Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)
By Tim Pickl
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on a mission to be free from the rules that bound her.
“Angel dear, you have to understand that we love you, and we don’t
want you to get hurt.”
“No Dad--YOU don’t understand. I’m gonna keep on using MyFace,
and there’s nothing you or Mom can do about it!”
“Don’t go on your bike, honey—it’s going to rain—“
“You don’t get it, Mom—I DON’T CARE. Did you hear me? Dad,
Mom--Read my lips: I don’t care!” Angel slammed the screen door
as she left. “I’m outta here!” She yelled from the driveway.
“And you’ll never find me!”
Ominously, distant thunder echoed as the grim gray storm approached
overhead. Angel climbed onto her bike and sped off. “I’m freeeeee!”
“This is horrible, Liz. What should I do? I need to do something.
Should I follow her?”
“No Sam, we have to let her go this time…sometimes kids have to learn
the hard way. Remember your Mother’s Day sermon?”
“The Prodigal Son—can be a Daughter. I knew the message was from
the Lord—for someone out there… I just never thought it would be for us."
“We know what to do.”
Lightning flickered and reflected on something as it caught Sam’s peripheral
vision. He turned to look at the youthful picture of a smiling Angel in a pretty
Easter dress. The frame boldly proclaimed, “Daddy’s Girl.” As the thunder
clapped, Sam grabbed Elizabeth’s hand, and they fervently prayed for Angel.
For angelic protection, for God’s guidance, that she would to come to her
right mind--in the matchless name of Jesus.
Wiping her tears, Liz asked, “Do you have any idea where she may have
“Honey, I have no idea. She’s been so secretive lately. I don’t have a clue.”
“They’re clueless!” Angel exclaimed as she rode up to the dilapidated wood
shack. The old house was located in a high crime neighborhood and fell into
disrepair after the previous owners abandoned it several years before.
A broken porch with peeling white paint greeted Angel as she parked her bike.
“Are you sure? They really have no idea where you are?” Eric asked.
Angel had met Eric on MyFace two weeks earlier and had developed a special
connection with him. “Absolutely no idea.”
Lightning struck an electrical transformer across the street, causing it to explode
like a warning. The neighborhood lost power.
“Nice. Very nice… Now get into the house and shut up.” Eric shoved Angel into
the house and kicked the door shut. “Don’t scream. Don’t say a word…”
“Liz—Brother Brian has a word from the Lord.” Pastor Sam said as he covered
the phone. “Yes Brother Brian. This has been so hard on me. I cry every time
I think about her.”
“She’s going to be okay. Angel is going to come home.”
“Oh brother, I sure hope so. I hope so…”
“What did Brian say?” Liz inquired, filled with hope.
“She’s going to be okay….” Sam trailed off, wiping tears away. “Angel’s going
to come home.”
“Before you can go home, we need to take you to the hospital.” Tipped by
neighbors who heard screaming from the house across the street, Angel was
miraculously rescued by two FBI agents who were already keeping tabs on Eric.
Angel hung her head feeling guilty and ashamed. Shaking in the rain, she
muttered, “Thank you for saving me.”
“14-year-old female is safe. Ambulance is en route to hospital. Suspect is in
custody,” squawked a voice from the radio speaker clipped on the Police officer’s
shoulder. He walked up the driveway, and Liz and Sam met him halfway.
“Hello Pastor.” The officer shook their hands. “Liz.”
“Angel is safe—they just took her to the hospital.”
“Thank You Jesus.”
“Our Father, we thank You this morning for the magnificent miracle You did
for Angel and for safely bringing her back. Thank You, that through the storm,
You showed us the beauty of prayer and assistance, and You showed Angel what
it means to be truly loved.” Pastor Sam looked out at the congregation. A beam
of sunlight shined through the church window and sparkled through the tears on
Angel walked up to the piano and sat down. “I wrote this song recently.”
She began playing a slow, simple melody, then sang from the heart.
The chorus started with, “I’m broken…”
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