Saturday, December 3, 2011

"No Greater Love Than This"

For the 2012 Vision Forum Catalog Story Contest we were given two covers this time to choose what we wanted to base the essay on.

I had been waiting for a long time to receive the 2012 catalog and enter the essay contest. So finally I sat down last night and wrote my entry! The cover I chose to base my entry on is Option A.

I hope you like it!

~ ~ ~
April 15, 1922, New York City

10th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic

Fifteen year old Charlotte Elizabeth Grayson and her guardian Emily Sanderson walked by the newsboys stand and stopped and read the front page article. She felt tears come to her eyes and her hands trembled slightly as she picked up the newspaper. The front page picture was of the mighty ship that so many naïve people believed to be unsinkable.

Why? Why would anyone want to remember that night!

She had spent ten years, ten long years trying to forget the night that she lost the ones she loved the most.

She had spent ten years asking God why she lived and so many others die.

She had spent ten long years running away from her past…

April 15, 1912, The TITANIC

"Charlotte, wake up! Charlotte!"

The small, blonde haired, five year old opened her sleepy eyes, to see her older brother, Daniel who was ten standing over her. He looked terrified.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"Charlotte, listen to me," he said in a choked voice, "The ship…the ship has hit a iceberg and it's…it's going to sink soon. You have to get off this ship, right now."

"What?" said Charlotte, trying to understand.

"Please, just do what I say," begged Daniel as he brought her dress and coat out, "Get dressed now."

"Where's Father?" Charlotte asked as Daniel helped her put her dress over her nightgown.

"He's downstairs helping people get off the ship," said Daniel, "That's why we have to leave now." He put on her boots and helped her with her coat.

"Take my hand and don't let go."

Charlotte took his hand and together they walked out the door of their compartment and made their way to the front of the ship.

It was complete chaos. Women and children were crying while men ran to and fro all over the ship. Charlotte tried looking for her father, but the mayhem was too much. She kept a tight hold of Daniel's hand until they reached the starboard side where the lifeboats were.

"Daniel, Charlotte!"

Both of them turned and to their relief saw their father running toward them.

"I'm so glad you both are here," he said as he pulled them close.

"Father, do we have to get off the ship?" asked Charlotte.

"Yes, you and your brother are leaving on the next lifeboat. Don't be afraid," he said as he stroked Charlotte's cheek.

"What about you?" asked Daniel, "Aren't you coming?

A look of painful sadness came into Father's eyes, "I have to stay here. I need to."

"No!" said Charlotte as she threw her arms around him, "If you're staying then I'm staying!"

"My darling," he said soothingly, "You must go."

"No, I'm not leaving without you," Charlotte said as she began to cry.

"It's alright," Daniel said as he took her hand, "I'll be with you."

"The next lifeboat is up!" shouted a sailor.

"You two are getting on this one," Father said as he took their hands.

Men were passing out lifejackets to the women and children who could wear them. Father took two for his children and started helping Charlotte with her hers.

"I'm sorry, there are no more jackets ma'am," said the sailor to a young woman who had been behind the Grayson family.

"What…what do you mean?" she asked, "Can't I go on without one?"

"No I'm sorry," said the sailor.

The young women started to cry and began to look around, desperate for help.

"You can have mine," said Daniel as he took his off.

"What?" said the women, "I can't…you and your sister are going together…I can't."

"No, take it," said Daniel as he handed it to her, "Just watch out for my sister."

This was too much for Charlotte. First her father and now her brother? She was going alone, among all these strangers? What if Father and Daniel drowned? What happen to her? Mother was already dead, she had no one to go to if her father and brother died.

"Daniel no! You said you would go with me! Don't leave me!"

"Charlotte," said Daniel as he pulled her close, "Listen I may not be going with you, but Jesus is. He's right here watching us and he'll make sure you're alright."

"What if I never see you again?" she asked through her tears.

"We'll always be with you," said Father, "Remember what Jesus told his disciples. Greater love hath no man than this. That a man lays down his life for his friends. That also means a father laying down his life for his children and brother for his sister."

Charlotte understood. At least she thought she did. She wrapped her arms around her father.

"I love you," she whispered.

"I love you, darling," he said, "You are so loved. So so loved."

Charlotte let go of her father and look over at Daniel. He pulled her close to him.

"Be safe Charlotte, be strong, and don't ever be afraid. Jesus is always with you."

She let go of her brother and took the lady's hand.

"I'll take care of her," the lady said, "I'll make sure she's alright. Thank you so much."

"No, thank you," said Father as he shook her hand, "Please be safe."

The passengers boarded the lifeboat. Charlotte sat down on the lady's lap. She looked up and saw her father and her brother waving to her.

Dear Jesus…please…please don't let them die. Please keep them safe.

The lifeboat landed in the water and began to float away. Charlotte laid her head against the lady's shoulder.

She closed her eyes and thought of Daniel and her father.

She never saw them again.

Present day

"Was I worth it?" asked Charlotte.

"What?" Emily asked.

"Was my life of so much more importance that they should have died for me?"

Emily put her arm around her and led her over to the park bench.

"I have asked myself that so many times since you brother gave his lifejacket to me that night. I have tried to make my life of some worth by keeping my promise to raise you and never have I had more joy."

"What can I do?" Charlotte asked, "How can I honor what they died for."

"By remembering," said Emily, "Remember how your father and brother died. They both laid down their lives so you could live to tell of their remarkable sacrifice. Honor all those who died, by never forgetting. Jesus Christ laid down his life for all people, all mankind. Has he been forgotten?"

"No," said Charlotte, "No he hasn't."

Charlotte looked down at the newspaper. She had remembered the screams and the tears. She had remembered the looks of fear and pain and loss. Yet, she remembered the courage and the honor and the love.

She remembered her father and Daniel. She remembered their love. All that love for her. They lived, they loved and they died, so she could live and love.

There really was no greater love.

"I will always remember," she said.


2 comments:

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