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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Singing (10/31/05)

TITLE: Is Your Soul Sick?
By Lauren Bombardier


Meggie grinned when she heard her father's booming voice echoing through the house. He loved that hymn and this morning he sang it with gusto. She peeked around the doorway of her room. There was Daddy, standing at the end of the hall with his back to her and his arms raised. When he came to the chorus, his hands curled into fists and a triumphant tone entered his voice, "It is well, it is well with my soul!"

Meggie giggled and Daddy whirled around, grinning. "Sing with me, Meggie!" Laughing, Meggie ran to her father and leaped into his arms. Adding her soprano to his baritone, they finished the hymn on a perfect note.

"Well! Isn't this a grand start of the day?" Mommy had come from the kitchen to listen to them. Meggie reached for her mother's embrace. "And how's my Meggie this morning?"

"It is well, it is well with my soul!" sang Meggie before scrambling down. She took her mother's hands and the two of them danced a little jig. Her parents laughed with her, then her father picked her up again and headed for the kitchen.

After breakfast, Meggie did her morning chores. As she ran the dust cloth around the places she could reach, she sang snatches of that hymn as well as of others. When she came to a window, she looked out and saw a little squirrel eating a walnut on the neighbor's patio. She laughed at the way his little mouth moved as he shelled the nut. Suddenly, the neighbor, old Mrs. Higgins, came out with her broom and shooed the squirrel away. Meggie sighed in disappointment and watched the old woman go back into her house.

Mommy had told her that the reason why Mrs. Higgins seemed so mean was because she was sad. Meggie didnít understand why someone could be sad until Mommy told her that some people didn't know Jesus. It made perfect sense to Meggie. She knew that Jesus was the reason Mommy and Daddy were happy people.

Meggie helped her mother throughout the day, and as a reward for her hard work, Mommy let her play outside in the afternoon. She brought her dolly with her and started to sing to it as she set up "tea" for the two of them. A harsh voice startled her, "Young lady, would you please stop singing that song? If I hear one more 'it is well,' I will scream!"

Meggie dropped the acorn cup she had been holding, and turned to see Mrs. Higgins on the other side of the chain-link fence. "You don't like it?

"I most certainly do not." Mrs. Higgins thumped her cane on the ground.

"Why not?" asked Meggie as she picked up her doll and cradled it.

"Because, I do not know one person whose soul is well. This world is too hard."

"Oh, but my soul is well, and so is my mommy's soul and my daddy's soul." Megan took a step closer to the woman. "Mommy says that you are sad. Is it because your soul is sick?"

"What on earth are you talking about?" Mrs. Higgins drew her brows together, looking quite fierce.

Megan scrunched her nose as she thought of a way to help her neighbor understand. "Sometimes my tummy gets sick and I have to take medicine to make it well. Maybe you need to take medicine to make your soul well, too."

"Humph." Mrs. Higgins peered at Meggie. "And what would that be?"

Meggie thought back to earlier that morning. One thing she always felt when she thought of her parents was love. She loved her mommy and daddy so much that it hurt sometimes because she couldn't hold it all in. She came right up to the fence and softly said, "Love. I love my mommy and daddy, and they love me too!"

The old woman stared at Meggie a moment, then she seemed to sag. She said, "Nobody loves me."

"Jesus does! Jesus loves everybody. He loves me and mommy and daddy. He loves you too." She crooked her finger, beckoning the woman to come closer. "And you know what?"

Mrs. Higgins leaned down towards Meggie, apprehension on her face. "What?"

Meggie stood on her tip-toes as she whispered the woman's heart, "I love you, too!" She stepped back.

Mrs. Higgins stared at the little girl, tears in her eyes. Meggie held out her hand and smiled when the old woman took it.

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This article has been read 1146 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Michelle Burkhardt11/07/05
Honestly, I have never teared reading any of the challenges, until now. This was incredible. I knew where it was going but it still touched my heart. Well done and a winner in my book. Your title is great too.
Jan Ackerson 11/08/05
Very, very sweet.
Mary Lang11/09/05
Children do surprise us with their unexpected wisdom. Charming.
Brandi Roberts11/09/05
The heart of a child is sweet and unassuming! Well written! I loved it!
Shari Armstrong 11/10/05
How sweet -and yet again one of my favorite hymns makes an appearence in a challenge!
Jeffrey Snell11/10/05
Beautiful job showing how the Lord uses children's pure eyes to see the pain in adults. Very touching and genuine.
Debbie Sickler11/10/05
I really enjoyed this. I could picture the little girl crooking her finger to call the old lady. (kind of pictured her as a young Shirley Temple for some reason lol) The story was great and my only suggestion would be the slight over use of Meggie's name. For example: "Meggie giggled and Daddy whirled around, grinning. "Sing with me, Meggie!" Laughing, Meggie ran..." Maybe you could try it like: "Sing with me, (Sweetie or Angel or some other term of endearment!)". That's just a small comment on an otherwise great story!
Anita Neuman11/10/05
Great job on this! What a sweet little story. I love it!
Pat Guy 11/10/05
This would make a GREAT story to teach children about loving their neighbors. (or mean people that are really sad) We had a neighbor like that and we prayed for her - she got saved a couple of years later after we moved. She was MEAN! :)
Cassie Memmer11/10/05
Great story-telling! I really enjoyed it also. Encore! Encore!
Julianne Jones11/11/05
A sweet story with a lovely message. Enjoyed it immensely. It was probably just me, but I pictured Meggie and her dad as Irish and I could just hear them singing that song together. Well done.
Phyllis Inniss11/12/05
Wonderful story. It is true that God would sometimes use children to change the heart of a hard-hearted grownup.
Val Clark11/12/05
Out of the mouths of babes... Like the way you used that idea. Also the way you showed parents modeling real love and joy to their children.
terri tiffany11/13/05
This was so vivid and just wonderful to read!! I loved imagining their actions.Great job!
Amy Michelle Wiley 11/14/05
Adorable story!!!
Kell-Ann Hoyte11/14/05
Beautiful story and message Lauren. Congrats on your win. :D
Dan Louise Mann11/14/05
Oh wow, I loved this story! Good pick for a winner this week. I, too, heard an Irish brogue in there.
B Brenton11/14/05
Lauren, this was cute and a wonderful read. I wish I knew some children like that (maybe one day when I have my own).
Congrats on the editors choice.
You need a line somewhere at the end about her heart softening or something, to make us see that she (the old bird) is getting it.
Lovely though. Really lovely.
Kym Gordon Moore11/14/05
Congratulations on your 1st Place Level Challenge! Keep up the good work!
Karen Treharne11/17/05
Very well done, Lauren. I so enjoyed this story about a child's innocence and how her love for Jesus was so easy to share. A lesson we should all learn. Great title and dialogue. A well-deserved win. May God continue to bless your writing.
Daniel Owino Ogweno11/18/05
Thank you! This touched something deep in me. The Gospel from the mouth of babes is powerful.