Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)
TITLE: Isla's Paradise
By Kay Ramos
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“You know my love, I wish that Ryan wouldn’t deliberately oppose us. When will he realize that by going against us he’s only hurting himself? We’re getting old and I don’t want to die knowing our son hasn’t found Jesus. I wish he’d give his heart to God so that I would know that he’ll be in Heaven one day like us.” Isla’s voice was dripping with sorrow as she thought of her rebellious son.
Lamar, despondent about the topic of their thirty-something son and his doings, tried to be comforting to his beloved. “He’s a grown man, Isla. He will do what he will do. We have done everything that we could possibly do to set Ryan on the right path, but now it’s time for him to learn from his mistakes and we need to stop preventing him from making those mistakes. All we can do now is pray for him.”
Isla took in the words that her husband spoke, but was still dismayed. Her thoughts continued with Ryan, her prodigal son. She discreetly prayed as her husband gave the TV pastor all of his attention. Isla prayed for her son to come to know the Lord. Just then, an irritating noise interrupted her secret meditation. The words “THIS IS NOT A TEST” displayed boldly on the television screen. Immediately following was the familiar voice of Brett Perkins, the channel 6 news anchor.
The anchorman tried to appear calm, but a frantic undertone was present in his voice. With unsure confidence, he spoke.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are streaming live footage right now of what appears to be Jesus with his angels in the sky and trumpets sounding. I’m not exactly sure what’s happening, but there is definitely pandemonium on the outside as people witness what seems to be the second coming of the Lord. For all of us who mocked it, doubted it, or thought we’d die before it happened… we were wrong. Undoubtedly wrong.” The newscaster shook his head in fear.
Isla and Lamar were in utter disbelief that the very thing they were talking about only moments ago was actually occurring. They scrambled out onto the front porch and gaped at the hysterics that were going on in the streets. They watched the neighborhood children as they gazed in wonder. The couple could see a few teenagers taking pictures with their camera phones and text messaging each other. People ran to their cars en route to their churches. Others got down and prayed on their front lawns. Lamar grabbed Isla by the hand and nodded at her. They, too, got down and prayed.
They prayed for themselves. They prayed for their family members, friends, and acquaintances. And most importantly, they prayed for their misguided son Ryan.
“Dear Jesus, have mercy on our son. Let him see the truth. Let Ryan know that You are real Lord, and You’re here for the ones who have given their hearts to You. Please Lord, don’t let it be too late for him.”
Just then, Isla, with the cordless phone in the pocket of her housecoat, received a phone call. Ryan’s informal girlfriend called with disparaging news. Due to the chaos at hand, Ryan had just been killed on impact in a horrible car wreck on his way home.
Isla burst into tears as she broke the news to her awaiting husband. As they wept, a blinding light appeared above them and they began to rise. Isla closed her eyes, and when she reopened them, she was before Jesus. He smiled sweetly at her and reached forward, gently wiping her tears away, and then began to speak.
“Do not weep, daughter, for I have heard your cry. I know your heart and the sorrows thereof, but I say to you, rejoice! Ryan gave his heart last night.”
Isla closed her eyes again in content, and when she reopened them, she marveled at Paradise before her.
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him…” – Revelation 1:7
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