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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)

TITLE: The Sign
By Michael Throne


I donít know. Iím just not sure what to do anymore. On the one hand, I love her, I really do. On the other hand, she has certain, well, peculiarities. For instance, sheís a little compulsive, but, hey, arenít we all? And she does have expensive tastes, especially in clothes and jewelry, but that doesnít make her bad, not necessarily; just fashionable, right? And she doesnít want children, at least for now, but I think I can work on that one.

Iíve prayed about it, almost constantly lately, but I havenít heard anything. Of course, what was I expecting? Some kind of sign, maybe a voice from the heavens? Thatís the problem, right there. Even if God did try to tell me, how would I know?

I do admit, my heartís all pumped up with the idea that I may have found my soul-mate and she happens to be drop-dead gorgeous, so itís hard to hear anything through the euphoria Iím feeling. And even when I try to completely empty myself, to really listen, I inevitably find myself drifting back to her pretty smile, the warmth of her touch, and all I can think about is spending time with her.

Itís as if weíve been predestined to be together forever.

Yesterday, I had all but decided; I was going to propose. I prayed about it. I prayed for almost an hour. I even asked God for a sign, any sign at all, but I heard nothing. Zip. Silence. As usual, I just couldnít stop thinking about her, and all at once it hit me. That was the sign. Right there, in my own mind. After all this time, I was sure.

I took out my checkbook and went online to transfer the last of my savings over since, after all, not just any diamond ring was going to do, and then got in my car to drive to the jewelers.

I was distracted, clearly, from the excitement of the moment. I donít know why, but I took a left on Fifth Street instead of a right and found myself staring at the front grill of a garbage truck coming straight at me; I was completely disoriented until I glanced up and noticed the ďWrong WayĒ sign. I slapped my forehead and dodged the truck, then took the first side street I could find, which was, unfortunately, a dead end.

I pulled over to the curb and sat a moment, gathering myself. I donít know why I got so flustered; Iíve made the trip a thousand times, at least.

Turning back to Fifth Street, I stopped at the stop sign and then waited what seemed like an hour for a huge line of traffic that just kept coming, one car after the next, in what must have been the longest funeral procession in history. Eventually, I made my way onto the expressway to Middleburg. Itís funny, I hadnít noticed before how depressing those billboards were along that stretch; thereís one advertising a family crisis hotline, then a big sign for a bankruptcy attorney, and one right after that promoting some unscrupulous divorce lawyer. Whatís the world coming to, anyway?

When I got there, it turned out that the jewelry store was closed on Tuesdays. Just my luck.

So I headed back home and thought some more about my situation. In truth, there is one issue that bothers me more than any of the others; sheís not a believer. Oh, Iím almost certain that I can reason with her and show her by example once weíre married, but still, it does give one pause.

As I walked into my house, empty-handed, the phone was ringing. Amazingly, it was a friend I hadnít seen since college. We chatted a while, catching up, and I felt almost compelled to ask him about my situation, since everyone I know around here is biased.

He listened as I told him all about how wonderful my girlfriend is, and then I mentioned a couple of my concerns. He asked a few questions. Afterward, he paused a long while and finally said, ďI really think you need to pray about this some more.Ē

Great. A perfect opportunity for God to speak to me and he defers.

I did, though. I prayed some more. Not that itís doing me any good, but itís become a compulsion, lately. I canít seem to stop.

ďPlease Lord,Ē I say, ďgive me a sign. Just one, thatís all.Ē

I wonder if heís listening.

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This article has been read 669 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Fern Brown12/09/10
When we want our own way, it's so easy to wonder if God is listening, instead of hearing what He is trying to say to us. I enjoyed this very much.
Leola Ogle 12/09/10
omgoodness...been there a few times like your main character, stubbornly ignoring the signs! Good job - easy, smooth reading and enjoyable!
Mildred Sheldon12/10/10
Been there. Done that. Enjoyable read and MC sounded like so many people I know. Thanks for sharing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/12/10
I love this. It is one of my favorites. I enjoyed the tongue in cheek humor and the double meaning of the signs. The message is great too Sometimes God is practically screaming at us and throwing bricks to get our attention but we get wrapped up in what we want. Excellent job. I expect I will see you in the next level very soon. Great writing!
diana kay12/14/10
a good piece of writing. I like the immediacy of the use of the first person and it is like a chat on the telephone or maybe a "dear diary" entry which makes it original and funny.
As others have already said it is like speaking our own thoughts aloud at times and the honesty is great.
I guess the author of this piece is a man if not you have done great to imagine yourself into the character!!
Melanie Kerr 12/15/10
I thought it was only girls that thought about changing their men once they married them! I thought this very good - the plethora of signs that he failed to see! And then asking for a sign! Excellent.
Phyllis Inniss12/16/10
I enjoyed this piece. The writing is great and really honest. All the signs are there for the writer but he does not want to see them. God speaks to us in myriads of ways. We just have to notice the signs.
Rachel Phelps12/16/10
Excellent. Your voice was perfect and the irony just wonderful. Congratulations on your EC!
Margaret Kearley 12/16/10
Wow, this is powerful stuff. Excellent writing that highlights so much truth. Congratulations - your win is well deserved.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/16/10
Congratulations on an EC for this wonderful story. There was more between the line than in the lines! Exceedingly well done!
Leola Ogle 12/16/10
diana kay12/17/10
well deserved michael ! congratulations :-) moving on up........
Beth LaBuff 12/17/10
Wow! Powerful story, powerful message. Superb! Congratulations on your Editor's Choice award!
Graham Starling12/18/10
Very nicely told. I saw the ending right from the off, but that doesn't matter here because the journey's more important than the destination.

Yes very well written. Well deserved EC.
Emily Carlson12/25/10
I liked this! It was kinda fun to count the roadblocks that your MC ran into before he got back home :). Entertaining and truthful. Liked the first person.
Carol Penhorwood 06/09/11
This is rich! I think most of us can put ourselves in this situation at one time or another. I too loved the honesty and irony...so well done!
Emily Ritter02/03/13
This reminds me so much of my own faith walk. Thanks for sharing. I especially appreciate how you did not feel the need to knit up your story with a "happy" and resolved ending.