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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: Kindling Our Souls
By Noreen Ophoff


My name is Ann Kenn. This is the story of what could have been the last day of my life.

On a beautiful snowy winter’s day I decided to take our Gordon Setter, Chance, out for a run. We went through the hayfield, beneath blue sky visible among puffy white clouds. My plan was to traverse the cornfield, catch the 2-track through the National Forest, then back to the road a half mile from home.

Shortly after entering the woods, I fell sideways, landing on my left wrist. I had broken that arm 13 years before, so I knew I had done it again. Instead of being wise, and turning around to go back home, I thought I’d walk to the top of the next hill and if I couldn’t see the road, then I’d retrace my steps.

As I got up I sang, “Lead me Lord, lead me in thy righteousness, make Thy way plain, before my face.” I continued toward the hill. In just a few moments, I heard voices behind me. I thought, that was a quick answer to my prayerful song. Two women came on the path from another direction. We were surprised to see each other. They informed me I had already missed the trail to the road, and was in fact, about 3 miles south of our home, lost in the woods. We agreed I would walk out with them.

We tramped along, talking together, for about two little minutes when both my feet shot straight out in front of me, and I fell again. This time my right arm hit hidden ice beneath the deep snow, at a perpendicular angle. I knew it was smashed. I hadn’t mentioned I had also broken the other arm until then.

These two ladies, who hadn’t met me before, fashioned a sling from my dog’s leash, and carefully walked on either side of me back to the road. Vera trotted to get her car. They drove me home, although I was confused as to where I was since we had only moved here two months before. Once in the driveway I laughed, because I couldn’t open the car door. Bonnie jumped out, walking me to the door, opening it and closing it behind Chance and me.

Our daughter, Lisa, was home that day and took me to the hospital, where screws were surgically placed in my hand and arm with a traction device. At home, my husband, Mitch, began making phone calls, with the same line, “Guess what she’s done now?”

My left wrist was only cracked so the kind doctor didn’t even put a splint on it, so I could take care of some of my own needs. Mitch was wonderful as he took great care of me.

Mitch’s sister, Lydia, and her husband, Luke, came that weekend. They not only brought supper for the day they visited, but Lydia had baked a week’s worth of meals and had them frozen, ready to go into our oven as needed. We enjoyed escalloped potatoes with pork chops, casseroles, and apple crisp.

Our friends, Jim and Kay, brought venison stew and a wide variety of DVD movies from Kay’s collection, to keep me entertained during the day while Mitch was gone to work, 50 miles away.

Since we heated with wood, Luke and Lydia ordered a cord of split oak delivered and stacked in our driveway, which our neighbor, Jesse, plowed each day.

My Bible Study friends from church brought food–salads, cookies, lasagne, orange juice, homemade breads and venison chili. Hordes of cards came from friends and family.

Looking back on the five months of recovery, I often recall the sweet memory of the Fed Ex truck pulling in the yard, and the compassionate driver who opened the package for me. A beautifully patterned box full of gourmet nuts and fruits, a book of poetry, from a dear friend.

The next week my sister, Renae, sent a care package with a novel, windmill cookies, candy bars, hand lotion.

I firmly believe I was saved by God that day for a special purpose. The kind acts done for Mitch and me will linger forever in our hearts, kindling our souls to take every opportunity to be kind.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Esther Phillips02/28/08
Having your own needs met certainly is a good teacher for meeting other people's needs. You certainly had a lot of help.
Jacquelyn Horne02/29/08
What a beautiful idea! Love begats love.
Joanne Sher 03/01/08
I have SO been where you were - and you are so right. What a wonderful, God-inspired work those people did in your life. Thanks for sharing it!
Jan Ackerson 03/01/08
Very inspirational!