Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: Joy to My World
By Michelle Burkhardt
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Lisa was taking her younger sister, Joy, to a StorySideB concert at the Giant Center. StoryB was the latest Praise and Worship band to hit it big. The local Christian radio station, 94.9, played their current hit, “Breathe,” almost everyday. Lisa was 6 years older than Joy and even though Lisa could clearly remember not being one bit happy about sharing her parents with this new, crinkly, baby creature, she had to admit that Joy had become the-- joy of her life.
When Joy came home from the hospital it definitely was not love at first site. Lisa felt that this baby was not in her plans. Especially, since she had prayed for a baby brother. Joy was supposed to be a Jack. Notwithstanding, Lisa acted like a great older sister by helping her mom with diapers, feedings, and washing clothes, unfortunately , in that first year the help she provided was more mechanical than out of love. Deep down she wanted Joy to just disappear.
“Lisa, should I bring a little flashlight to hold up at the concert?” asked Joy.
Lisa responded. “Great idea, grab one for me too,”
Choking back the lump that formed in her throat, she recalled the evening that God almost answered her selfish prayer. Joy was only 1½ years old. Lisa was helping her mom make dinner when her mom asked her to go in the living room to watch her sister. Although she respectfully responded to her mom’s request, Lisa grumbled in her mind. She wanted to be by her mom’s side to help prepare the meal, so, she could tell her father that she cooked. Lisa decided she was tired of watching Joy and reached for the remote to turn on the television. Moments later, Lisa heard the worst scream ever. She flew off the couch and followed the hysteria into the kitchen. While she was ignoring her sister, Joy had wobbled into the kitchen and walked behind their mother. Thinking that Joy was safe in the living room, their mother stepped back away from the stove to place the hot pan of spaghetti on the counter. In less than a blink of an eye, Lisa’s mother had knocked backwards into Joy and the pot of scolding hot water fell to the floor. Both Joy and her mom received excruciating, 3rd degree burns. Lisa quickly called 911 and the ambulance was at their home in less than 10minutes.
That night while her mom and sister were in the hospital having their wounds bandage, Lisa confessed her feeling to her father. She told him everything. As she poured her heart out to her father, she expected him to scold her, ground her, and never talk to her again. Instead, he compassionately held her in his arms and told her he loved her. He told her that she would have to apologize to Mom, Joy, and to God for her bitter feelings. Lisa quietly slipped off her Dad’s lap and kneeled to pray. She pleaded with God to heal her family and more importantly, to help her learn how to protect, love and cherish her baby sister.
“Lisa, wake-up!” shouted Joy. “I’ve been standing here holding the door open--are we leaving or what?”
“Yeah, Yeah, I’m coming,” replied Lisa. Lisa walked down the stone walkway and stopped to turn and face her dear, sweet sister.
“You know I love you, right?” inquired Lisa. “And that I would do anything for you?”
Joy quizzically looked at Lisa and replied, “Yes, of course, I know.” Joy raised her eyebrow and sighed, “Oh, please don’t tell me you are going to start singing your own version of “Joy to the World” again.”
Lisa just smirked slyly and walked to the car while softly singing the melody that she had made-up the day Joy and Mom came home from the hospital….
“Joy to my World, my sister is home.
Help keep her under my wing.
Prepare my heart, with lots of love.
Let nothing come between us, Let nothing come between us.
Let no-thing come between us.”
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