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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Media (in any form) (11/11/10)

TITLE: The Story
By Kathy Stevens
11/12/10


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Boom! A shell explodes. “Wow! That was a close one.”

“Yeah, man, too close! Come on, let’s get outta here. We gotta catch up with the patrol!”

“Sweat is running heavy, coming out of every pour in my body. I don’t have much water left in my canteen. It’s hot – so hot. The stench of dead bodies is everywhere. I can’t escape it – after a while it seems normal. What kind of world like this becomes normal? How can I describe the difference between what my life was a short time ago and this horrifying place? I wonder if I’m in hell and don’t know it yet.”

“Baker! Get up here! Ya wanna get killed?”

“What’s an old man like me doing in a place like this? What was I thinking when I volunteered to report on this war? I’m nearly 35, much older than the kids who are doing the fighting. They all move so fast and seem to have an endless fortitude. It will take everything in me to survive this place even if I don’t get shot. I have to tell the folks back home about this war -- oh good, a place to stop if I can just make it.”

“Come on Baker, the guys are just up ahead. Get into that gully so you won’t make such a good target. Remember, I gotta take care-a you – Sgt.’s orders.”

“Thanks, Harvey, you’re doing a great job.”

“Say, Mr. Baker, how come you volunteered for this mission? You didn’t have to – weren’t you afraid?”

“Harvey, we all live with fear in a war, but come closer, I’ll show you something. It’s here in my pocket close to my heart.”

“A little book -- a Bible? Does it help?”

“It sure does. Look where it’s marked and underlined.”

“Well let’s see. It says, ‘He that d-well-eth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.’ It talks funny doesn’t it? What’s it mean?”

“Read on.”

“Okay, ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. Surely He will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from the noi-some pes-til-ence. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.’ Boy it’s kind of hard to figure out what it’s sayin’.”

“It means that if you are a child of God and trust in Him with all your heart, you can walk in His protection. Do you know Jesus, Harvey?”

“I saw His picture in church when I was a kid. Mom made all us kids go to church, but I don’t know much more about Him. What’s He ever done for me?”

“He has done more for you than you can ever know, Harvey. He loved you so much that he died a horrible death in your place so you wouldn’t have to go to hell. If you think you’ve seen bad things in this war, Jesus went through more for you.”

“For me? What’d He do that for? I didn’t ask him to. I don’t ask nobody to do nothin’ for me.”

“Trust me. You will be very glad He did it. He loves you. He died for your sins and is waiting for you to accept His sacrifice.”

“My sins? I sure got a lot of ‘em. How could I ever repay Him for doin’ that?”

“You can repay Him by asking Him to come into your heart. Would you do that Harvey? Would you like to do that now?”

“Wow! I never thought nobody would ever do somethin’ like that for me.” Harvey’s eyes begin to puddle. “You mean it? He really loves me? Ain’t nobody loves me -- not since Mom died.”

“Jesus does, Harvey. Will you receive His love?”

Dirty streaks begin to flow down Harvey’s filthy cheeks. “I don’t know why I’m cryin’, I never cry, but if He’ll have me, I’ll let Him. How do I do that?”

“Repeat these words after me, ‘Jesus, I give myself to You and ask You to take my sins.’”

Harvey faithfully repeats the words, but adds, “Oh, yeah, and I could sure use some-a them feathers I read about in that Bible.”

“Oh, Lord. Suddenly the day isn’t so bad. Wait until the folks back home hear this story.”


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Member Comments
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Jan Ackerson 11/19/10
Very inspirational story--thanks for this entry.

I really didn't see the topic prompt (The Media) in this...and it would be easier to follow if the fellow's thoughts were in italics. You have to use HTML code for that; you can read about how to do it in the FAW section of the forums on this site.

Thanks for reminding us about the peril of our soldiers, and to pray for them.
Mildred Sheldon11/19/10
A very beautiful story. War is so ugly, but it can also be beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a tender story.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/20/10
This is a touching story and the characters are wonderful.
Brenda Rice 11/22/10
Thanks for reminding us what our service men and women are going thru everyday. Your characters have good voices. I enjoyed reading this.
Holly Westefeld11/23/10
Being an imbedded reporter during wartime must take nearly as much courage as being a soldier.
I know you only have 750 words, but the conversion seemed a bit rushed, though I have always loved happy endings. :)