As some of you may know, I have been taking a Creative Writing class. I thought this class was going to be a breeze, full of delight and oozing with creative goodness. I have found it surprisingly challenging. Not in the sense of it being a lot of work, but rather from the struggle of opening up the wells of my imagination. I thought it would just flow out of me naturally, but I often find that is not the case. I am used to writing very literally, and creative writing is anything but that. The day my short fiction story was due, I was sitting in front of a blank laptop screen, with less than two hours before class started. I had written nothing. I told God, “Can You like, give me a vision or something? I have no idea what to write about.” I got distracted from writing, and ended up praying for some friends of mine. He did give me a vision, and I decided to write out what I saw and encourage them. I chose to use that as for inspiration for my story.
At workshop the writer reads his/her story out loud in front of a group of students who then get to dissect and analyze the piece of writing, while the writer sits in tormented silence, unable to explain and defend his/her work. It can be very intimidating. I was totally nervous for how my “story” would be interpreted. Much to my surprise, they loved it and wanted to give copies to their significant others and children to teach them about kindness. I was exceptionally happy, but not because they liked my story. I was happy because what they were drawn to in the story was simply Jesus. He is the source of true and selfless love. They were being witnessed to, and they did not even know it.
Here is my short story, Little Giants
Ben and Lacey were miniature people living in a world that was created for giants. Everything was bigger than them. Their house was humongous. Even getting out of bed proposed dangers unbeknownst to most people. They had to use a ladder to prevent from breaking any bones from dismounting a bed at such a height. The people around them were much bigger as well. In order to be heard, Ben and Lacey had to scream at the top of their lungs, causing them to get soar throats almost daily. Whatever they attempted to do required so much labor and effort that by the time the task was finished they were completely exhausted and incapacitated. This caused them to have little emotional capacity for each other, and was causing severe problems in their marriage.
Today, Lacey was just mad. The daily grind of functioning in a world that was simply too big for her little body had taken its toll. She had gotten little sleep the night before due to the ridiculously loud neighbors, whose voices carried like megaphones into her eardrums. Earplugs were no match for the diaphragms of such giants. In her pathetic attempt to make coffee, she dropped the coffee grounds all over the floor. She grunted in frustration as Ben came into the room to see what was wrong. He was halfway done shaving, and blood trailed down his cheek since he was using a razor that was far too big for his face. He grabbed the broom to help her clean up and she pushed him away, saying, “Don’t bother! I can do it.” He rolled his eyes in frustration as he once again felt like she ignored his efforts to help her. “Fine. I wont,” he responded angrily, and stomped out of the room.
Both of them went about their day in complete despondency about their difficult little lives. Ben had a horrible day at work as he fought the humiliation of his insignificance in comparison to his coworkers. Even though he had so many ideas, he did not share them because he knew they would not be able to hear him. Who would take him seriously, anyway? Lacey had an equally discouraging day. Simply going to the grocery left her looking like she had run a marathon. Lifting boxes of cereal and cartons of milk over her head just so she could place them in the cart was absolutely exhausting. She gave up, and decided she was not going to make dinner tonight. Ben walked in the door and found her lying on the couch. He could not believe that dinner was not hot and ready on the table. Didn’t she know the kind of day he had? He knew he had a choice to make. He could get mad at her, and complain about all of the things she had done wrong, or he could love her.
He sat by her on couch, and reached for her hand. She was staring vacantly into the mirror that was on the wall across from them. He was frustrated that she ignored his loving gesture, but grabbed her hand anyway. “Strange,” he thought to himself. “Her hand feels bigger than normal.” He was hurting from the way she treated him this morning, and he was dejected from his inability to perform at work. He wanted to lash out at her, but he knew that would only make it worse. Instead, he decided he was going to encourage her. “Thank you for going grocery shopping today,” he said. “I know you hate it, and it is a lot of work, but I really appreciate it.” Her hand miraculously grew in his, and so did her arm. He was so amazed by what was happening that he did not even hear her say, “Thank you for saying that. I know you work so hard. I am really proud of you.” She saw him grow taller as she looked at him in the mirror. They were both in awe of what was happening, and as they continued to speak kindly to one another, they realized it was the kindness of their words that was making them grow.
From that point on, they made a conscious effort to speak words of encouragement to each other, instead of acting on the frustration they had felt about their lives. Every time they wanted to act out of their negative emotions, they chose instead, to speak positively. As they did so, they grew bigger. They are no longer too small for their environment. They are bigger, taller, stronger, louder, than ever before. The secret to their growth was kindness, and they held the key to solving their problem all along.