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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)

TITLE: Justin
By Mary McLeary
10/06/09


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Justin

DeVil had lived with the Old Crone for more years than he could remember. Nothing of worth dwelled in her tidy soul so he had moved right in. He attended church with her and expected to get pushed out of his comfortable space, but the Old Crone never asked The Holy One to dwell within, therefore DeVil stayed and became bolder. He smiled when he heard her repeat some vile accusation he had whispered in her ear about some one in her church. It was easy to lead her into mean spiritedness, and after she became a widow he had full reign. She had listened to every lie DeVil had brought into her thoughts. He smiled at her unknowing complicity with his plans. Now in her eighties, she was a lost soul and didn’t know it. Just what DeVil liked – an accessory for his earthly crimes.

Justin looked so innocent standing at The Old Crone’s door with his red hair sticking up in odd places and a goofy grin on his face. He carried his own small and invisible demon around with him. The neighbors had received the brunt of the imp’s treachery, but Justin Flory took the blame. He now expected to be blamed for anything that went wrong anywhere near him.

Justin’s mother had dumped him on his grandmother, and when the granmother got a part time job she had asked The Old Crone if Justin could stay with her after he got home from school. Most of Justin’s time there was spent in front of the television watching useless yet damaging images. When The Old Crone did talk to him it was to imply ever so subtly that he was not very bright or worthy of much love. After months of access to Justin’s malleable mind, more lies had been planted and the small demon Justin carried grew.

Red headed and freckled, Justin’s unsavory reputation at school grew, and at eight he was a social outcast. Had it not been for one praying teacher, Justin would have been choked by the chains that were beginning to bind him. Hallie Kimble was Justin’s second grade teacher. Committed to the Lord, she daily included Justin in her prayers. She drew Justin into the class discussions in a positive way. She showed that she valued his ideas. As the other children watched her, their attitudes toward Justin began to slightly change. Hallie saw snippets of improvement. Her prayers intensified.

“Lord, he needs parents to love him. Please send Justin a family.”

Months went by with Miss Kimble faithfully praying. One Monday morning, Justin arrived at class followed by a beautiful woman in her early thirties. He introduced her as, “My dad’s wife.” The lady introduced herself as Penny Flory. Justin would be living with his dad and her from now on. She said they wanted to help Justin improve his behavior and grades, and to please call them when they were needed. She hugged Justin, and with a smile to the rest of the class, Penny Flory left. A red flush of pleasure crept up Justin’s neck.

Penny and Justin’s dad Tim had been married only a short time, but both of them knew Justin belonged with them. They had been friends at work for over a year, dated for several months and married just recently in Fellowship Church. Each had successfully dethroned his/her own demons. They committed to help Justin overcome his. From experience, they knew the journey would be difficult and require much prayer.

After Justin left his grandmother’s house and moved in with Penny and Justin, they took him to church where he heard The Truth for the first time. It seemed too good to be true, but he could see that his dad and Penny believed it. Gradually the demon that had found a home in Justin’s heart became smaller. There was lamenting at the Old Crone’s house.

“That will never last”, The Old Crone sniffed. “He’s a bad egg like his mother. He’ll be back. You just wait. We’ll get another shot at him.” He didn’t say so aloud, but DeVil had seen the havoc The Truth raked on his lies. He detested It.

Months passed and Miss Kimble praised God for the answers she saw manifested in Justin. The little red head was thriving in his new home and church. Eventually, Justin asked Jesus into his heart and there was no longer any room at all for the diminishing demon.


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This article has been read 279 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judy Webb10/08/09
Beautiful story, wonderfully crafted. True to life when we live accordingly. Thanks for writing it.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 10/09/09
I really enjoyed reading your story. Thanks.
Jan Ackerson 10/10/09
Well-written and very compelling. I think the writing in the first several paragraphs is exceptionally fine.
Shilo Goodson10/12/09
Great story. I felt like I was getting a behind-the-scenes look at your characters' lives.
Charla Diehl 10/14/09
This story drew me in and had me praying for Justin right along with the teacher. It never surprises me that God's presence in our lives makes such meaningful changes. I hope to see this moving story in the top ten list.
Karen Pourbabaee 10/21/09
Congratulations on your Highly Commended placement.
Your well written story was a great display of the power of prayer as spiritual warfare and the transformation of a life.