Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)
TITLE: Space for Rent
By Virginia Gorg
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Today is just like every day. Alone, hungry, and homeless. My children have deserted me – they took my house and forced me to live on the streets. I am sorry that I ever had them, ungrateful beasts. I wander the streets of this town and beg for food and shelter. Most people ignore me, but sometimes I get some leftovers to eat at a small diner.
All I do is take up space – unwanted space. No one cares about me and no one wants to talk to me. I do not know why I am still alive.
Today is starting out like every day – a lonely space for me to exist. A young woman approaches me and asks if I need anything. I am startled because no one has dared invade my personal space to ask such a question. I look at her warily and wonder what she is after.
“I would like to buy you breakfast. Will you join me?” she asks sincerely.
I decide to go and so begins a new friendship. Over the next several weeks, she shows up every few days and we have breakfast or lunch together. She listens to me and seems genuinely interested in what I am saying.
This woman, who says her name is Molly, is kind and loving toward me. She does not ask anything of me, and offers only her friendship. I cannot repay her for the food, but she does not care. She insists she does not need repayment.
Although Molly is friendly toward me, I am cautious. After all, since my own children deserted me, how can I expect this young woman to feel any different.
One Tuesday, Molly gave me a Bible. I suddenly realized how much I missed my own Bible. It also occurred to me that I just might have been wrong to despise my own children. I grasped the Bible with glee and determined to begin reading it that very day.
Two weeks later, it happens. Molly is bubbling over and exuberantly hugs me. “I am pregnant,” she exclaims excitedly. “I am finally having a baby. Twins, in fact. My husband is thrilled to know he will soon become a father.”
“Children,” I say with disdain. “All they are good for is deserting you in your old age, like mine did. Ungrateful, lousy beings. They care nothing for me, but I’ve told you this story many times before.” I thought about the Bible and God’s word telling us we must forgive, but I say nothing out loud.
Molly smiles at me, and says “I want to talk to you about that. You see, I need someone to live in my home and help me care for my babies, someone who is reliable, friendly, and dependable. I want you to be that person.”
“Me?” I exclaim. “No one cares about me, so why should you, a total stranger, even look to me and ask me such a thing?”
Molly replied, “Remember that the Lord said we should invite the stranger in and offer food and drink. I want you to be more than a stranger; I want you to be a real member of my household.”
“But your husband, what will he say when you bring a homeless woman into your house?”
“My husband is thrilled and wants you to join us. So, will you come along today and live with us? We will provide you food and shelter, as well as give you a salary to help care for the twins.”
I smiled, tears rolling down my face. For the first time in many years, I truly felt loved. I felt that God had indeed answered my unspoken prayers. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a new life, filled with immeasurable joy and peace.
Picking up my Bible, I said to Molly, “Yes,” I replied. “I will come with you. You have filled the empty space in my heart – you and God, that is.”
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