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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: The Example
By Rhonda Hensley


The pastor eased Mr. Griggs’ feet into the warm water that had been seasoned with Epsom salt. The healing properties of the salt water sent a tingle up the tired, old man’s legs. The sores on his feet oozed as they were immersed into the prepared solution. Having someone come to his home and perform such a humbling task overwhelmed the elderly gentlemen with emotion. He understands how Peter must have felt when Jesus insisted on washing the disciple’s feet.
Only a few short months prior, the elderly man had lost his wife and adjusting to her death had been difficult. Now, he was facing possible amputation of both of his feet. With no one to take care of him, he was sure that his final earthly home would be a nursing facility. Mr. Griggs had one daughter but she was too occupied grieving the loss of her two-year old son who had been gradually murdered by her live-in boyfriend just a year prior to her mother’s death. She would drop in occasionally to lend a hand to her dad’s needs but the thought of losing him was too overwhelming and she distanced herself from the last living relative she had.
“Your feet must be soaked in the salt water solution, scraped and freshly bandaged at least three times a day if you have any chance of keeping them,” the doctor had stated in his authoritative manner.” The feeble man had no idea who he was going to get to assist him in such a task. His daughter had not been able to take care of her own needs much less his. He had no funds or medical coverage that afforded him home health care. All appeared dismal to the grieving widower.
Word spread like wildfire around the small Baptist congregation of Mr. Griggs’ need. Several of the parishioners offered their assistance in running errands, taking food or picking up his medication; however, no one committed to the man’s real need – someone to come in and wash his feet.
The next day, the young pastor sat at his desk in communion with the Lord. He could not get Mr. Griggs off of his mind. He knew it would not be a pleasant task but someone had to do it. Jesus had humbled himself to wash his disciples’ feet was he any better than Jesus? He immediately rose from his desk, grabbed his jacket and headed for Mr. Griggs home. The pastor was greeted at the door by a grimaced face from the pain but a delighted soul for the visit. The pastor ordered him back to his chair immediately while he searched for the needed supplies. A bucket, Epsom salt, a towel and clean bandages – they could now begin he process. While the elderly man’s feet were soaking they chatted and the pastor reached his hands down into the water solution and began the process of cleaning the dead skin and dried scabs from the old man’s feet. Once the scraping process was complete he gently lifted the old man’s feet from the water and dried them with a clean towel. Spreading the towel across his lap he propped the old man’s feet up as he saturated them with ointment and carefully wrapped them in clean bandages.
There was never a day that went by that the pastor did not return to repeat the process until his services were no longer needed. Yes, it was a gruesome task at times when the sores would continually ooze and the scabs would crust but someone had to do it and after all didn’t Jesus set an example for such service.

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This article has been read 502 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Cartwright11/29/07
Your story could use a bit of combing but the core of it is superb. The most important thing in writing is the mind (and heart)of the writer. I pray you will persevere to develop and expand your talent. Spaces between paragraphs make it easier on the the eye of the reader. This story really touched me.
Jan Ackerson 11/30/07
There is much evidence of grace here!

A few problems with the writing mechanics--I'll just pick one, though, and suggest that you stick with one POV. You started with Mr. Griggs' POV, then switched to the young pastor's POV halfway through.

The story is very touching.
Joanne Sher 12/03/07
Very vivid descriptions, and a wonderful message.

Breaking the paragraphs up more would help with readability.

Very nicely written!