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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)

TITLE: A Mother's Prayer
By Mary McLeary


A Mother’s Prayer

December 21st. Midnight. A mother offers another prayer to her Lord for Jeffery, her son. “Jesus, watch over him. Put a hedge around him so he doesn’t hurt himself or anyone else. I am tired of dealing with the lies and the thievery. What else can I do but leave it in your hands?”

December 22nd. 4:00AM. RRRRIIIINNNNNGGGG! RRRIIINNNGGG! Judy, a first grade teacher, shakes her husband, from his deep sleep. “Ben, your cell phone is ringing!” Ben stumbles to the dresser and looks at his Caller ID. It reads, PRIVATE. Ben doesn’t answer but waits for the beep indicating there is a message. He then accesses his voice mail.

“HELLO B - - - -! I”LL KILL YOU AND ALL YOUR FAMILY! B - - - ! I’LL MAKE YOU SUFFER~I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!! Your dead, Jeffery! You and all your family!!”

Ben knows there is no way to trace a private call.

Judy’s eyes are as big as plates. The caller’s voice was so loud she could hear every word. She begins to pray, “Jesus! Deliver us from this evil. Whoever and wherever this person is, bind him. Confuse him further so he can do no harm to this person he thinks he has called!” Ben doesn’t have a personal message on his voice mail. Who ever this is doesn’t know he has the wrong number.

The phone rings two more times before daylight. Ben doesn’t answer, but after dressing, he retrieves the messages and they are all the same. What kind of person leaves a threat on a voice mail? He prays. “Dear Lord, guide and protect us today from evil. Amen.” He thinks the caller will not repeat his mistake. He is wrong.

December 22nd. Midnight. A mother prays, “Jesus, I don’t know where Jeffery is right now, but you do. Please, Lord, watch over him. Deliver him from evil and keep him safe. Protect all of us in this house from whatever Jeffery has brought to us. Amen”

December 23rd 4:00AM. RRRRIIIINNNNGGGG!! RRRRIIIINNNNGGGG!! Ben and Judy wait for the cell phone to stop ringing. They hear the voice mail beeper. There is another message from PRIVATE CALLER. The threat is the same only this time there is more information. Names are mentioned along with a specific time and place for the killing. Reference is made to a California gang. Ben waits until he is at his office, then he calls the police.

Officers Pearce and Dixon arrive mid-morning. Ben explains the situation and hands over his cell phone. The officers listen and make notes. All they tell him is that the names are those of area gang members. Ben is thanked politely and the officers leave. Ben calls his cell phone service and requests a new number.

Later in the day Officer Pearce calls. “Ben”, he says, “you may not hear another word about this from anyone, but people are working on the situation.”

December 23rd. Midnight. “Jesus. Jeffery has been around all day looking as nervous as a cat. We talked. I reminded him of his decision at church when he was nine. He ducked his head and walked away, but he remembers. Please don’t let him go. Hold him and deliver him from evil. Lord, I love you and thank you. Amen.”

December 24th. 4:00 AM. The phone does not ring.

December 24th. Midnight. The mother attends the Christmas Eve Service at her church. Her head is bowed as the choir sings Silent Night. “Lord, on this your birthday, I thank you for your gift to the world. I thank you for the hope the gift brought and I claim that gift of hope for my son. Amen”

December 25th. 4:00 AM. Ben and Judy hear Lucus come in from an away game. Judy offers up a quick prayer, “Thank you, Lord, for bringing our son home safely. Amen”

December 25th. Midnight. RRRRIIIINNNNGGGG!! RRRRIIIINNNNGGGG!! THE MOTHER’S HEART STOPS. “Mom, I’m in jail. They say I can come home if you’ll come get me. I’m sorry, Mom. Really sorry. I don’t want to miss Christmas with you. I want to come home.”

Our God answers prayer in ways we can’t imagine because His ways are not our ways. One wrong number and God has answered a mother’s prayer. A good man receives a bad message and a life is saved. An answered prayer is a wonderful Christmas gift for any mom.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/20/08
Very suspenseful!

Since this takes place over several days, I wonder if the past tense might be more effective. Present tense is usually better in introspective pieces that take place in a more limited time frame.

Great Christmas gift for this faithful mother!