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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Ding-Dong (05/16/13)

TITLE: Silent Doorbells
By Dedra Stotts


The sun rises, your alarm sounds and your knowledge of time begins. After hitting the snooze and jolting five minutes later, you begrudgingly slide out of bed and stumble to the shower. Once dressed, coffee is in order, breakfast- maybe, and the day officially begins ticking away. A few hours later you realize God wasn't in your morning routine. There wasn't enough time, you tell yourself, maybe later. If you had a notebook handy you’d pencil him in, but as it is you’re on the way to work and you only have two hands- one for steering and the other for your cell phone.

Pulling into work you pass a man who is standing next to the highway. He looks familiar, so you slow down. His hair is uncombed and his face is unshaven. There’s no way you know him, you think, looking at the stained clothing hanging loose on his thin frame. He’s holding a piece of cardboard with the words, “need help” written in red. You speed up, telling yourself you would stop, but you’re almost late. Besides, he’s probably just looking for a handout. You think if he’s still there later, maybe.

You arrive at work and things really kick into gear. You do what you came to do, and you do it as fast as you can because time, after all, is important. An all-too-cheerful co-worker smiles at you. You've known them for a long time so you smile back. Until they look away, that is. That’s when you roll your eyes and sigh at having to deal with their constant good mood.

You work late and after eating, wonder if on the way home you looked for the man that needed help. Surely you did, you tell yourself. Then you climb in bed, dreading the morning alarm. Your mind continues to wander and in the process you remember your appointment with God. You’re too tired; he will have to wait till morning.

Ding-Dong, your door bell rings. You lay there, hoping whoever it is will go away. Ding-Dong, Ding-Dong, it continues. After the third time you put on your robe, scowling with annoyance as you answer the door. It’s your always-happy co-worker, except she’s not happy. Tears stream from her weighted lashes and her lips are no longer lifted with a smile, but turned down into a frown. She apologizes for stopping by, but says she needs someone to talk to. Since you've known her for a while, you let her in, sighing once more when her back is turned. You learn that she’s expecting and only now notice the small bulge in her midsection. You make a comment about it and she tells you she’s small for how far along she is. She says it’s because she’s in a rough patch, so food is limited. She says her boyfriend lost his job and talks about how hard it’s been supporting them both.
She tells you how worried she is because he’s losing weight. She feels it’s her fault because he lets her have all the food. He’s been standing at the intersection, she says, seeking help. No one has helped them. You’re ashamed and hope the boyfriend did't recognize you when you passed. You let her “get it all out” and once she is calm, you send her with some cash and food. Then you go back to bed and lie awake wondering, is that enough? Was there something more you could have done? Something you could have said?

Too many times we mistake God’s silent doorbells for everyday occurrences’. Opportunities can be found in something as active as lending a helping hand or within something as subtle as a warm smile. Not making time for God does not give more time for your schedule; it only closes your ears to the ringing of his doorbells.

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This article has been read 177 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/25/13
Great sentiment with this well-written entry. I enjoyed this piece with the message it brought forward.

God Bless~
Judith Gayle Smith05/26/13
Rivetting - I couldn't put this down . . .
Brenda Rice 05/26/13
You had me from word one and I couldn't stop. Well told. Great message. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/28/13
This is really a powerful story. At first I wasn't sure if I would like the POV in the second person as it can come across as a bit preachy. Perhaps, I thought, if the you was an actual character it might pull the reader in more. But the more I read, the more I decided I did like this voice. It almost felt like God was speaking directly to me, asking me what did I let go by unnoticed in my quest to just get through the day.I think you did a nice job with this creative and fresh story. It definitely makes one stop and think and that is always a good thing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/30/13
Congratulations for ranking 4th in your level and 31 overall!(The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)