A High Calling

Image Credit: sodahead.com

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He taught me how to read people’s eyes. “Don’t just listen to what people are saying, because they can say all the right things, while plotting evil. Always pay more attention to what their eyes are saying, because their lips could be lying.

“To survive in this business, always stay alert. To read someone’s eyes, is to know if they are trustworthy, which could mean the difference between life and death to you. Do you understand?”

I understood. I learned to read people’s eyes very quickly. I took all that Dan taught me and perfected it. I’ll never forget the awe and respect in his eyes, when we were partnered several years later, on a job that nearly killed us. Had I not seen the danger written in our enemy’s eyes, for just a split second, we would have gone into that labyrinth of waterfalls, and walked right into the trap set by that suicidal maniac.

“My God, Belinda, you saved my life! The tables have turned. I should be your student.” What pride I felt as Dan praised me. The tables had indeed turned, for now, Dan looked up to me.

I was the best there was in the espionage business, until life interfered with all my aspirations, crumbling them like dried up clay. I awoke one morning with a killer headache, and though I have a high pain tolerance, this knocked me off my feet, and after nearly three weeks of suffering, I had no choice but to seek medical help. Doctors soon determined I had a brain tumor, the size of an orange that required immediate surgery. Without it, I ran the risk of becoming a vegetable. What choice did I have?

They removed the fibrous tumor, and thankfully, it wasn’t cancerous. However, because of the tumor’s location, I was now completely blind. Unable to detect any shadows or light, I was told that I would never regain my sight because my optic nerves had been destroyed.

Somehow, I had to come to grips with the fact that I would be blind forever, and the career that had been my life was ended. You can’t read people’s eyes, when your own eyes can’t even see. I was washed up before I was even forty. Immediately, I fell into a deep, dark depression. I became bitter and angry, and I wanted to die… or so I thought. When it came down to actually ending my life, I discovered that my will to live was much too strong for that.

So, I got mad at God. I remember shouting angrily at Him for destroying my life. Does it surprise you that someone like me would believe in God? It shouldn’t. I’ve been involved in too many life and death situations, and seen too many miracles, not to believe. That’s why I was so angry with Him. Couldn’t He send me a miracle now, when I really needed it? When He took my sight, He took the one thing, in my life that I was proudest of.

After wailing and cursing God, I fell to the floor in my rehab room, exhausted and breathing heavily. It was then, when I was finally silent that I heard His voice speak to me. “Peace, be still, Belinda. Your former career, with your previous employers is over. Now, it’s time to work for Me. Instead of reading people’s eyes, I will give you a much better gift, which you will craft into a great skill. I’m going to give you the gift of discernment.

“Henceforth, when people speak to you, you will be able to discern whether their spirits are good or evil. You will find this gift extremely useful for the labor I have called you to. This vocation is a high calling, and it is much more vital than your former job. Whereas before, the life and death situations you dealt with were only physical, now, people’s spirits are endangered, and you must warn some, and rescue others, who heed your warning. You will be responsible for throwing everyone a lifeline, and you must be able to discern what each one needs in order to give them a chance to live. Failure to obey this high calling, could mean eternal damnation for you and those you refused to help.

“Your former employment was merely preparation for this journey you are about to embark on. You used to read people’s eyes, but now, I will teach you to read their hearts.”

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

This post was written for Speakeasy #166. The rules are below:

  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer. (Mine is 749 words.)
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • You must include the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “He taught me how to read people’s eyes.
  • You must also include a reference to the media prompt. (MC – Escher’s Waterfall lithograph, pictured above.)


18 responses to “A High Calling

  1. I think one of the hardest things to do in fiction writing is showing a character’s growth. I hope you write more about Belinda’s transition — does she struggle with the responsibility? Wonderful job tackling the prompts, Cheryl.

    • Thank you Meg. I really appreciate your comments and your insight. I think you’re right. Perhaps I should write more about Belinda’s transition. Thank you for your encouragement. It really blessed me.

      God bless you,

  2. Wow, what an amazing ability to have. I liked the voice of your character, and the humour, despite the situation. The revelation at the end was a nice twist to the tale. Great use of the prompts.

    • Thank you Mbarkersimpson! I would say that you, too, have an amazing ability to encourage people, especially fledgling writers who want to grow and improve their writing skills. Also, I’ve read some of your posts, and you are a gifted writer, so your comments really blessed me.

      God bless you,

      • Thanks, Cheryl. Your kind words are a balm on my soul today. I was in need of a little pick me up. That I’m able to encourage others and share the wonder that is writing, is the most precious gift of all.
        Warm wishes

        • LOL – It goes both ways. I was feeling discouraged this morning, and your words of encouragement came at just the right time.

          God bless you, and I pray the rest of your day is blessed!


          • How lovely that we are sent the messages, people, or connections we need at just the right time. I’m so glad I was able to reciprocate, and I hope the rest of your day is blessed too.
            Best Wishes

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