catch a spare coin or a bit of food. Today was not their day. The whips cracked, the masses jeered as he tried to force himself onward. The chant in his mind propelled him forward.

If I can just keep going, and do not stop to think.


Struggling to his feet, his eyes closed and countless faces of all colors and every age rushed through his mind. For them, he forced his legs to keep moving. Turning his head away from the crowd, sweat and blood dripped down his body. As much as he wanted to stop and save the little children dressed in nothing but rags, hair matted tightly to their heads, he knew he must march on. Today was not their day, but perhaps if he kept moving… For them once again, he repeated the words.

If I can just keep going, and do not stop to think.

Once more, he trembled violently, blood oozed from his fingernails, the pain was unbearable, but he knew the souls that flashed through his mind, those souls he could save. His heart ached, as the crowd’s jeers grew louder. He wished he could save everyone but that was not part of the plan. With all the strength he could muster, he continued the journey up the hill of death.

If I can just keep going, and do not stop to think.


Amongst the crowd, he saw parents encouraging toddlers to steal from the frenzied crowd. A little boy expertly made his way to the forgotten valuables on the ground. He felt Jesus watching him; meeting his eyes, the battered man gently shook his head no. The boy dropped the treasure and tugged on the robe of a spectator. The little boy looked up with his brown eyes and held his hand out. The man carelessly handed him some coins. He smiled at the prisoner, but his eyebrows furrowed with unanswered questions.

If I can just keep going, and do not stop to think.

As he trudged up to the skull, he closed his eyes and trillions of faces from the past, present, and future flashed through his head .He knew each one by name. Finally, he reached the top of the hill. The crowd gathered around and yelled insults and spat on him. He closed his eyes as the soldiers laughed while pulling his arms out and ruthlessly nailed him to the wood, and then carelessly dropped the cross into its hole. He blocked out the pain by remembering the prostitute who had been sneaking out of the governor’s room. Her head was down, her face flushed as she held out her hand for her payment.

If I can just keep going, and do not stop to think.


The pain turned to agony as the nails ripped his flesh; he moved to relieve the pressure from his chest. He had time for a quick breath then he could hold himself up no longer. He looked to the heavens and screamed “My God, my God, why have thou forsaken me?” He relaxed the muscles in his chest and again faces flashed through his mind.

His head jerked when he heard me screaming some 2,000 years into the future. I was battered and bruised and as Jesus sweat blood that dripped down his body, my tears plopped onto my Bible. From his cross, Jesus heard my pleas, “Oh Jesus, I need help, please listen. Can you even hear me? God, do you really care? Show me, hold me, love me.” I laid my head down and cried; Jesus released his soul and died.

****May you rejoice in the love Jesus has for you… Happy Easter!

No comments:

Post a Comment