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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)

TITLE: The Unexpected Bridge
By Pamela Kliewer
08/04/08


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“I’m pregnant. I have to have an abortion.” Melinda said calmly.

I looked at her incredulously. How could she be so callous? “Melinda. No. What does God’s Word say?”

“Listen. My sister has already broken my parents’ heart enough times with the pregnancies she’s had. One aborted. One given up for adoption. One they’re raising. I can’t do that to them! If I have an abortion they never have to know I’m pregnant.”

****

“I read Psalm 139. I can’t go through with the abortion.”

“I’m here for you every step of the way… you know that, right?” I said as I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Yeah… thanks.” I could hear a smile in her voice.

****

“I slipped on the ice at work. I had a miscarriage.” Sadness colored Melinda’s voice.

“Oh Melinda. I’m so sorry.” Tears filled my eyes.

Wait. This was the same day her abortion was scheduled.

My voice laced with contempt and pain, I questioned her. “You had an abortion didn’t you? Why did you lie to me?” I asked, my heart breaking, realizing she had. Knowing she had killed her baby ripped it in two.

“I didn’t think you’d figure it out…” she said, her voice trailing off in uncertainty.

I had nothing more to say…

*************

“I never want to speak to you again. You can burn in hell for all I care!”

My heart sunk within me as Melinda severed our close relationship of many years.

I had no words, only tears.

The phone line went dead. I was left with the ashes of our friendship.

Melinda why are you throwing our friendship away?

Over the next several days deep sadness gave way to an intense anger. How could you have done such a thing? Here I am enjoying my own pregnancy and you’ve tossed your baby away like so much rubbish! If you never want to see me again, fine. I don’t want to see you either!

Several months prior Melinda had given me a start to a plant saying, “This will probably grow faster than I do.” Looking at that plant now, made poison ooze in my heart. In a fit of anger I grabbed it off the windowsill and tossed it in the trash. I didn’t need any reminders of her.

God intervened. Keep the plant as a reminder to pray for Melinda.

The ache and anger in my heart remained deep. But I had to listen. After arguing with God for a bit I removed the plant from the garbage, putting it back on the windowsill.

I prayed. Three years.

That plant became the bridge back to me loving her.

One day not long after we had moved into a different home, I was unpacking when the phone rang.

“Hello?”

As soon as Melinda spoke my name my heart overflowed with love that had never died. It also set up a staccato rhythm of nerves. Three long years of silence and now…

****

I was in the kitchen when someone knocked at the door.

Oh my. This wasn’t the Melinda I had known. Her face was hard as flint. Her eyes as empty as a dry riverbed.

I wrapped my arms around her…

I hugged a statue…

As we sat at the dining room table she told me why she had come. “I was sicker than I’ve ever been from drugs and alcohol. But through the haze I heard God speak to me. As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. I had to come back to Him. He was calling me. And I somehow knew you would welcome me.” A lone tear trailed down her cheek.

After three years of a downward spiral of debauchery and loose living she was ready to come back to her Savior.

Several years later my family and I moved from Oregon to California.

There was only one person to give the thriving green plant to.

Melinda and I both know that God used that plant as a bridge. At times the bridge was wobbly and a bit unsteady as I dealt with the strong emotions that came from grief. God in His faithfulness kept urging me to pray every time I looked at it.

As the plant flourished during those three years of prayer so has our friendship over the last two decades, and today is strong and secure in the love of our Savior who was a Bridge of Reconciliation for us.



Scripture reference: Proverbs 26:11


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This article has been read 714 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judith Gayle Smith08/07/08
Emotionally wringing. Well done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/07/08
Your plant as a bridge to friendship was a most effective symbol. Your story showed how a praying friend is used by the Lord. If the mc hadn't listened to God when she was angry, she would never have been able to restore their friendship.
Loren T. Lowery08/08/08
The technique in presenting this was effective in showing the reader the honest roller coast of emotions that can occur over time.

Of all the human emotions, connecting to one another has to be one of the most important and your MC, I felt, knew this deep inside; and in the end it is what help in the salvation of her friend’s soul and their relationship.

On the outside, it can appear perplexing - those things which God uses - to bridge the gap between two souls; yet, after reading this, a simple plant seems to be the perfect tool. I doubt if man himself could have thought of it, it had to be the nudging of the Holy Spirit. And, that I find to be one of the most revealing factors of this emotionally charged piece. God knows our need for one another; our relationships are not by caprice but by design and if that relationship, for whatever reason becomes broken, he will find a way to bridge it and heal the hurting souls - sometimes in most unexpected ways.
Holly Westefeld08/09/08
I'm so glad you listened to the Holy Spirit and kept plant and prayer alive. I don't want to imagine what might have become of your friend were you not there for her when she needed you most.
Myrna Noyes08/11/08
PAMELA, this is a powerfully-written story that makes creative use of the topic! The emotions of the two women are well-presented, and I appreciate the encouraging message throughout. Good job!
Shirley McClay 08/11/08
This would be amazing and beautiful as just a story... but to know it is true... WOW. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Carole Robishaw 08/12/08
I can see why this was so hard to write. It's the bridge across the gap between the pain the the joy of the return to God. Thank you for sharing.
Joshua Janoski08/12/08
What a powerful testimony this story is. I am so glad that the friendship was restored and that it still lasts to this day. Praise God!
william price08/12/08
Well thought out and presented. Very touching and you ministered your point very clear. Great job. God bless.
Marlene Austin08/12/08
So sorry for all this one went through, so glad you were there for her. Touching personal narrative. :)
Joy Faire Stewart08/13/08
I'm so glad you shared this experience and it must have been very difficult to write. Beautiful job of conveying love for your friend by listening to the Holy Spirit.
Karlene Jacobsen 08/13/08
So heartwrenching, yet filled with hope. Thanks for being obedient to the Lord and allowing Him to bring healing to you and your friend.

This is a great example of what it means to love the way Jesus instructs.
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/13/08
Isn't it amazing how God uses terrible sercamstances to teach all those involved and draw them closer to Him? I like how you showed that--growth and learning in both you and your friend.
Joanne Sher 08/13/08
Very powerful and engaging - the language is very expressive, and I was absolutely engaged.
Betty Castleberry08/13/08
I like the symbolism you used. This is very well written. Two thumbs up.
LauraLee Shaw08/14/08
You took a tragic story and showed the love and hope of Jesus in the midst of it. This is the reality of the Christian life, and I'm so glad you shared it. Many will be ministered to by your authenticity.
Lyn Churchyard08/14/08
A very moving and emotional story. I'm so glad your friend is healing even more. Wonderfully written Pamela.
Karen Wilber 08/15/08
What this expresses is so beautiful, I'm almost without words: "I had to come back to Him. He was calling me. And I somehow knew you would welcome me." What if the prodigal son had come home to a barred door? This is a powerful story and the image of the thriving plant--also speaks volumes.