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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

By DeWayne Bricker


My day started like any other in my mundane life. Up at five, shave and shower by five thirty, breakfast by six and on the road by six twenty. I hate traffic. I hate going slow. I hate this town. I hate my job. I hate my life. Every day is the same. I can’t seem to change anything. It’s like being trapped in an episode of the Twilight Zone with Rod Sterling’s voice echoing in the back of my mind. “And that’s how it is in the twilight zone.”

I have a Master’s degree for God’s sake. There has to be more than this. Ah, yes, my little parking spot with my little name spray painted in black on cold, hard concrete. Black, couldn’t they have used a brighter more cheery color, like blue or orange or something? And concrete, yes concrete; that’s how I feel, cold and rigid, fastened to one place never to move or be moved again.

Oh, great, it’s almost eight; if I don’t get to my luxurious cubicle in two minutes Attila the Hun is going to dock me for fifteen. She has those beady eyes, always watching, hoping to catch me doing something wrong. I wish she would get stuck in a traffic jam for ever.

Let’s see, who’s first to meet the guillotine today? Mrs. Marilyn Christianson. Looks like her house burnt down and she is hoping to get a check today so she can start to rebuild. Oh, great she brought her kid with her; hope she can keep her mouth shut while I deal with her mother.

“Good morning Mrs. Christianson, how are you and. . .

[I’m fine thank you and this is Mary.]

“And, how are you today, Mary?”

{Just fine, thank you.}

“Please have a seat. I have been looking over your insurance file and it seems you don’t have enough coverage to fully cover the loss of your home.”

[Yes, I know. My husband died last year and with me trying to find a job and keep things in order, I overlooked updating the policy.]

“I’m so sorry to hear that; your husband I mean. This sort of thing happens quite often really; not updating the policies I mean. It’s unfortunate, but there isn’t anything I can do about it. Company policy you know.”

[Oh, I see, so what does my policy cover?]

“We’ll, basically it. . .”

{Are you a Christian?}

[Mary, that’s impolite.]

“That’s quite alright; yes, Mary I am.”

{Do you pray and trust in God?}

“Why, yes, of course I do. Why do you ask?”

[On your way to work today, you spent the entire time complaining about your life and how mundane it is.]

“How did you know that?”

{God knows everything Mr. Baker. You’ve spent the last twelve years wallowing in self pity, never lifting a finger to help your fellow man. Instead you sit here day after day wishing your life was different and more exciting. Real happiness comes from helping others and by giving your life away. You have enough money stored up to last you for the rest of your life. There is a mission in Nalgonda India that needs your help. Decide for yourself this day what you will do. Your decision will last forever.}

[Mr. Baker, are you all right? You were mumbling something to yourself.]

“Where is Mary?”


“Mary, your daughter; she was sitting right there.”

[Mr. Baker, my daughter died last year in a car wreck with my husband. What are you trying to do? You are upsetting me.]

“I’m sorry Mrs. Christianson, I thought for a moment; never mind. Take this paper to the cashier and she will give you a check for the full amount of your house.”

[But, you said. . . ]

“Never mind what I said. I hope God will restore to you more than what you lost.”

[Thank you, Mr. Baker.]

“No, thank you.”

[Are you going somewhere, Mr. Baker?]

“Yes, I am. Today is my last day here and the beginning of the rest of my life. Thank you again.”


Lord, I really love it here in India. I’m sorry for all those years I wasted on myself. Forgive me and help me to help these people. Oh, and tell Mary hello for me and thanks again.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Seema Bagai 11/15/07
I had to read this twice to understand it. Once I did, I saw the cleverness and creative idea in this piece. Keep writing.
Joanne Sher 11/18/07
Very creative - I really liked this. That last sentence wasn't as strong as the rest, but overall this was great.