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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)

TITLE: When Sparrows Fall
By Gail Blackwell


When Sparrows Fall

Dorcas was feeling restless. It was a beautiful spring morning and she wanted to be outside. On days like today, the forced inactivity was maddening. She had always enjoyed working in her flowerbeds and tending her vegetable garden. Maybe she would go for a short walk around the yard.

Dorcas reflected on how the years had changed her. She had once been actively involved in her church and community…always eager to lend a helping hand. Now her world was limited to this small space she called home, and with hands gnarled and misshapen by arthritis, she couldn’t do much.

Her granddaughter Miranda had placed a table within easy reach beside her chair. On it was everything she might need for the day. There was the telephone with the large numbers so she could keep in touch with her friends and neighbors. It kept her from getting lonely and feeling cut off from everybody.

The large-print bible was there also. She often sat with it open on her lap drawing strength from the words. The remote control was handy too, although there was not much she cared to watch on TV. She mostly left it on to keep the silence from overwhelming her.

She thought again about going for a walk. Miranda’s husband had planted tulips in the back yard and she wanted to see if they were coming up. She knew her granddaughter would not approve.

Just last week she had given Dorcas a cell phone with the heartfelt admonition, “I’d rather you not go outside unless someone is with you. But if you do, please take the phone. If anything should happen, you could call for help.”

Dorcas hated having a fuss made over her. “Miranda you have so much to do with your job and taking care of your family. I hate being such a bother to you.”

Miranda smiled gently and replied, “You are not a bother, Granny. I love doing things for you, and besides, you are part of my family too.”

She demonstrated how to use the phone. “I have put all your numbers on speed dial. That way you just have to dial one number to get help. See, I taped a list to the back of the phone.”

Miranda had promised to come by after work, but Dorcas just could not wait. She nudged her sleeping dog Susie with her toe, urging her to come along. “Come on, Susie girl, let’s go for a walk.” Slowly and painfully she pushed herself up from the chair and walked out into the yard, the cell phone forgotten on the table.

How good the sunshine felt on her aching shoulders. She welcomed this little bit of independence. As she leaned over to inspect the tiny tulips, without warning she found herself sprawled on the ground, a sharp pain in her hip. Susie nuzzled her sympathetically then lay down beside her.

“Well, old girl, I should have waited for Miranda. It will be hours before she gets here, but there is nothing to do but wait…and pray.”

“Lord, I know You see this foolish old woman and the predicament she’s in. Your Word says not even a sparrow falls without You knowing about it. Well, I’m no sparrow, but I could sure use some help.”

Dorcas must have dozed off. She was awakened by Susie’s bark and heard tires crunching on the gravel in the driveway. Susie ran around to the front yard and came back followed by the young pastor from Dorcas’ church. He began to run when he saw her lying on the ground.

“Oh, Miss Dorcas, are you hurt? Here, let me help you up.”

“I don’t think you should move me. Something seems to be wrong with my hip. Maybe you should call for an ambulance.” As he ran inside to make the call, Dorcas sent up a prayer of thanksgiving.

The pastor came back, covered her with a blanket and sat on the ground as they waited for the ambulance. “I was on my way to the hospital this morning to make some visits when I suddenly had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to come by here first.”

Dorcas smiled fondly at him and said, “Thank you for coming when you did. But it’s no coincidence you are here. You see, even though I left my phone in the house, I called God for help and He called you.”

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This article has been read 641 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/27/06
I got goosebumps at the pastor's reply. Good job.
Edy T Johnson 03/02/06
I like checking on the writing in the Beginner category, to see who might need encouragement. But, I had to double check when I read this to see if I were still in the right category! This piece couldn't be any better! The title calls out: "Read me!" And the narrative is just a perfect vehicle for your message. I look forward to reading more of your stuff---great job! Thank you for writing this.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/06/06
Such a lovely story! Also, very well written. I always cry when something touches me...and yes, I reached for a kleenex. Thank you and congratulations!
Jan Ackerson 03/06/06
Oh, good job! In just a few short paragraphs, you helped us get to know this dear woman. Masterful writing.
Edy T Johnson 03/07/06
Congratulations, Gail! Second entry and already you are a winner. Great job!
Kimberly Mitchell06/14/06
All I can say is "Wow!" I loved that story keep up the good work.