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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)

TITLE: A Servant Heart
By Bella Louise
11/24/06


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There was dead silence throughout the congregation. The visiting minister stifled a frustrated sigh. This little church, in a small but affluent village in the West Country, had grown very used to comfort. Mothers and fathers sent their children to good schools; grandmothers and grandfathers relaxed in their pensions; young children received new, fashionable, faddy toys for Christmas and never wondered how Mummy and Daddy had paid for them. The congregation was full of successful businessmen, middle-class housewives, and doctors. People sometimes laughed at all the high-tech security that the church hall had fitted, until they went inside and saw the immaculate grand piano, the expensive sound system, or simply the lavishness of the whole building. Sermons were delivered every week in the rector’s precise English accent (which seemed rather out of place when contrasted against the rolling Cornish hills) and the visiting minister, the Rev. Samuel, had heard some of them before. They were always good sermons, with their roots firmly in Scripture, challenging, engaging and well-scripted. The last one had been about servanthood, about Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. Many people had gone forward as a commitment to serve whenever God gave the opportunity. He wondered, now, whether the rector had ever listened to his own words.

It was a simple enough request. Reverend Samuel was running a funday for homeless children on the following Saturday, and he wondered if anyone might be able to give up a couple of hours to help him. He wasn’t asking for any money or resources, just a little time and a little love. If he had asked for resources, he would have almost certainly been inundated with offers. As it was, the congregation stared back at him stonily. The rector had a look of longsuffering on his face, and was clearly bored by the request. Eventually Reverend Samuel smiled out at the sea of bland faces, and expressed his thanks for their time. As he was preparing to step out from behind the pulpit, a young girl with a very resolute expression on her face stood up. He would have guessed her to be about thirteen.

“If you please, Sir,” she said, speaking with an unmistakeable public school accent and ignoring both the angry whispered rebukes from her parents, and the pitying looks of her elder sister, “I’d love to do it. How can I help?”


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This article has been read 482 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ryan Tribble11/30/06
Nice! With your descriptions, I was able to peer out from the pulpit and wince from the frowning congregation! You captured the meaning of “volunteer” very well. My only suggestion would be shorter paragraphs with spacing to make it a bit easier for the reader. Other than that, good job!
Sara Harricharan 12/01/06
Loved this! I agree that some spaces/smaller paragraphs would make it easier to read. Excellent job with descriptions, I loved the ending when the girl came forward. Good job!
Shanti Singh12/01/06
I enjoyed this story. I especially enjoyed "If he had asked for resources, he would have almost certainly been inundated with offers. As it was, the congregation stared back at him stonily." Sadly, it is true that many would prefer to give of money than of self. You captured that tendency beautifully. Well done!
Donna Emery12/02/06
God bless that young girl! I hope her parents didn't quell her hopes when she got home. A very endearing story. Nicely done.
Aylin Smith 12/02/06
Excellent words of description. I agree that spacing the paragraphs would make it easier to read.
Keep writing!