Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)
TITLE: One Awesome Christian Home
By Venice Kichura
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Downstairs doing laundry, Burt, the father-to be, overheard his mother’s toast and his heart melted. Never did he dream he’d hear these words from his mother’s lips as he knew the heartache he’d caused not only her but to his wife as well. Once addicted to booze, he’d almost lost his marriage as well as his life. But thanks to the testimony of a former drinking buddy who had found Christ, he’d not only returned to the God of his childhood, but was also delivered from alcoholism.
Since his spiritual turn-around he’d received a promotion and had finally saved enough money to buy their first home and start a family. His favorite sweat shirt which read, “God is good---all the time,” said it all.
He set the dryer for another 60-minute spin, as well as set the timer. Because the timer on the dryer was broken, he had to use a portable timer or the dryer wouldn’t shut off.
“Hey ladies,” he said, running up the stairs. “I just gotta pop in and see our new rocker.”
“Burt’s gonna be a hands-on, dad,” Sandy said, proudly. “See, he does laundry and even hangs out at baby showers.”
“Just can’t wait to rock her---even at 2 AM,” he said, stroking his wife’s auburn curls.
“Well......”Sandy groaned, clutching her watermelon-shaped belly. “I don’t think our daughter can wait much longer either….My water just broke,… and… I just had another contraction….Honey,... It’s time!”
As the shower guests quickly excused themselves, Burt grabbed a packed suitcase and they raced to the hospital. Their baby wasn’t due for another three weeks, but they’d been prepared for days.
After eight hours of labor, little red-headed Emma Louise Larson made her debut, weighing in at 6 pounds. As she wiggled on her mommy’s tummy, her parents shared a kiss and thanked God for their priceless gift. “God is good---all the time,” Burt said.
“Can’t wait to get her settled into her new nursery,” he added, thinking, again, about the room he’d prepared for the last six months. An artist, he had painted a Noah’s Ark mural.
Sandy convinced him to go home and get some rest.
As he drove off, he saw smoke in the distance. Then, turning onto his street, he froze in disbelief as he stared at his new home burning to the ground.
Only a pink medal stork from the baby shower remained standing at the foot of his driveway.
His home was left in ashes…just as his life once was….
Speechless, the man clad in the “God is good” sweat shirt walked up to the firefighters. Then he realized what caused the fire…..In a mad dash to the hospital, he’d forgotten to turn off the dryer and lint had fallen on the hot wires catching it on fire.
A WRBR news van pulled up and stared at the pink stork out front.
“My wife just had a baby,” Burt broke down in heavy sobs. “We have no home.”
An awesome Christian home?He mused….Some godly father I am…..Burned down my own house!
Trying to comfort the distraught young man, the reporter and firefighters hugged him and said, “We’re so sorry.”
Burt drove back to the hospital, still dazed. For the first time in two years, he craved a drink. How could God still be good?
He didn’t have the heart to awaken Sandy. The next day was a blur….When he did tell her, they wept uncontrollably for what seemed an eternity. Then they pulled together….reminding themselves of God’s promises.
Later, a television reporter walked into Sandy’s room, asking for an interview.
At first Burt wanted to blast him, yelling, “Can’t you leave us alone?”
And then he had a change of heart. Together, with Emma propped on his shoulder, he and Sandy wept, and then shared with their community what God had done for them. They testified how He was still good----all the time…And how they knew He hadn’t deserted them and would make a way.
Later, while at Sandy’s bedside, Burt got a call from an old drinking buddy who had seen him on television. Over tears, he led him to Christ.
A maternity nurse overhearing Burt’s telephone conversation peeked in on the young family and said, “You have one awesome Christian home!”
(Based on a true story)
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