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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)

TITLE: Are You Here Among Us
By Pamela Murphey


The scent of the Magnolias fill the air as Sophia enters the butter yellow house under the mighty oak trees for her very first home group. She just chose the one closest to her home but really only knew the group from Sunday church service. With warm greetings and wide smiles Paul and Patricia invite her into the living room. She notices Tim the engineer and his wife Janice are seated closest to the door. Jonathan and Gabrielle were seated with their backs to her and the praise music softly played on the sound system in the background. Being a widow in a group of couples always left Sophia with moments of discomfort. She knew that they tried not to treat her differently but that made her feel different in itself. Once again Sophia wondered if this Home Group thing was right for her. After all she had different needs, different dreams, and different challenges than these 3 couples and could not fathom that they would find common ground and understand each other.
Paul opened and closed the bible study each week with prayer. This week he turned to Sophia and asked if she would like to say the opening prayer this week. Feeling shy she shook her head no. Paul smiled and said, “its okay I shouldn’t have put you on the spot like that. Anyone else want to say our opening prayer?” Tim volunteered, asked the group to stand and join hands. He softly spoke from his heart, “ Dear Father God, Your Word says Wherever two or more are gathered You are there among us, Lord we trust that You are now here among us. Lord, we all have different needs, we come from different place but with you Lord we are all just brethren. We long to sit at Your feet and learn the deep things of God that only Your Spirit can reveal. Lord open our eyes, minds and hearts to Your love to us and the ability You’ve given us to love others. In Jesus name we pray, Amen. Sophia silently prayed, Jesus are you here among us? I want to believe but it’s so hard to think that the Lord of the universe would attend a home group. I’m just a simple widow Lord, if you are here please let me know. Gabrielle then looked at Sophia and said, “The Lord wants you to know that He is here and knows your pain. He’s put you in this group and is guiding your steps. He’s saying to you, remember that the steps of the righteous man are ordered by God.” Sophia was stunned at first and then broke as Gabrielle continued, The Lord says He is the husband to the widow and the father of the orphan. You are His and no man can take you out of His hand.” By this time Sophia was sobbing with all the pain of the past year. The loneliness of losing the man she loved in a car accident and the distance she’d felt from God. Sophia told her story to the group through her tears and added, “I felt like I lost God as well as my husband but now I realize He didn’t go anywhere I just wouldn’t let Him in.” Tim said in a voice filled with compassion, “ it may seem as if we don’t know where you are coming from but we each have faced loss in the last year. Gabrielle and Jonathan lost their son to cancer this year, Janice and I lost my dad to an aneurism. Paul and Patricia lost her sister to a robbery gone wrong. I think the Lord loves us each so much that he knew we would love each other through this time of transition.” “Yeah”, Paul said “God is so amazing just thinks of the odds that all of us would choose this particular group at this particular time of our lives?” They all agreed and began to sing praises to the awesome God. That day Sophia became part of a new family, her home group.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/07/07
A lovely recounting of a very moving session.

Try to be more careful with tenses, and it's best if you put each speaker's words in their own paragraph...far easier to read that way. An extra "enter" at the end of each paragraph, and a look at the "Preview" button should do the trick.

Nice title, too.
Andrea Hargrove12/10/07
You had some nice images here, especially at the beginning. But, like Jan said, you really ought to put a space between the paragraphs (and put each new speaker in a new paragraph).