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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Time (11/15/12)

TITLE: Andy’s Dilemma
By Ken Ebright


Pastor Andy rolled over in bed to answer the phone. "Hello"

"Pastor Andy, this is Leonard from church."

Andy took off the sheets and sat up. "Yeah, what's going on?"

"Maryanne Rodgers called; something's happened. Can you call her right away?”

Andy stood up, rubbed his eyes, and put on his bathrobe. "I have to get ready for church."

"Pastor, I know, but I’m concerned she's going to hurt herself."

Yawing pastor rummaged through the stack of mail until he found a pen. "Okay, I'll call. What's her number?"

He jotted down the number and paced back and forth while dialing it.

"Hel...lo. Aaaaah aaaah.”

"Is this Maryanne?"

"Aaaah... Aaaaaah."

"Maryanne, are you okay? This is Pastor Andy."

"Pastor…Andy. Aaaaah Aaaaah."

"What happened, Maryanne?"

Maryanne cleared her throat and coughed a few times. "My husband left me."

Pastor's eyes opened wide when he looked at the clock. "Maryanne, I feel so bad, but your but needs are important. I just ran out of time and need to hurry to get ready for church. I would like to have my wife come over and pick you up and take you out for breakfast and to church. Would that be okay?"

"That's fine."

Andy dumped the coffee in the sink. "I'd like to meet with you after church. I feel so awful that I can’t meet with you sooner. Jesus loves you and he can get you through this situation. I would like to say a quick prayer. Father, you know what the situation is. I just pray that you would give Maryanne peace and give me the wisdom when we meet to resolve the issues between her and her husband. Amen. I'll see you after second service in my office. You live at 104 fourth street right?"


Pastor's wife strolled into the kitchen. "My wife is right here and she will be over shortly."

"Thank you Pastor."


After the service, Pastor Andy and Maryanne met in his office. He sat down at his desk. "Maryann, please have a seat and tell me what happened."
Maryann tipped her head into the chest. "My sister had trouble paying her electric bill. She is not very good at managing money. I want to help her but my husband doesn't think I should do that. We argued and he walked out last night. We normally don’t fight like this."

Andy leaned back in his chair. "Have you written a check to your sister?"


Pastor sat up in his chair. "It just so happens the church has a fund set aside to help people in emergencies like this. If you email me all the pertinent facts, we’ll get in touch with her and help her out. As for your husband, you've been together for a long time. I know both of you very well. I'm surprised he'd walk out over this. I have his cell phone number and I’ll call him and talk to him."

Maryanne let out a long breath then started to smile. "Oh Pastor, thank you so much."

"Maryanne, I'm sorry I didn't have the time to talk to you earlier. There was nothing I could do, people were waiting for me. I felt so bad. I am just so sorry. I hope that spending time with my wife helped?"

Maryanne's face glowed like the sun. “Yes it did."

"The good news is in Heaven we won‘t have to worry about time. I don‘t think there‘ll be time clocks there."

Maryanne stood up and shook Andy's hand. "Pastor Andy, you're so kind and thoughtful. I am glad you finally had time to talk to me. You’ve made me feel so good."

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This article has been read 266 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christina Banks 11/23/12
Sometimes it is hard to make time for people when we are caught up in the rush of our activities. I'm glad that Andy cared enough to try.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/23/12
This is an interesting story. One of the things I like the most is it shows that the pastor is human. Part of him was worried about little things like being on time for church when another's life was being held in the balance. I think it's super important for people to remember that ministers are human and can make mistakes. Just like the rest of us, Jesus died for their sins too. Nice take on the topic.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/25/12
This is a nice entry on the topic of time. You clearly have a gift for storytelling.

Just a suggestion: I would have loved to see a little more depth to your characters. A simplistic story is fine, but maybe work on creating characters that allow readers to experience more of an emotional connection to them. This would add a new level to your storytelling. Overall, well done!
C D Swanson 11/27/12
Good job...nice dialogue, and an altogether enjoyable read. Thanks.
God bless~