The evergreen dresses in her stunning Christmas sparkles. Ginger and cinnamon waft from the warm Christmas oven. The family gathers close to the bright Christmas fire, but a guilt-ridden question hangs over our head. Carols sing sweetly in the white Christmas cold. Little toys hang from the tall Christmas tree. Candles and friends and family light up the dark Christmas evenings. But, somewhere in the middle of Christmas wreaths and gingerbread houses, we struggle with the Santa Claus conundrum. Should our Old Jolly Friend visit our Christian household on that blessed Christmas Eve?
Pins and needles deep inside, slicing and stabbing as each second passes. There is no comfortable way to lay down anymore, every angle tingles with pain. She cringles from muscle cramps, from the frozen positions she calls relaxation. Her mind will not stop. Her eyes will not close. Waiting. Watching.
She wondered how long she had been there. It started to feel like a long time only because her feet began to ache. But she could not stop her endless march down the shiny laminate paths. One foot plodded in front of the other as she tried not to count her steps. She was not even looking around anymore. It was a losing battle trying to ignore the monotony of every stride. Too long, she thought. But what else can I do?
Chatter and aching Building and breaking Too deep to find, detect or settle Shouting and hushing Constructing and […]
Evening dawned. The red sky faded to purple, to black. The artificial light from the quiet little room […]
He fumbled with the pages flipping back and forth, trying to find the little black letters that synced with what he recited in his head. Focusing almost too hard, he could not quite catch up to where everyone else seemed to be, because he could not concentrate. Little monsters behind his eyes swayed his attention from the songs of praise filling his ears, to her exposed ankle just beyond his reach, to an unfamiliar word in the heavy book that weighted his hands, to the breath of perfume far enough away which he could not quite savor.
It must have been hot and muggy that afternoon, walking down to the river Jordan. Dirt scratching between their toes and thirst cracking their sunburnt lips. The tour guide raised his toasted arm again over the heads of the crowd, to direct the exhausted stragglers on the right path. A few older women sat down on a rock, complaining about how long this was taking, and what else they should have done this morning.