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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Download/Upload (11/17/11)

By Melinda Melton


I was trying to focus on the sermon but all I could see was the hypocrisy. As I looked around, my mind filled with negative thoughts. He cheated on her. She gossips. What were they thinking when they put that on this morning? Do they own a mirror?

Suddenly, I feel a hand on the back of my neck.

“Who are you here for my son, them or me?” A soft voice said.

I turned my head and no one was there. I closed my eyes and bowed my head.

“Lord, forgive me for being judgmental. Help me to serve you.”

“Do you mean that son? Will you serve me?” The voice said.

“Yes, Lord, Here I Am.” I responded.

After church service, the choir director came toward to me.

“Charles? I thought that was you. It’s so good to see you. Do you still play guitar?” asked Anne.

“Yes, I have time now that I am no longer traveling for my job.”

“Would you like to join our choir and play guitar?” she asked.

My automatic answer was no, but then I thought of my promise to God just moments earlier and said, “I would love to Anne.”

“Wonderful! It will be just like the old days when we played together in the youth choir. Follow me and I’ll give you some music books to take home. We practice every Tuesday at 7pm here at the church.” Anne said.

Anne loaded my arms with music books, sheet music, and a list of songs for next Sunday’s service. I wondered what I was getting myself into.

That afternoon, I looked at the music Anne gave me. I wasn’t familiar with some of the chords so I booted up my laptop, searched for music sites and downloaded the chord charts I needed and began to practice.

I went to choir practice prepared but nervous. The choir welcomed me. I strummed the new chords I had been practicing. I even sang a few verses too. Before I knew it, the choir had talked me into singing a solo on Sunday!

On my way home I prayed, “Lord, I don’t think I can do this. I’m not that talented.”

“Trust in me. Have faith.” The soft voice said.

“Lord, I want to glorify your name. Show me how.” I whispered.

At home, I went back to my computer and downloaded a newer version of “Amazing Grace”. I began to practice.

I prayed, “Lord, bless this song, bless this instrument and bless my voice. May your Glory be revealed.”

“Trust in me my son.” The Lord whispers.

Sunday morning arrived. I was sweating with stage fright. I bowed my head and said a simple prayer. “Lord, let them see and hear you, not me. Make me invisible.”

The time came for my solo and I walked up to the microphone. At that moment, the sun broke through the clouds and streamed down on the choir from the windows above. I couldn’t see the congregation with the sun in my eyes but could still see the music.

I lifted my guitar and began to sing, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.” The choir sang soft harmony behind me. When the song ended, I was shaking so badly, I had to sit down. All the energy had drained from my body.

After the service, a woman came to me and said that today had been her last hope. If she hadn’t found what she was looking for today, she had planned to go home and end her life. She said that when she looked up at the choir, she saw golden rays of light going up from my guitar strings into the sunlight and that I was bathed in a white light so bright that she couldn’t see me through it. She said that when I began to sing, God spoke directly to her heart and she found the ray of hope she’d been searching for. I didn’t know what to say.

All I could do was thank the Lord. He indeed used me that day. The way I saw it, it was like uploading and downloading computer information. The woman uploaded her prayers to the Lord and the Lord downloaded His answer to her through the song “Amazing Grace”.

Souls were saved that day and all the glory was the Lord’s.

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This article has been read 425 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Bucca12/01/11
What a great story! I can just picture all the light going up from the guitar strings and how it touched the woman. A real winner in my book.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/01/11
I really enjoyed this. You covered the topic in a fresh way. The beginning was really good and I was eager to keep reading.

You may want to use less tag lines like said or asked. Instead use that space to develop your characters. For example instead of she said use something like The blood rushed to Anne's face. It lets the reader know that Anne is speaking and that she is blushing.

It is wonderful how you showed the way one can hear God's voice. I believe he does speak to us.

I liked the ending but think it would have been even stronger if you left the last sentence off. You already did an excellent job showing the reader that souls were saved, you don't need to tell them.

This is a lovely, well-written piece.
Theresa Santy 12/02/11
I loved the imagery of the strings of light shooting up from the guitar, like rays of hope, and glory, uploading its way toward heaven.
Nancy Bucca12/15/11
Congratulations on your second place win!
C D Swanson 12/16/11
Congratulations on your win. God Bless~
annie keys12/27/11
You handled a very 'human' situation in a sensitive way; well done. Congratulations on your win!