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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: A Ready Heart
By Linda Boulanger


Darcy Adams sat back hard against the plush, leather seat on the passenger side of her dad’s Lexus. Youthful arms folded across her chest, carefully plucked brows furrowed, and glossy painted lips pressed into a tight, thin line. With childish defiance she stared straight ahead hating the silence between them, yet at the same time, fearful of the words he could and probably should say. She watched the pelting drops of rain sheathing down the window. She could barely see her friend Ariel as she got into her parent’s car. Her head was still down, her shoulders forward and rounded. Hopeless was the word that came to mind. Darcy shuddered.

“Dad. I’m…” Her voice faltered as she tried to apologize.

“Don’t Dar. Shhh…” He reached over and took a hand that had fallen limply into her lap as she’d watched Ariel. Cutting her eyes in his direction, she could see that he was shaking his head. She watched the graying waves ruffling loosely on top. She loved his hair almost as much as she loved him. Then why, she asked herself, could she not be a better person for him?

She wasn’t quite sure what his words or his head motion meant. Confusion raged inside of her. But, as always, his hand on hers was a gentle, comforting caress. When he came to pick her up at the police station he didn’t scold her…didn’t say anything really other than the formalities needed to free her from the deserved captivity. She winced as she thought of how Ariel’s parents had mercilessly berated their daughter until tears of disgrace had overtaken her right there in front of everyone. Her best friend and continual partner in crime had been completely humiliated. Darcy was thankful for her dad, gentle man that he was. He had merely placed his jacket about her shoulders followed by his arm. He was a lawyer. He always knew what to do and how much to say or not.

Darcy’s heart hurt. She felt bad for him. She knew that because of his prominent position in the community, her little faux pas would undoubtedly make the papers just like always. Oh, what a disappointment she must be to him! She looked for it in his eyes; those soft blue eyes so very nearly the same as hers. But all she could see was…what? Forgiveness? Hope? Yes. Every time she messed up he’d forgive her and every time he’d tell her not to look back. And every time she’d do so well for a while. Then…bam. There she’d be again doing something bad. And there he’d be, just like he always was. He was so good.

“I can’t seem to get it right, Dad,” she spoke through her tears.

He squeezed her hand. “You will, Dar. I believe in you…”

She could hear an “and” or a “but” in his words. When he did not continue she asked, “What?”

“You don’t like it when I get all preachy, Dar. But I want you to know that I pray for you every day and I speak God’s words over you and I know what He says you are and believes you will be. And because they are His words, I believe them too.” They had pulled into their garage. He placed the car in park and turned his full attention to his beautiful daughter. “I love you, Darcy and He loves you even more. He has great plans for you. You’ll get it right. Who knows? Maybe these little learning experiences of yours will prove useful one day. God has a way of taking the bad in our lives and allowing us to use it to do good.” He’d spoken these words to her all her life. But that night her heart was ready to receive them. She couldn’t wait to share them with Ariel.

Darcy Adams did indeed use her bad for good. She became a lawyer just like Dad; going into juvenile justice. At speaking engagements, her personal testimony is always a favorite with kids who are good at heart yet still doing bad stuff. She tells of the night that had been the turning point of her life; the one when her dad had quietly bailed her out of jail. That night he’d told her he believed in her, and so did God.

She still shares her escapades with Ariel. Only now, both lawyers, they are partners in good. And her dad still believes in her.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mary McLeary05/19/09
Great example of a parent's faith. Good job.
samuel saalwaechter 05/20/09
I too liked this one. Is it non-fiction?
Linda Boulanger06/16/09
Thank you for the nice comments. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I just found out we can comment on our own stories. The story is completely fictional...except for the parts about how God works in our lives, of course.