Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
TITLE: God Always Provides
By Liz Beal
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I’m still not sure what made her think that waving napkins over the candles at the annual church Christmas dinner was a good idea. All she ever said about it was that it seemed like a fun idea at the time. She dropped the napkin, scared, as it caught on fire. That, in turn, set the table cloth on fire which followed the table down to the curtains. Before long she had single handily burnt down the entire church. While members of the church and the local responders worked hard to save it the fire it spread to our parsonage next door. We lost everything.
Not a word was spoken in the family that day. Each of us sisters was too scared to say anything, afraid of the punishments that we knew would eventually come. She was the only guilty party but somehow she would find a way to blame us too. Mom and dad were too heartbroken at the loss and scared of course that dad would lose his job over it to say much.
Later that evening as we dug through the rubble trying to salvage anything we could. We heard what started out as the slightest giggle coming from what used to be the kitchen. Curious as to what could possibly be funny in this situation, we all followed the laughter, which was getting louder and was growing as each person waded through the soot and ashes to see what mom had found. There were only two things that had survived the fire. The first was the family bible which had made it through the fire with only a small about of damage. Mom had conducted a bible study for the local MOPs (mothers of preschoolers) group earlier that morning in the kitchen as she did every Tuesday morning. In the rush of trying to get everything together for the church dinner she has managed to knock over a stack of pots and pans, one of which fell over the open Bible protecting it from both the fire and the water.
With only a few seared edges it remained intact and open to the very place they had been studying that morning. In all the tragedy of the day none of us could contain our laughter as she read out loud the highlighted scripture from Proverbs “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” This alone would have been enough to break the silence and ease the tension but sitting there right next to the Bible was the big wooden spoon mom had used earlier that morning as she prepared her dish for the church dinner during the Bible study. The same spoon she had used many times on each of us. Mom was laughing so hard we could barley understand her words as she told us that “God always provides” and provide he did!
We were all reminded of Gods since of humor that day along with his loving grace as the church members all showed up one by one to help us salvage the remainder of what was there. Giving back to my parents the same help they had offered each of them in times of need.
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