The Wound Collectors: A Short Story

Penelope Clark scowled at Dorothy June, her eldest daughter. “If you’d just done as I had told you to do, you wouldn’t be in this mess.”

“Uh?” Dorothy June tossed the baby wipe into the garbage pail. Courtland gurgled and jammed his chubby fingers into his mouth. She lifted him up and laughed. “Sweetie, my sweetie.”

“You aren’t listening to me,” Penelope shouted while following Dorothy June into the living room.

Dorothy June began to pack her son’s toys, diapers, and bottles into the diaper bag.

Penelope gasped, and furrowed her brow. “Now, what are you doing? Where are you going in such a hurry? You haven’t been here a half hour. I guess you can’t spare an hour of your precious time for your own mother, I guess. Right? Did I offend you? You’re too thin skinned. Always have been.”

Dorothy June reached for her car keys. “Mom, I’m meeting James at Kirby’s for lunch. It slipped my mind. Some other time, okay?”

“Slipped your mind? You’ve got time for everyone else, except your mother. Well.”

Dorothy June headed for her SUV. Inside, she sat behind the steering wheel for a few minutes to stop her hands from trembling. Courtland’s wide blue eyes stared at her from his car seat. His tiny pink lips began to curl into a frown.

She touched his little head. “Mommy’s okay, Courtland. I’ve decided that we should go to the beach instead. Grandma doesn’t know how to stop poking at me. Change of plans, sweetie. I’d planned to visit with her all afternoon. I just can’t.”

She glanced at her cell phone and counted the fifteen text messages her mother had managed to send in ten minutes. Angry words spewed across the screen at Dorothy June. “I’m going to just turn it off, Courtland.”

Heading down the interstate, she exited at the beach access road. Her husband, James, wouldn’t be home from his business trip until Sunday afternoon. Her mother didn’t have to know that.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2021

Regaining My Equilibrium

Today, I did something I haven’t done in quite a few months. I took my notebook and went to a coffee shop, ordered a cup of coffee and wrote ideas for a new writing project. In the previous months I have been quite unsettled by hysterical fear-mongering, pre-apocalyptical doom and gloom and end-of -the-world as we know it predictions. Even as I write this, the media is still shoveling their sewage of exaggerations of death, disease, destruction, and pestilence. I hear tell that Europe is going back into lockdown. Lockdown is also an option being considered in certain areas of the United States. Bizarrely, houses of worship (of all faiths) are being targeted as “super spreaders.” What? What about big box stores? Don’t people in big box stores stand close to each other? What about the ever-open liquor stores? What’s the difference? Oh right, in houses of worship people share their lives, encourage each other, pray, sing, and praise God together. It is community. Community. In a community, people share ideas. It’s as if this is being deliberately discouraged.

Well, I want to share my ideas as long as I can. My passion is writing. I have ideas that I believe strongly in. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe strongly in every human souls’ right to worship God as he or she feels compelled to do. I believe in freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. Each soul is sacred with a right to freely speak its truth.

At this time in history, I feel as if our rights are being corroded and stolen out from under us. Fear is more powerful than death; it can immobilize and paralyze and trap the living in a breathing shell, a shell that eventually crushes the very life force out of its prisoner. How frightening!

As I said, I did something I haven’t done in months. I went to a coffee shop with my notebook and (although I had to wear a mask to enter) I sat down and enjoyed a hot cup of coffee and wrote. I felt free-freer than I have in months. I yearn for that freedom. I cannot bear the threat of an impending lockdown. It is mentally damning to even conceive of being prohibited from enjoying a cup of coffee in a coffee shop surrounded by other living, breathing human beings. Mentally damning.

It’s similar to de facto house arrest (for those who haven’t actually been found guilty of anything). How’s that even legal, let alone not a violation of our basic human rights as free people?

Meanwhile, as always, I turn my heart and my soul towards the only answer to any questions that I have ever had.

My Lord Jesus Christ who has instructed us: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27, KJV).

Paul, the Apostle to the Romans, clearly states in Chapter 8:24-28: For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for (24)? But if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience wait for it (25). Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (26). And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (27). And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose (28). (Romans 8:24-28, KJV).

I love God with all my heart, soul, and mind. I believe that he has a purpose for my life. I feel that purpose is to write and to share my faith. I feel my purpose is to love and to encourage.

And I cannot give into fear. God loves me and I truly believe that good will come from all of this. My faith has actually been strengthened over the past few months. I have completed several of my writing projects and put them on Amazon.

While a time may come in which my freedom of speech will be limited, my freedom in Christ will never be limited.

At the end of days, Christ is the answer to any and all question, after all.

I pray that Our Lord will bless you and keep you and shine his face upon you, lift you up and give you peace.

Amen.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2020