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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: In God’s waiting room…
By Maggie Tucker


She was the oldest person in the Retirement Village now, with the last of her peers being promoted to the heavenly realms only a few months earlier. The next oldest was nearing her 89th birthday, fourteen years her junior. Bella had been one of the first to arrive at the Village, when it opened 33 years ago. What changes she’d seen; both at the Village and also outside in the world-at-large.

She had been given a vision from her Lord even before she had applied to the Board of St Andrew’s Retirement Village for residency. The vision had foretold that she would live a long, healthy and fruitful life; that the Lord would open opportunities for her to minister to those around her; to those who were in desperate need of friendship, companionship and most importantly, of inner healing. The vision had also stressed that the work she was to do was the Lord’s, and not hers. She was to be herself and be willing to be used as a vessel for what He wanted to do in the lives of those who would come into her life; with the people who would come through the doors of St Andrew’s. With this assurance, she gladly and excitedly applied for residency at St Andrew’s. Often she would sit in her room and marvel at the people who God had brought through the door; some were residents but many were their family and friends. When she was first given the vision, her immediate thought was of the residents-to-be. But time had shown that God’s vision was infinitely larger than that. What of their family and friends who came to visit? God soon showed her that these special people were in need of His love as much as the residents and her task was to follow His leading. They came from all walks of life. Some had climbed the corporate ladder to the top; others had found themselves stuck part way up; and others hadn’t even got a foothold on the bottom step. St Andrew’s policy was that they accepted people from all walks of life and from all denominational backgrounds. Their only stipulation was that St Andrew’s was a Christian Retirement Village and would be run according to Christian principles. Their policy had also made provision for a small number of beds for those who could not otherwise afford them and it was this aspect of St Andrew’s that had won the heart of Bella 33 years ago.

Bella had lost count of the friends she’d made; of the funerals she’d attended. However, God was faithful to her; and she in turn, was faithful to Him. He used all of her life’s experiences; both the good and the bad to minister to others. Oh! She had her own share of tragedies and times of despair; she’d had her heart broken so many times that each time she felt she couldn’t bear to go on living one more day. And yet God had provided for her every need. The pains had subsided over the decades but the memories lingered. She had promised God that she would use all of these experiences for His glory and he accepted her offer. She was as much a part of the institution as the furniture itself. Funnily enough, she had been there longer than the furniture, for the whole Village had been upgraded 5 years ago, something which often made her smile and laugh. Bella had an abundance of joy and peace; as well as a zest for life, combined with a wicked sense of humor. It was these qualities that drew others to her, like a magnet. People loved Bella and Bella loved people. She had been born to be with people and even in her twilight years God was using this special love that He had given her, to help bring His people to Himself.

One question that never left Bella’s lips was “What is the purpose of my life”. Bella knew only too well the purpose of why she was at St Andrew’s, of why she had been granted a long, healthy life; of why she had experienced such tragedy and grief; of why she had also loved until her heart was bursting at the seams. The only question that Bella had was “When would He take her home?”

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This article has been read 495 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Elisabeth Seiter06/02/06
How very special to have a gift and purpose to minister to others this way.
Sherry Wendling06/03/06
Thanks for the picture of a delightful lady! Methinks you might know her personally, perhaps? ;)

Your heart for people shines through here--why not revamp this piece to involve the reader more, rather than explaining to them all about Bella?

You could create dialogue between Bella and the attendants, or a special friend, hinting at her mindset and values. You could craft a scene and show us her facial expressions, posture, body movements.

You've got the start of something precious here. Now have fun bringing it to life! Blessings on your gift.