She was at the end of her rope. Staring into the abyss of poverty that threatened to swallow her, depression crept in to engulf her and thoughts of suicide beckoned out to her. It seemed as if everything around her was spiraling out of control and she was helpless to stop it all.
It had been one thing after another: an accident, a change of jobs, the eventual loss of that new job and the impending foreclosure of her newly-bought condo; events happening within a time-frame of only less than a year. What was Life all about anyway? Why was she born, and what purpose could her single, solitary life serve in a world that barely acknowledged her or knew her by name?
She ventured out onto the patio of her tiny, one-bedroom condominium, a purchase she had made a little over a year ago, and one she was now regretting. She looked up into the moonlit, starry sky and the tears started to roll down her face again. If God was really there, why didn’t He see or understand her plight? It wasn’t easy... hadn’t ever been easy since her birth over forty-seven years ago.
It was early on a January morning around 2 a.m. when, in the silence of a small, three-bedroom home in a tiny town located on the southern tip of the
She wondered why she had been chosen, or selected, by God to survive. It seemed ... a miracle...
As much as she recalled, she was well provided for throughout her childhood and youth. Her father worked as a health inspector for the regional area of the island while her mother was a teacher at the local elementary school. Five years later, after two spontaneous abortions, her sister was born. She now had a playmate and companion.
Spending the early years being educated with many disciplinary and iron-clad rules, high morals and godly principles, she became reserved, shy and anti-social. She felt awkward in the presence of the opposite sex and would avoid contact with them at any cost. It was all due to her own lack of self-esteem and self-confidence, of course, some of which had been eroded by the autocratic and intimidating persona of her own father. She was afraid of him. There were times when she would slip up and do something wrong, that she expected the heavy hand of her Dad to satisfy the committed crime. How many times was it that that she would crawl and hide under the raised foundation of the house, lying flat on the dusty ground awaiting the call that would consequently, though temporarily, change the texture of her smooth, brown-skinned complexion? Refusing to tally the numbers, she closed her eyes as another tear fell on her pale blue tee-shirt.
What frightened her most were not so much the words that would thunder from his lips but the ultimate price she would have to pay from his hands. Whether it was the palm of a hand or the leather of a belt, the anxiety of not knowing which to expect was almost unbearable. When the usually brief exchange was all over, she would crawl under the sheets of her bed sobbing herself to a whimpering sleep, her skin sore, burning and aching for relief with a soothing salve.
(An excerpt from: "A Black Sheep in the Fold", by Michelle A. James)