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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)

TITLE: Life Celebrated
By pam bryan


Life Celebrated!
I remember well that Thursday afternoon on a beautiful California day. The ice cream truck was just making its regular late afternoon round on our street with the neighborhood kids eagerly waiting its arrival. When the car tires squealed to a sudden stop on our street, I froze. Not hearing any cries or commotion, I concluded there was no danger. I breathed a sigh of relief for the safety of my three young children. Then came the knock at the front door. My mother, who was in town visiting, came running into the bedroom. “Someone’s at the door saying her car hit Ashley!” I flew out to the street with one focus: Find my four-year-old daughter and protect her.
The small group surrounding her on the street pavement parted when I arrived. They said she’d hit the back of her head on the street when she fell. Only moments before, she had asked me to put her hair in a ponytail. Now I wondered if that thick tuft of hair near the ponytail band had saved her head from concussion or worse. The story was, she had bought candy from the ice cream man and then dashed back toward our house without looking for cars. I scooped candy from her mouth and someone removed the shoe from her foot, which was beginning to swell. She wasn’t crying. In fact she repeatedly told us it didn’t hurt, even though her right ankle was at a 90-degree angle to her shin. She kept saying that she didn’t want to go to the hospital but wanted instead to go to the rehearsal for our church’s Easter musical. This would be the last rehearsal before tomorrow night’s opening. She was one of the angels. Daddy was Pastor of Worship.
Someone brought a pillow and I gingerly carried her, balancing her broken foot on the pillow while crawling into the back seat of someone’s car. The hospital was close by and within moments we were in the ER with professionals tending to her broken bones. My husband was notified and got there almost as quickly as we did. Once she was stabilized, relief washed over me. I sobbed with gratitude for her safety…for her life.
My husband eventually had to leave the hospital and go back to the church for that last rehearsal. With him away, our boys well cared for by Grandma and Great-grandma, I could stay with Ashley who was now resting. I had lots of time to think, to pray, to rejoice.
This resurrection time of celebrating life, took on a new richness in that quiet hospital room. That first Easter morning celebration when the tomb was empty didn’t come without first the weight of a wooden cross, a tragedy of death, abandonment of His Son by a divine Father, the darkness of a burial tomb. Our near tragedy was small in comparison but it was large in the circle of our family’s world. Patches of truth began to knit together in my mind from the memories of the hours we’d just experienced. They were forming a quilt of comfort as the Father gently wrapped me in lessons about His Fatherly love for me. I was beginning to savor life from a divine perspective.
LORD, I understand with sober awareness what the possibility of losing a child may feel like. And yet, You chose to “lose” your only Son for me. Thanks for that third day resurrection that makes my relationship with You possible. And thanks that my only daughter will be around to be an angel in another play, another time.”

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This article has been read 655 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Delores Baber06/06/05
Good example of how out of sorrow comes insight that brings appreciation for that which we have taken for granted before. The old saw, "You never miss the water till the well runs dry." is demonstrated in this story. May we look at God's blessings and praise Him without the trip to the ER to get our attention. But God remembers that we are humans, and humans forget so He "reminds us" in so many varied ways. Thanks for sharing a painful experience to bring us to a place of gratitude and thanksgiving.
Crista Darr06/06/05
I celebrate what you have written. It is beautiful. One topic per paragraph would perfect this piece.
Phyllis Inniss06/07/05
This is so beautifully written. You were able to celebrate not only your daughter's life but Jesus' as well. Thank God He gave you that 'quilt of comfort'. Blessings.
Shari Armstrong 06/08/05
A wonderful piece that every parent can identify with. I loved the quilt image as well.
dub W06/09/05
Watch paragraphing structure, but you have a good solid story here to tell.
Amy Verlennich06/10/05
The story itself, gave me chills. Thank you for sharing.
Leticia Caroccio06/13/05
What a heartwrenching and harrowing account that had a happy ending. I felt this one at the pit of my stomach.

My favorite line is:
"Yet, You chose to 'lose' Your only Son to me".

Nicely done.
Michelle Burkhardt06/13/05
I am praising our Lord that your daughter is safe. I too have visited the ER with some close calls. I felt your words expressing what the Lord must have felt giving his son for you. I think if you separated your paragraphs it would make it easier to read. Nice story and nice job.