Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)
TITLE: CRAZY EIGHT'S IN THE GARDEN
By jodie banner
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"Marlee honey, Grandpa can't hear you. He's with Jesus now."
"No he's not! He's right there. Grandpa, wake up! Please!"
"Oh honey, we talked about this. Thatís just his body; the man you knew as your Grandpa is gone. He went to heaven to be with Jesus."
"I hate him, Momma. Jesus had no right to take him away!"
"Marlee! Do not say things like that."
"I don't care! It's not fair!"
Marlee's mother watched her run out of the church and into her garden next door. Maybe some time alone will help her to calm down. "Dear Heavenly Father, help her. I know it's hard for her nine-year-old mind to understand. Please give her peace; nothing I say seems to be right. Only You can reach her now, Lord."
"Grandpa, why did you have to die? Jesus had no right to take you away. You're my Grandpa!"
Marlee was crumpled under her Mother's dogwood tree. This had been her and Grandpa's favorite spot. They had countless tea parties here.Grandpa loved playing hide and seek, or tag with her. Then when he was no longer able to run he had taught her to play Crazy Eights, Rummy, and Gin sitting on this very grass. She remembered the last time they had been here together. It was right before he had gone to the hospital for the last time.
"What do you want to play today Grandpa?" Marlee asked
"Oh, I don't know, why don't we just chat for awhile so I can catch my breath? The walk out here gets harder every day. I want to make sure I talk to you about something really important, just in case we don't see each other again."
"Grandpa, you'll get better. Remember last year when you got the flu, it took a long time but you got better. You'll get better this time too."
"Just for a little while, okay Mar?"
"Fine, we'll talk first, then I'm going to beat you at Crazy Eights!" Marlee cuddled up against him.
"Mar, I know your Momma takes you to Sunday school and youth group. I've heard you recite scriptures at church; you're very good at it. You know your Bible inside and out. But, do you know Jesus, personally?"
"Do you mean am I saved? Of course I am. Jesus died to save me, I'm a sinner, but now I get to go to heaven because I asked Jesus to forgive me. We've been praying that prayer at Sunday School for as long as I can remember."
"I know you know that, but do you know Him in your heart. Other than bedtime with your Momma and at church, do you ever pray by yourself, Mar? Is Jesus with you in everything you do?"
"You mean like He is with you and Momma? You guys are always talking about Him. This is stupid. I told you I was saved, okay! I don't want to talk about this anymore. I'm going to get the cards."
Marlee remembered the concerned look on her Grandpa's face when she had returned a few moments later. But, he smiled when he saw her. That night he was taken to the hospital and he died the next morning.
Oh Grandpa, you were right. I don't pray unless someone tells me too. "Dear Jesus, please forgive me for being mad at you. I just miss my Grandpa so much. I want to see him again someday. I want to know You like he knew You. He always said You were right there with him everywhere he went. I want to do it for real this time. Please forgive me for all of my sins. I'm sorry You had to die. Please come into my heart and save me. Be with me everywhere I go. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. Oh, would you tell my Grandpa so he won't worry about me, and tell him I can't wait to play Crazy Eights in Your garden. Amen again."
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