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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: Fishing for Mr. Davidson
By Holly Jensen


A little girl sat drinking a soda and chattering to her mother when the old man walked into the waiting room of the carwash. He noticed that they were the only other people in the room besides the young man running the counter. He bought himself a soda and a pack of cigarettes before sitting down near the child and her mother. The little girl began chatting with him as little girls do when they meet someone new.

She found out that his name was Mr. Davidson and that he was retired. He found out that her name was Eloise and that she was five. She was friendly and filled with laughter. She had that kind of charm that small children have, which makes old and broken hearts feel warm and alive once more. The conversation took an unexpected turn when the little girl asked him what he’d bought with his soda.

“A pack of cigarettes.”

“Oh,” she said, her face suddenly turning sad and her eyes beginning to fill with tears.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

Mr. Davidson hadn’t expected such a reaction from the little girl. He wondered what he had done to cause it and what he could do to make her smile again. Her answer shook him deeply.

“It makes Jesus sad when you smoke. He doesn’t like it.”

“Oh I see,” was all he could think to say.

To Mr. Davidson’s relief, it was time for the child and her mother to leave. When she said goodbye, Elloise’s smile was back, but his was not.


Mr. Davidson sat with his after-dinner coffee and the cigarette he’d been trying to light for the past fifteen minutes. It was the first time since the carwash that he’d felt like smoking, but he couldn’t light that cigarette! The little girl’s face kept rising before his eyes and he couldn’t escape her words.

“It makes Jesus sad when you smoke. He doesn’t like it.”

If she only knew all I’ve done to make Jesus sad. Finally, closing his heart to the child’s words, Mr. Davidson lit the cigarette and inhaled deeply.


“Jesus,” Eloise prayed, “Please help Mr. Davidson and make him stop making You sad.”

“God won’t make him stop, sweetie,” her mother said. “Mr. Davidson has to make himself stop making Jesus sad. But you can pray that he will do that someday.”


Eloise soon forgot Mr. Davidson and his smoking. But her mother didn’t. She reminded Eloise of the incident ten years later. Eloise was so embarrassed to think she’d actually said such a thing to someone, much less someone elderly, but her mother assured her that it was okay. She said that the old man hadn’t been angry or offended. Eloise found herself wondering if that incident had had any kind of effect on him or if he’d dismissed her comments completely. Had he ever come to know Christ? That night, Eloise began to pray again for Mr. Davidson. This time, she didn’t forget.


The Chaplin tried not to feel discouraged as he walked into Mr. Davidson’s room. So far, Mr. Davidson had been polite, but stubbornly resistant to the cleansing blood and love of Christ. He had said that Christ wasn’t for him. That it was far too late. But a surprise was waiting for the Chaplin on this particular day.

“I had the strangest dream last night, pastor,” Mr. Davidson said when the Chaplin walked into the dark hospital room.


“I dreamed about a little girl I met years ago. I’d bought cigarettes at a carwash and she had said it made Jesus sad when I smoked. I dreamed about that last night. She looked so sad and I could tell she really cared about what made Jesus cry. Then in the background, I heard someone crying. I didn’t hear that when it happened all those years ago. I know it was Jesus. I’ve been making Jesus cry all my life. I’m thinking maybe it’s time I made Him smile. Pastor, what was that ‘sinner’s prayer’ you were talking about last week?”


“And Jesus said unto them, ‘come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.’” Mark 1.17 (KJV)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Way02/09/07
Wow - this story is making me cry. Powerful. You certainly show how we might never know how our words affect another person, or how long it might take for someone to listen and reach out for Jesus. A touching way to remind us not to make Jesus cry. (On a side note - not sure why the italics are there. ?)
julie wood02/12/07
I really enjoyed reading this! A powerful, moving message about the unexpected ways God can work and use others--and the two main characters came alive in a delightful way.

The word for a hospital pastor is spelled "chaplain," by the way.

The unusual title of this story grabbed me right away, and I'm glad I read it. Great job!
Jacquelyn Horne02/12/07
What a good story. You fit it into the "gone fishing", but it's a shame this is not a garden category. A wonderful seed was planted here by an innocent child.
cindy yarger02/12/07
I enjoyed this. I liked how you portrayed Mr. Davidson's reaction to the little girls remark and how it effected him. Well done.
Debbie Sickler02/13/07
My favorite line was: "She had that kind of charm that small children have, which makes old and broken hearts feel warm and alive once more." It really shows how she was able to have such an impact on him. I also liked how you used her prayers to bring him a dream of remembrance so many years later. Very touching story. :)
Laury Hubrich 02/16/08
Wow, Holly! I loved this story. Kids are so open and honest. You've captured the little girl perfectly! I love how you brought the story around to her being older and praying for this man again -- amazing writing, my dear:)