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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)

TITLE: The Doxology
By Ruth Neilson


Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;

“Mama, I’m hungry...” My daughter, Susana is whining. I close my eyes and send up a desperate prayer. Food is scare. She is wasting away with each passing day, despite my best efforts to make sure she has food.

“I know, Susana,” I tell her, bending over the mostly liquid cabbage stew. The stew is becoming thinnerby the day, and so are my hopes that were once abundant with dreams for my daughter. I have been hoping that she will be able to prosper in this cruel world.

I close my eyes wearily. My body is tired and weak from lack of food. My husband left us to fight in a god-forsaken war. We are alone, starving on the frontier. We are ghosts—forgotten by all but God.

Praise Him, all creatures here below;

I wonder if we will survive for Robert, if he is going to have a family to return home to or if he is fighting for skeletons. He promised this war would bring an abundance of blessings for the frontier. But I do not see any. All I see is death and destruction.

But, if this was God’s will. I will continue to praise Him.

“Mama!” Susana’s voice rises to a higher whining pitch.

“I know, Susana!” I snap, ladling a bowlful of cabbage stew onto her plate. Despite her mature moments, she is still learning patience. From the moment, the cabbage hit the bowl; she began to greedily eat, shoveling food into her mouth without as much as a simple word of grace. Without another word, after dinner, she runs off to bed. I have to make a choice this evening. Trust God and starve to death, or...take life and death into my own hands. I cannot allow Susana to suffer.

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;

Quietly, I go into Susana’s room and gaze at her as she sleeps restlessly. Golden curls escape from her blue calico nightcap, forming a halo around her head. She looks like an angel. My heart lurches in my chest as I stumble away. Horrified at what I am considering as an option for survival, I run outside.

Staring into the clear night sky, I pray desperately for some solution to the state we are in. Instinctively, I search the sky for Polaris--the star that I share with Robert, my husband. I find it with practiced ease and wonder where he is. There has to be an answer to this disaster other than death. Maybe an angel will appear like one did for Elijah…(or is it Elisha) and provide something for us.

Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Heaven is silent tonight. But there is always tomorrow. Maybe something can be found in the forest to survive on for at least for one more day. There is always a feast lying around, if you know where to look for it. Drawing my shawl closer to my thin arms, I go inside. God is the provider and He will always give us an abundance of what we need.

Doxology by Thomas Ken, 1674

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This article has been read 736 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita Neuman06/15/06
Great story, and great take on the topic! There were a couple of typos near the beginning, but you still kept my attention all the way through. Well done!
Ann Grover06/15/06
I want to know more! This could be expanded into a longer story. Very creative. Keep it up.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/17/06
There is a beginning but NO ENDING. Your reader needs to have a satisfactory ending. We hope and pray along with the mother, of course, but we'd like to know. Thanks for sharing.
Catherine Pollock06/18/06
I disagree - there is an ending to this story, and I believe it is one that is very effective. It is true to life... just because the story comes to an end doesn't mean that life ends, too. I really like this story... keep it up. It would be interesting to see this story expanded.
dub W06/19/06
A couple of glitches early, and some unclear construction, but a compelling story, one that leaves the reader wanting more. Have someone proof your essay before posting, and I think you might be on your way to the winner's circle.
Jan Ross06/19/06
I love the way you're approaching this ~ very creative! Aside from the couple glitches at first, you presented an outstanding piece. Great work! :)
Sherry Wendling06/20/06
A poignant snapshot of enduring faith. Beautiful, movingly written!
Jan Ackerson 06/21/06
I like the hymn interspersed with the story--a nice touch.