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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Singing (10/31/05)

TITLE: A Joyous Heart
By Renee Hanlon


Julia opened the door to her new apartment. The smell of fresh paint overwhelmed her senses and as she looked at the bare walls and sparse furnishings, she burst into tears again. Why did things have to be so difficult for her? A job transfer brought her to a new town where she knew no one. It was supposed to be a good opportunity but it seemed to bring nothing but heartache.
Her realtor had, thus far, been unable to locate a desirable house in her price range. Julia’s coworkers didn’t go out of their way to be friendly. Everything was unfamiliar. Had she made the right choice? Everything had seemed so perfect in her old town. Today, even her boss reprimanded her for a silly mistake she had made. Couldn’t he just cut her some slack? Life was so unfair.
As Julia sat wiping tears from her face, she stopped to listen. Was that someone’s radio on too loud? The walls in the apartment were paper thin. She wasn’t going to have any peace and quiet or privacy for that matter. A fresh wave of despair began to overtake her. Why couldn’t things just be back to the way they used to be? The music seemed to be getting louder. Julia could tell now that it was someone singing. She listened more intently. Whoever was singing actually had a very nice voice. It was a man singing but it sounded angelic.

Several days went by and everyday Julia heard the same singing. She was growing to really enjoy it. “I have to meet this person”, thought Julia. She had just made a fresh batch of cookies. “Maybe I’ll go over with some cookies and get to know this neighbor.” She was certain no one was ever going to go out of their way to get to know her. “I wonder if he is single” she thought to herself. She could certainly picture herself dating that voice!
Julia walked down the hall and knocked at the door she was sure the singing was coming from. After what seemed like several minutes, the door was answered. There stood an elderly woman. “I’m sorry to disturb you”, said Julia, but I have been hearing this wonderful singing and I thought it was time to meet my neighbors”. “Oh that would be Teddy”, said the woman, “he doesn’t get visitors very often so I’m sure he would be thrilled”. Julia followed the woman into her living room. “Teddy you have a visitor today!” Julia almost dropped her cookies when she spotted Teddy. He was sitting in a wheel chair and his face was disfigured with scars. “Teddy was in a terrible accident about a year ago”, exclaimed the woman. “He will never be able to walk again”.
When Teddy spotted Julia and the cookies, his face lit right up. “How nice of you to come and visit” Teddy exclaimed. “Isn’t God wonderful? I was just praying that I would meet a new friend. God has given me a beautiful voice to praise him and now he has brought you,” Teddy went on. Julia was left speechless. She was beginning to feel very foolish on how she had been reacting to her changes. She knew she had just found her first new friend.

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This article has been read 572 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/07/05
I'm glad that Teddy's voice found her, but I was disturbed by the implication that he'd been in his apartment for a year. Well-written, though--I read it twice!
Joe Braun11/07/05
not bad. I enjoyed the twist on Teddy. It just proves God can work however He wants, and we just have to be prepared for it.
Nancy Leaf11/08/05
I found this to be very enlightening in its content, and heartwarming in its reality of life. Nan
Sherry Castelluccio 11/08/05
Good story! Sincerely left me wanting to read more. I'm a sucker for stories about people who overcome.
Katherine Douglas11/10/05
the story was easily read, and the story line was clear. I enjoyed the message as well.
Debbie OConnor11/12/05
Good job. I liked the way you showed your character learning to praise God from one less fortunate than her. Teddy's words were beautiful--God's given me a voice to praise him and he's given me a new friend too.