My first attempt at flash fiction was an inspirational tale penned for the The Matthew 2535 Initiative. They wanted to show that bad memories are just as valuable as the good ones. Both help us realize God is in control and has us by the hand or on his shoulders.
Author Joe Clay
Sam was shopping at the local mall when she picked up a small vase at the Christian Store. It looked just like the one her mother had sitting on the table by the front door. She began to examine it, rubbing her fingers over the painted flowers, as she did ever day when coming home from school. She could remember putting her book bag down and placing her pencils in the vase. The smells coming from the kitchen were divine. Sam took a deep breath; there in the store she could almost smell her mother’s cornbread cooking in the kitchen. Sam felt at peace as those memories flooded her thoughts. She felt warm and comfortable from her head to her toes. She began to smile from ear to ear and was sure the people around her wondered what she was up to.
Sam turned down the next aisle after she placed the vase in the plastic tote she had picked up as she entered the stained glass doors. Fear took over her as she saw a gentleman that looked just like her ex-husband. She had got the nerve and strength to leave him five years ago. She began to tremble as tears rolled down her face. Her knees became weak as she fell to the floor on them. The memories of the abuse, cheating, and drinking flooded her mind. The lump in her throat was getting thicker almost cutting off her air. She still could remember those lashes across her back with a leather strap as she lay on top of the kids to protect them as if it was just yesterday. Sam was about to turn and crawl away when the gentleman turned, smiled, and tipped his hat.
“May I help you up? Are you OK?” He asked with a warm smile as he extended his hand.
Sam reached for the hand and returned to her feet. Her breathing had got back to normal as she thanked the older gentleman as he went about his shopping as if nothing had happened.
Sam’s brown eyes caught sight of a wooden cross on a shelf directly in front of her. Her dad kept one on his desk at the office to remind him what God had provided for him and his family. Tears once again welled up in her eyes as the sadness and hurt overcame her. Losing her dad to cancer only six months ago was a fresh wound that had not yet healed. She picked up the wooden cross and kissed it.
“I love you Dad,” she whispered as she placed it in the tote.
She finished up by gathering the supplies she needed for the Sunday school class she was teaching. Sam approached the counter. She was staring straight at the famous Foot Prints in the Sand poster. The memories that Sam had just experienced let her realize the times God was with her and the times God was carrying her. She pointed at the poster with trembling hands.
“Two please,” she said as a peace filled her soul.
She knew God had brought her through the fire and was with her now in the calm of the storm called life.