Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)
TITLE: THE MESSAGE
By Willa Maye
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Her mother had telephoned late that Sunday night, emotionally overwhelmed by the message she had been given to deliver to her daughters. Before answering her telephone, the daughter checked the caller id, and recognized the call was coming from her mother. She thought the worse—something was either wrong or someone had died. Placing the receiver to her ear, she tried to sound positive when she answered.
“Yes, Mother,” answered the daughter.
“Babysister,” Mother said, with a pause. “You need to pray.”
Not able to grasp the concept of the statement, Babysister stood motionless yet holding the receiver to her ear. For a moment or two, she could hear nothing else. Then there were the sounds of crying—profuse, uncontrollable crying coming from the caller. Normally, Babysister would have responded differently. This time she was patient—though not of her own will. Instead of asking questions, she listened, unable to speak, feeling surrounded by a presence of calmness.
“What, Mother?” Babysister responded.
Her mother continued to cry. Babysister continued to wait. Finally, when her mother was able, she took a deep breath to compose herself before reiterating, and restating the message.
“Pray. I was told to tell all of my children to pray.” Her mother said. “Call your sister and tell her to pray.”
“Okay, Mother.” Babysister promised.
With that, they hung up their telephones. Babysister, in turn, dialed the phone number of her older sister to relay the message she had just received from their mother.
“Hello,” said the voice on the other end of the receiver.
“May!? Mother just called me and told me to pray, and to tell you to pray. She said those were the instructions given to her to pass along to us,” said Babysister.
“Wonder what is going on?” May said. “That’s all she said? Pray!? She did not say anything more?”
“No. Why don’t you call her, and asked her for yourself?” Babysister said. “She just hung up from talking to me. She is still up.”
When May agreed that placing a call to mother was a good idea, she ended the conversation. After replacing the receiver back on the hook, Babysister got out of her bed, and kneeled alongside. As she began to pray, she realized she did not know for what to pray. She prayed a simple prayer on behalf of her mother, and returned to her bed believing she had been obedient, while searching her heart for answers, finding none.
After falling to sleep, Babysister dreamt about her father—his impending burial. Upon awakening, she vaguely remembered the dream except for the parts about the funeral and burial for her late father.
“Goodness,” she thought, “Did I just dream about a funeral for Dad when he has been dead and buried for two years? Mother! … Oh, Lord, must be my Mother!”
At the thought of losing her mother, she began to pray aloud.
“Lord, please, please, not my Mother.” She heard herself saying.
Simultaneously, she arose from her bed; but, instead of going into her daily routine, went to the window, and looked through to see the house where her mother lived. From what she could tell, all seemed in order. She began to search her heart for answers, for she felt confident her heart would always lead her in the right direction.
Her thoughts turned to the telephone. She made a call to her mother—no answer. To not receive an answer was of little concern in that even though mother had call waiting, she was known for ignoring the beep, if she were engaged in conversation. Babysister waited before making the call again, still no answer.
After getting no answer for the third time, she decided to go check on mother. As she walked down the path to the house, she began to ponder words of her mother from earlier conversations.
“When I’m feeling well,” said her Mother, “I will get up in the morning, turn off the porch light, and open the inside door. But if the light is still burning, then you will know something is wrong.”
As Babysister approached the house, she could see the light from the porch was still on—
“10:00 a.m.: The porch light is still on,” thought Babysister. “Oh God, my refuge, my fortress! Oh God, my refuge, my fortress!” She repeated over and over again.
“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God: in him will I trust.”
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