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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Groceries - deadline 8-23-12 10 am NY time (08/16/12)

TITLE: The Guilted Samaritan
By Ken Ebright


Jerry shook Pastor's hand as they stood by the sanctuary door after church. "Jerry, Emma Thompson's car broke down last week. I was able to find someone to bring her and her baby to church, but she needs to stop at the grocery store on her way home. I would do it , but I need to go to the hospital; a member of our church has had a heart attack this morning, and may not survive. I want to go and be with the family. I know this is short notice, but could you give Emma a ride?"

Jerry started to walk away. "I can't, Pastor. Big game; I’ve got to go."

He rushed to his car and noticed that the headlights were still on. He hopped in and turned the ignition. The engine turned over and died. He noticed his best friend Brad walking by. "Hey Brad, my car won’t start. I have jumper cables. Can you give me a jump?"

"No problem." Brad pulled his car in front of Jerry's. After the few minutes of charging, the car started.

Brad took off the cables and said, "Jerry, do you know that you have a flat tire?"

"Oh man!" Jerry’s head sunk as he saw the tire.

"I can help you if you want." Brad handed Jerry the jumper cables.

"No thanks; I'll be okay."

Jerry threw his suit coat on the passenger's seat. He got the spare tire out of the trunk, put the lug wrench on the first bolt, and tried to turn it but it would not turn. Then Jerry stood on the lug wrench and finally it turned.

Pastor walked out of the church with Emma and her baby and strolled over to Jerry's car. "I see you have a flat tire?"

Jerry let out a long breath. "It's not just that; I left my headlights on. As a result my battery was dead." Jerry put the lug wrench on the second bolt. "Pastor, I've had second thoughts about taking Emma. I was wrong to not help Emma. Please forgive me for being selfish. Once I get this tire changed, I'll take her to the store."

"That would be helpful," Pastor smiled. "Now I can go straight to the hospital. "Pastor got into the car and left.

Jerry put on the new tire while Emma strapped in the car seat. They got into the car and drove to the store.

They both walked in the store together and Emma got a cart. "Emma, is there anything I can help you find?" Jerry asked as he walked along with Emma.

Pushing the cart, she looked over her list. "How about eggs, butter and bread?"

"Will do. I'll meet you at the checkout lane." Jerry raced off to the dairy section.

They met at the checkout counter. Emma put the groceries on the conveyor belt. She took out her wallet to pay. Jerry stopped her. "Emma, don’t worry about it. I'll pay for your food."

"Jerry, you don't have to."

"No, I insist." Jerry pulled out his credit card and swiped it.

They both walked to the car and put the bags in the trunk. Emma put the baby in the car seat and got in the passenger’s side. “Jerry, you didn't have to pay for my food.”

Jerry sat and stared out the window. "Emma, I originally was not going to do this. The Lord convicted me about my selfishness. I felt I needed to bless you."

Emma smiled, "Thank you, for all you've done."

"The Lord has really changed my heart today. I need to work on not being selfish. "Jerry said as he started the car.

"Praise the Lord, he‘s a good God," said Emma.

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This article has been read 334 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/23/12
Excellent message in this lovely story. The Lord will "jolt" us into action many times...and He does it so well! I enjoyed this completely.

The only tiny suggestion I have is "there was one place where you used Emma's name three times". I was told by my editor very often ( I do it too, I wasn't aware until he pointed it out to me) not to repeat names, or objects, especially within one paragraph.

Other than that...It was a great story filled with Christian scruples and moral fiber, and a lesson to be learned for all...I Loved it.

Thanks. God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/23/12
I like this story. You did a nice job of establishing a conflict right away. I couldn't help but like Jerry, even though he was a bit selfish at first.

You've done a nice job but some of the dialog needs a bit of fine tuning to sound more natural. Sometimes you would repeat the name instead of using the pronoun like she. Also make sure everything you put in the story has a purpose. You don't need to say the pastor got in his car and drove off, the reader would assume that. But if the pastor got in the car and sped off, weaving through traffic that would show the reader how anxious he was to get to the hospital.

I liked how you worked the topic in. I thought it was creative. The message is perfect. It's one, I think we all need to be reminded of. you did a nice job with this one. :)
Nancy Bucca08/24/12
I love this story. "Guilted Samaritan" is a perfect title. He certainly was guilted (though not jilted), wasn't he?
Genia Gilbert08/25/12
Good message in your story, one that probably convicts all of us. Good job.
Vicki J. Cypcar08/28/12
This reminded me that we do sometimes get nudged into action when we need it. Good message.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/30/12
Congratulations! Happy Dance!
C D Swanson 08/31/12
Congrats...God bless