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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Ding-Dong (05/16/13)

TITLE: A Headache and a Heartache
By Joshua Newton


DING DONG! The doorbell rang as I stepped out of the shower. “Hold on a minute”, I yelled as I quickly threw on some clothes. Still drying my hair, I ran down the steps to see who it was. It was my neighbor Frances. “Hurry Joe, she said. Jack has fallen and his head is bleeding terribly. I’m so scared! I don’t know what to do!” “Ok, I’m coming”, I said.
Working in healthcare I knew what to do however, I also knew I could only do so much. Jack had a three inch laceration on his forehead surrounded by a goose egg six inches in diameter. There was a puddle of blood in the floor and more all over Jack. I knew that it probably looked worse than it was because head wounds bleed profusely but are not necessarily critical. This is especially true if the skull is not deformed and the patient’s mental status is not altered. Jack was dazed but able to carry on conversation. I instructed Frances to call 911 while I applied pressure to Jack’s wound. In short order emergency services arrived and took Jack to the hospital.
As Frances and I followed the ambulance to the hospital she said to me, “Thank you so very much Joe. I was so frightened! There was so much blood and Jack was almost knocked unconscious. For a moment I thought, what if he dies?” “Frances”, I said. “Jack is a Christian. He knows the Lord and serves him faithfully. It would have been very sad if he had died. But Jack knows where he is going. The fruit of obedience to Christ in his life is evidence that his faith is real. You know Jack loves you and prays desperately for Jesus to be Lord of your life, don’t you Frances?” I asked. “Yes, I do”, said Frances. “It’s just that it has never seemed real to me. Jack and I have had a wonderful marriage and yet I have always felt like something was missing inside of me. Jack seems so fulfilled, even when I am not at my best. I have often wondered how Jack loves so selflessly. He is so patient and caring for those that are so unbelievably rude to him. He has a peace that I cannot understand.” I just smiled as we drove silently for a little while.
As we pulled into the parking lot at the hospital I decided to nudge Frances a bit and see if the Holy Spirit was at work in her. I believed he was but, she needed to know. I said, “Frances, it sounds like you have been looking for answers to the peace that you are missing for some time. When you rang my doorbell today, you drew me to open the door and see who was there. Frances, I believe that God is using today’s events to ring the doorbell of your heart. Do you feel the Father drawing your heart to place your trust in Jesus? He loves you so much that he shed his blood to a much greater extent than Jack did today. He did that for two reasons. One is that he knew his blood was the only way that we could experience right relationship with our Heavenly Father. Number two is that he knew God would be glorified in his death and resurrection. You see, God’s glory in our lives is the reason we were created to begin with. Sin corrupted that purpose yet Christ has redeemed it. Will you place your faith in Jesus today? Then you will experience the peace which passes all understanding that you have observed in Jack.” With tears in her eyes Frances said, “Yes, I want that so desperately.” “Then tell him”, I said. “You don’t need me to give you a prayer. Just talk to Jesus from your heart in your own words.”
In that moment Frances became a new creation. She walked into Jack’s room in the emergency department grinning from ear to ear. She was practically glowing. Jack lay there peacefully. He had received twelve staples to close the laceration and his head was wrapped like something out of a WWII movie. As I watched a smile come across his face and tears began to bathe his cheeks I knew, she had told him. They both looked at me as a newlywed couple looks upon their pastor. Their lives would never be the same. Neither would mine.

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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/24/13
This is a nice story. You have a great start that pulls the reader in and creates a desire to need to know what is wrong.

Make sure you start a new paragraph each time someone different speaks, even if it is just one word. Double spacing between paragraphs will create that white space that is so important when reading on a computer.

I wasn't sure at first if you were going to be on topic because I thought maybe the first doorbell ring would be the only mention of the topic. Writing on topic can be tricky as you need to make sure if you eliminate the topic words then your story no longer makes sense. You did pull it in though when you went on to talk about Jesus ringing the doorbell of her heart. I think that is a nice image. You did a good job with this story. The message is a good one. it's important to listen to the Holy Spirit and know when he is calling you to work for his glory, yet not come off as too preachy. Nicely done.
Joanne Sher 05/27/13
Good story. Really liked the last few lines - pulled it together nicely, and left me with an impact.
C D Swanson 05/27/13
This entry gripped me and held my attention throughout the entire read. Nicely done, and well-done.

God bless~