Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)
TITLE: Forgiving the Outlandish
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“Why is it so Outlandish? Haven’t you ever wanted to make your mark in the world?” Jennie answered as tears ran down her cheeks.
“Girls don’t do those things. You need a solid career like nursing or teaching.”
“Dad, its 2011, not 1950; girls do a lot of different things today, including becoming police officers.”
Jennie’s nostrils flared as she spoke.
“I don’t care; no daughter of mine is going to do a man’s job.”
Michael stormed out of the room, leaving 18 year old Jennie sitting alone at the kitchen table. Ever since Jennie’s mother died two years ago, Michael had been holding onto Jennie for dear life.
It was a cold winter December morning, Sarah, Jennie’s mother, was on her way to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients to bake her famous chocolate pies for the church bazaar. She was pregnant at 43. At first she was afraid to tell Michael because it was too frightening to think of raising a child at their age.
With her thoughts running rampant, Sarah wasn’t paying attention when a speeder in a road rage tried to run her off the road. Sarah, not thinking, screamed at the guy, the way you drive is outlandish! This provoked the all ready disturbed driver to no end.
Now he came back at her with a vengeance, getting up on her rear bumper and forcing her into a ditch where the car spun out of control.
As Michael arrived the police officer was in a shootout with the suspect – the suspect got away, not to be found until this very day.
There were three victims that day, a wife and mother, an unborn child and a police officer.
As Jennie sat at the table she knew she had to convince her Dad it was because of that very tragedy that she needed to become a police officer, she owed that much to her mother and her unborn baby brother. As she sat there thinking of ways to tell her father, he entered the room and sat down next to her.
“Jennie, I get it. I really do, but if anything ever happened to... ” Michael said as he cleared the large lump in his throat.
Jennie squeezed his hand. “I know, Dad. I understand where you are coming from. But this is what I need to do.
Somewhere in all this mess we’ve suffered, we have to trust God. Isn’t that how you and Mom brought me up?”
Michael was reflective for a minute, then hugged his daughter and said, “Yes, it is. I can’t stop you, but please be careful out there.”
‘I will Dad; I promise.”
Jennie entered the police academy after graduation. Over the years she showed her strength and abilities to the point she was elevated to Police Sergeant. Now married to a Police Chief, she and her husband Dennis had four children and lived only three miles from her father.
One day while in the normal business of governing her officers, a young police officer came to her with an alert. As Jennie read the alert and the description of the incident, a stirring came to her spirit telling her this was the same guy who killed her family. She immediately directed an officer to accompany her to the location.
Jennie apprehended the suspect and booked him. In his interview Jennie asked why he did it, the man had no answer for her. As she exited the room she turned to the suspect and said, “I forgive you for taking my mom’s life and that of my unborn brother’s life that day. I hope you find peace and above all, I hope you find God.”
As Jennie left the interview room, the officer that accompanied her to the station asked her how she could be so forgiving. Jennie said these words to him, “My Mom and Dad always taught me that forgiveness is the only way to move forward, after all where would we be if God hadn’t forgiven us first?”
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