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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)

TITLE: The Intern
By T. F. Chezum


April 27

I’m frustrated, the internship is not going well. I can’t do anything right, I could disappear and nobody would notice. I pray transferring to the children’s ward will help.


“Frazier!” Dr. Callahan startled the young man. “You’re late.”

“My shift doesn’t start ‘til seven.” Jim checked his watch. “I have 5 minutes.”

“You’re supposed to be on the floor at seven. You still have to prep.” The elder doctor clutched a clipboard. “This is pediatrics, the children count on you being prompt.”

“It’s my first day.”

“It’s the last day you’ll be late.” Dr. Callahan peered over the top rim of his glasses. “And no jewelry.”

The intern hurried to the locker room and grabbed his lab coat and stethoscope. He tucked the cross he wore around his neck into his shirt and headed out to do his shift.

May 1

This is my first chance to write in my journal since I went to peds. Dr. Callahan doesn’t even give me a chance to breathe. I’m not sure I can do this, the sight of all those poor kids. I ask God for strength, It’s hard.


Jim stepped into the play-area. “Hi there.” He forced a smile. “How’s everyone doing?”

“Doctor Jim,” several voices sounded.

The children’s enthusiasm melted his stoic attitude. “What’s going on?” He sat near the middle of the room.

Billy came over. “The man took me to the room. You know the room?” He gestured with his hands. “And then the man put me on the table. He said I have to stay real still…like a big boy.” The boy’s eyes grew large as he acted out his story. “And then the table go into a tube and then it got real loud.”

“Wow that sounds scary.” The intern examined the child’s eyes and checked his head.

“I stayed still and I didn’t cry.”

“You must be a big boy.” Jim pulled a lollipop from his pocket. “Here you go.”

When finished in the recreation area Jim walked through the ward checking on the patients who remained in their rooms.

“Hi Amy.” He leaned through the door. “Why aren’t you playing with your friends?”

“I’m just tired.” The fragile girl smiled. “Thank you for seeing me.”

“You’re my number one girl.” Jim took a seat beside the girl’s bed.

May 7

The kids have grown on me. I know some adults that could learn from their attitude. Dr. Callahan is still tough on me, but with God’s help I know I can handle it.


“How’s my number one girl?” Jim entered the room but found an empty bed. He sat on the stool and grabbed a small stuffed toy from her pillow. “Dear Lord.” He pulled the crucifix from his shirt. “This is a symbol of your love, your power. Please Lord, is it too much to ask…”

“What are you doing?” Amy chimed. The orderly pushed her wheel chair toward him.

“I was praying.” The young man smiled. “Talking to God.”

“How do you know God’s listening?” The girl beamed.

“You just know.”

“What’s that?” She pointed. “In your hand.”

“It’s a cross.” He let it dangle. “It reminds me that God is always with me.”

“I think it’s pretty.” She climbed into her bed.

“Tell you what.” Jim pulled the chain over his head. “It’s yours.”


“Amy.” A female voice caught their attention. “You can’t…”

“You must be Amy’s mom.” The intern shook her hand. “She’s said so much about you. Really, it’s ok. She can have it.”

The young lady looked at her daughter. “Well, what do you say?”

“Thank you Doctor Jim.”

May 16

I can’t remember my last day off. I really needed this. I’ve learned so much over the past few weeks. I thank God for this opportunity, I feel I’ve truly grown from this experience.


Jim stepped into Amy’s room. “How’s my…”

Amy’s mom stood beside the bed, her eyes bloodshot and damp. “Here.” She held out the cross. “Amy passed away this morning.” Tears streamed down her face. “You helped make her final days happy ones. Thank you.”

Stunned, the young man accepted the pendant. “I’m sorry.”

May 18

I’m heartbroken. I know I can’t let it affect me if I’m going to work with the children, but it hurts so bad. I pray that some day I’ll understand. Even if I do, I’ll never look at this cross the same way again.


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This article has been read 1020 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany08/24/06
What I like- everything! It was great! surprised me a few times ,with the girl and how you arranged that, loved the ending. The dialogue was real and I could see it play out before me. Nice writing!
What I might change - so okay, I noticed after 'area', I might place a comma!:)
Pat Guy 08/24/06
Such a tiny glimpse so powerfully written. The ending, although suspected, still catches the reader of guard. Sad.
Jan Ackerson 08/25/06
Sad and sweet, an original approach to the topic. I liked it a lot.
Trina Courtenay08/28/06
This story will linger in my heart for years to come, I'm sure.
Beth Muehlhausen08/28/06
LIked the journal-entry approach - this was an effective way to tell your story. I wondered what happened w/ Dr. Callahan...later on? Jim's willingness to take a chance in giving away the cross is admirable. :-)

Very personal story-telling.
Jan Ross08/28/06
Beautifully crafted story full of emotion. This was an easy-to-read story that kept my attention. Although I could see the ending coming, you already had my attention. Great work! :)
Joanne Sher 08/29/06
I love the journal approach to this. You do a wonderful job of developing these relationships and the intern's and making us care. The final scene, though predictable was so poignant and wonderful. Great job!!
Phyllis Inniss08/29/06
Very touching and heart-warming story. I like the way Dr. Jim kept asking God for His help. It gave the story extra strength.
william price08/29/06
Excellent job Tim!!! I enjoyed this story tremendously. I think "jim" knew what the ending would be too. I think it was very appropriate/symbolic that Jim got the cross back too, because he too needed the power of the cross to continue. I think that is the most "too"'s i ever put in a comment:) God bless.
Teri Wilson08/30/06
Tim, I always look forward to your entries. This one is no exception. Great writing and great format (the journal thing). It was very touching and sweet. Great job, as usual.
Rita Garcia08/30/06
WOW! WOW! WOW! Heartfelt, heartwarming, a masterpiece!
Now I need a tissue!
Joanne Malley08/30/06
You've certainly taken us into the heart of many medical professionals. Very well written with a perfect dose of everything. Jo
Ruth Neilson08/30/06
I can't say anything else that has been said...so I'll say it again, AMAZING!
Val Clark09/01/06
Hiya Tim, that was quite a heart wrenching journey without being sentimental or melodramatic, a hard line to 'walk'. Well done. yeggy