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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)

TITLE: Through the Eyes of a Child
By Fern Rice


Frank’s day wasn’t going well. He’d planned to get to work before the meeting was due to start so he could go over his notes once more. He was feeling nervous having to present to the Board. Looking down at his hands he saw them griping the steering wheel as if it was about to escape if he slackened his hold. His wedding ring was the only spot of colour on the white. Even now sweat was trickling down the side of his face. He grabbed a tissue and swiped it away. The traffic wasn’t going anywhere. There obviously was an accident up the highway. Cars around him honked ineffectively. People had got out of their cars and were standing around, some shouting, others trying to see what was going on. Frank could hear the news blaring from several cars nearby, all tuned to different stations. Obviously whatever had happened hadn’t hit the headlines yet, or the story would be spreading.

Most of this was in Frank’s peripheral vision. He consciously let go his death grip of the steering wheel once more and flexed his fingers. Should he call his wife? No, she would worry. Should he see if anyone had arrived at the office yet? He checked his watch again. Not a chance, far too early.

He reached into the back and hauled over his briefcase for something to do. The document he wanted wasn’t there; it was sitting on his desk. He had thought if he brought it home he may forget to bring it back to the office. Frank knew how he acted when he was nervous. Still, he opened the case as a way to feel he was more in control of the situation than was possible. It was something to do.

What he found changed his day. His little daughter Janette had put on top of his sandwiches her latest picture. Pauline, his wife had obviously done the writing at Janette’s dictation. The picture was of Janette wearing her favourite dress, standing with her arms up reaching to the sky. The sun was just peeping around the blackest cloud that could be painted. Black was her ‘in’ colour at the moment. The words written that Janette had traced over said: “I love you Daddy. You make me warmer than the sun.”

Tears moistened Frank’s eyes. He reached for another tissue. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” [Philippians 4:13 NKJV], he quoted out loud. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice.” [Philippians 4:4 NIV] The black cloud that Janette had drawn wasn’t enough to shut the sun out of her picture and nor was a delay on the highway going to spoil his chance today. This was a God moment. “Thanks Lord,” he said. “Thanks for using my precious daughter and wonderful wife to speak to me your words of peace and love. I will rejoice in you. My life is in your hands.”

The tooting became insistent again and he glanced up. The traffic was starting to move.

This time, he drove relaxed and humming to himself. Arriving at the office with just enough time to pick up the papers and get to the Board room, he felt confidence flow through his veins.

Frank’s turn to present came and went and finally the meeting drew to a close. The Chairman made a bee-line for Frank as he was about to leave the room.
“Why haven’t we met before?” he asked.
“Well I’ve just moved over from the other Department.”
The Chairman glanced at his watch and before Frank could decide if that was the end of the conversation or not, the Chairman took out a card from his pocket and wrote a number on it while saying, “This is my private number. Give my secretary a call and make an appointment. I have some things I’d like to talk to you about.” He thrust the card in Frank’s hand and walked out the door with some of the other executives, giving Frank a smile as he turned at the door.

“So,” Frank said reporting his day over dinner, “you both helped me have a wonderful day. I felt so relaxed when giving my presentation, I even enjoyed myself.” A wry grin stretched over his lean face, turning to one of love as he looked at his family.

“The Chairman is taking me out to lunch on Friday.”

740 Words

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This article has been read 342 times
Member Comments
Member Date
D. Phenes03/08/08
How sweet.. This was a cute story. I especially like his scripture pep talk to himself.
Good job
Jan Ackerson 03/09/08
Children can be so sensitive about what their parents need, can't they?

I'm a bit nervous about your use of the painted black cloud; it may be too literally like this week's proverb.

A sweet story with some good depiction of emotions: stress, relief, etc. Well done.
Laury Hubrich 03/10/08
Very nice story and you used my favorite Bible verse, too. Kids can be very insightful when we actually listen to them! Thanks for sharing!
Shirley McClay 03/10/08
Encouraged by his wife, daughter, and God all at once! Very cool! Nice story... keep writing.