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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the ADVENTURE genre (05/24/07)

TITLE: Heart On The Line
By Cherry Bieber


“You live such a safe life. Don’t you ever hunger for adventure; going out to the very edge of the limb of safety?” He was teasing her, but there was some incredulity in his voice that made her feel he was making fun of what he considered to be her “too safe” life.

After pondering his query for a few moments, she leaned across the table and looked him squarely in the eyes. “I live within the rules of life because I see no intelligence in risking my life or the lives of others for the mere sake of adventure…but don’t kid yourself, if I ever felt it necessary to risk everything for something of real purpose, I would break all of the rules to achieve it! I would lay my very heart on the line!” The passion in her tone made him realize that he’d underestimated her.

When she received the call that the little boy had been born, she had a gut feeling that his life was linked with hers. Her children were already raised and she wasn’t suffering “empty nest syndrome” or feeling the need to raise another child. Still, she couldn’t shake the feeling that this little boy’s life and hers were going to connect. The circumstances surrounding his life were grim. She told her husband what she was feeling and he reassured her that their home would be open to him if it came to that.

The mother abandoned him a few days after his birth and his father had not the means to look after him, so she wasn’t surprised when she got the call asking her to “help out.” Without hesitation, she said she would take care of him. When she hung up the phone, she sat down, prayed for wisdom, and wept. She cried for the baby and his parents, as she knew that there would be pain down the road for all.

The next day began with phone call after phone call from those who felt it was their duty to “straighten her out” on this foolish decision she had made. She was warned of the danger she could be placing herself in, as there were things she was unaware of living so far away. She was told that the father needed to be made to face the consequences of the poor choices he’d made and figure out how to live with raising the child on his own. She was warned that he would never give her a dime for the baby’s care and would use the child to rip her heart out before it was over. She was even informed that it would be very important to simply stick to the basic care needs of the child and nothing more because any nurturing would only set him up for devastation later on. After several hours of calls from such “well wishers,” she went out to find a crib and other things necessary to the care of a baby.

The morning she was to drive 200 miles to pick up the baby, she stood in the spare room that was now the nursery. She felt warm and excited despite the fears that lay deep inside. The situation truly was one that could be dangerous as well as devastating. She and her husband had prayed this situation through and were absolutely confident that they had made the right choice.

She knew she Loved him when she first agreed to take him, but she had no idea she would feel what she was feeling now as she cradled him in her arms. She remembered a friend poking fun at her “too safe” life. She smiled as she recalled her reply to him. She realized that this situation was exactly what she’d meant. She would risk everything for the life of this child. She had no guarantees on paper or even from the mouth of the father that the baby would be left with her and her husband. She knew that the situation could come down to a fight and that she could lose, but to her it was a risk worth taking. She looked into eyes that were far too serious and unsmiling for a baby and stroked his chin. “Well, little one, how about going on an adventure with me?” She smiled through the tears that welled up in her eyes and promised the Lord she would give Him her all. There was no turning back. Her heart was on the line.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Pam Carlson-Hetland06/01/07
This piece brought tears to my eyes. I've done something similar. Very well written. And I know of no greater "adventure" than parenting. Wonderful story.
Mo 06/01/07
Good job & message!
Jacquelyn Horne06/02/07
Sadly, this is often the case with little ones. Those who say "make the parents be responsible" do not know the peril they could be putting the child in. The safety of the child MUST always come first. Good story. I felt your love and compassion.
Jan Ackerson 06/02/07
Yep--definitely an adventure!

I felt slightly distanced from your protagonist as she never had a name. That would have made her feel more real, and less "generic."

Blessings on all who undertake such a noble adventure...