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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: Helen’s Prayer
By Shane Patterson
01/15/08


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Helen couldn't take it much longer. Here she was with egg on her face again. Joe, her Christian financial counselor, said her only choice was to trust in the Lord.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Five months ago Helen finally had the chance of a lifetime. She received a call from her bank agreeing to approve a mortgage for her dream house. She knew finances would be tight until her present house sold. “No problem,” she told herself.

After church one Sunday, Joe caught up with Helen and expressed his concerns.
“Helen, I hear you’re buying a new house. Has your present house sold?”

“No. But I’m not worried,” Helen replied “With my job, what could go wrong?”

Joe had seen it before--someone putting dreams ahead of reality. He had made the same mistakes years earlier and had learned from them. And he knew how a big dream can take you where the Lord doesn’t want you to go.

Helene ignored all the red flags that nearly killed the purchase multiple times. On the day of the closing, her realtor phoned. “Hello, Helen?”

“Hi, Meg. Sorry I’m running a little late. I was just getting ready to call you.”

“Helen, I just talked to the Beelers, and they feel uneasy about the deal. They said they are willing to let you out and give you back your deposit.”

“Of course they are. Especially since the house was a steal. They finally realized what a big mistake they made,” Helen boasted.

“Helen, I’m a little uneasy myself. We still haven’t had any good leads on your house.”

“Don’t worry. It’s a great little house in a great part of town. You know what they say about real estate. It’s all about location, location, location.” Helen was convinced the new house was God’s plan. He had made it possible. “I’ll be there in fifteen minutes. I’m signing!”

“See you then, Helen. I’m happy for you,” Meg replied. But when she hung up, she admitted that the last part wasn’t completely true.

A month after Helen moved into her dream house; the manufacturing company she worked for closed its doors without warning. Since this was the largest company in town, the housing market took a terrible nose dive as other For Sale signs popped up around town.. Helen was stuck with two houses--and no income.

In despair Helen called Joe.

Joe sympathized. “All you can do, Helen, is trust in the Lord.”

“But He got me into this,” Helen wailed.

“The wings of the ostrich wave proudly. . . for she leaves her eggs to the earth. . . forgetting that a foot may crush them.”
(Job 39:13-15 RSV)


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This article has been read 306 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom01/17/08
Loved this and so right on topic! Keep up the good words.
Beckie Stewart01/17/08
This was a good story and you should definitely keep writing. How sad for this woman to not listen to all the red flags the Lord put in front of her. Did catch some spelling and punctuation errors, but the story keeps your attention from beginning to end.
Joanne Sher 01/18/08
What a fabulous verse - can't believe I never noticed it before. I also love the structure of this, and the detail you give about Helen and her situation. This is somewhere many have been. Good example of the topic.
Sally Hanan01/21/08
You have a good opening into this story. A suggestion to make the reader feel more involved with it would be to show us some feeling and emotion, e.g.instead of, In despair Helen called Joe, write, Helen read every number of the bank statement so many times that the digits started to blur. She picked up the phone, rubbing her temples with her free hand, and called Joe.

Tim Pickl01/23/08
I like this story! Things in life can happen so suddenly, and the only person to blame is...me....