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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)

TITLE: The Useless Cripple
By Chelsea Pietsch
01/27/06


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The old man hobbled towards the building. His eyes were grey like the sky above, and in his heart thunderclouds loomed. This was his last hope, and in all truth, he had very little faith left to muster. As he walked, his limp announced him to the world as what he was; a useless cripple.

His hands were rough and calloused from years on the workforce, but now he was too old to work, and so they had kicked him out without a glimmer of remorse. Lacking a paycheck in his pocket, he had discovered his former wife had no space in her heart for him. She had gone to a younger man and left him 'broke' in more ways than one.

In his despair he had turned to the drink.

His daughter had taken him in for a while. Yet as his lack of purpose had driven him deeper into his alcoholic escape, and she had given birth to another child, he was soon turned out once again. He remembered her frightened, pitying eyes as she spoke softly to him, a child on either hip, 'I'm sorry dad, we just don't have room for you here.'

In drunken oblivion he had fallen and broken his leg. Without proper care (hospitals wouldn't admit a penniless drunk) it had healed in a twisted fashion. It suited him; reflecting his crippled heart. He soon discovered homeless shelters and churches would only have him on the provision that he gave up drinking. Yet he couldn't give up drinking - the bottle was the only thing that called his name.

The streets were beckoning to him...

He reached the door and trembled slightly before knocking. He didn't want to live on the streets - if one could call that living. He was desperate. A man came to the door but the cripple didn't give him time to speak. “Look I don't have much to offer, but I'll do anything I can if you'll just let me stay here!”

Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! Yet do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (slightly modified version of John 13:38 – 14:4).

And suddenly the old man realised he did know the way. He knelt down on his frail knees and cried out, “Jesus! I need you!”


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Marilyn Schnepp 02/01/06
Lovely story; but the Scripture verses didn't go with the story (in this Reader's opinion); however, the piece kept my interest from beginning to end...which pleases any Author. Well done.