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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)

TITLE: Ryan's Story
By Shanon Hinkel


The grandfather clock struck three o’clock as Ryan opened sleepy eyes to its call. Was it three in the morning already? The weight of her laptop had long since caused her legs to fall asleep. Adjusting her position interrupted the screensaver, bringing to life the empty document before her. She hadn’t written a thing all night.
Actually, she had written plenty. And deleted, and written again. What was the problem tonight? Nothing seemed good enough. Nothing made sense. The only sound was that of the grandfather clock, periodically calling out to her and eventually blending in with her thoughts until sleep overcame her.
Ryan sat up and lifted the laptop to the table beside her chair. She would have to get to bed soon. Morning brought a new day with a whole new set of priorities. The document yet unwritten would have to stay that way. She so wanted to share what the Lord had done for her… put it down on paper somehow… find a way to reach those she loved… but would she do it in a short story? A novel, maybe? Maybe she would just write out her testimony. She just didn’t know. Nothing seemed right, nothing seemed perfect. She just couldn’t do it.
Ryan closed the laptop shut and walked to her bedroom. Leaving her slippers by the bedside, she got into bed and turned out the lamp. She thanked God for the velvety soft covers she had to get into and the loving husband who was already there, sound asleep, beside her. She thought of her beautiful children and felt such love and thankfulness for them... Thank you, Jesus, Thank you Jesus…
Sleep found Ryan almost immediately. On nights like these when she was overly tired, Ryan usually dreamed. Tonight, she simply slept. The Bible lay on the bedside table beside her as the grandfather clock in the living room continued to chime periodically. The pendulum swept gracefully back and forth, back and forth…
The document on the laptop remained empty.
The lightning bolt startled no one in the house, for there was no one left behind there to feel its impact. Ryan, her husband, and two precious children were gone in an instant. The house remained quiet except for the still-swinging pendulum of the grandfather clock.
Moments later, police sirens sounded. Ambulances made their way through the neighborhood. The telephone began to ring. Ryan’s mother left a frantic message on her machine… something about news reports of missing people, and were they all right, and to please, please call.
The laptop was indeed void of any message, any testimony, any information to help her family. They hadn’t known Jesus. She didn’t know how to tell them. She didn’t know how to share what He’d done for her. How would she tell them without them thinking she was crazy, after all? She had planned to write a story. A fiction, maybe? Something to glorify the Lord. Something to help bring them to Him. Something to help guide them to the truth and show them the way.
That night when Ryan had settled into bed, thanking God for her many blessings, Ryan knew that she was right about something. She suddenly knew why nothing ever seemed right about the way she was trying to share her faith. Ryan had been trying to do it on her own. Apart from me, you can do nothing, she had heard her Lord say that night. My grace is sufficient for you.
And then came the lightning. Ryan’s trials were over. And as the computer lay lifeless in the still, silent house, the world outside would have to find its own way to the light of Jesus in the ensuing chaos.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

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This article has been read 508 times
Member Comments
Member Date
julie wood01/18/07
Beautifully written story--it haunted me and the rapture situation caught me by surprise! Vivid imagery--Ryan, along with her world, seems real.

It would be easier to read with spaces between paragraphs.

The title grabbed me--I like titles with personal names in them because they make me curious about the names' owners. Great job!
terri tiffany01/19/07
I love the feel of this story - and the way you lulled us into the rapture. Your mechanics and descriptons were great! The suspense was perfect. Good job!
Jan Ackerson 01/20/07
This one stunned me--what a great story!
Patty Wysong01/23/07
wow. Makes me want to grab my pen, paper, a new document, a Napkin, something, anything to write on and Write!! Great twist to make us think and spur us to action! Good job & thanks!
Carolyn Baney01/23/07
Gave me chills.Well done!