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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)

TITLE: A Song for the Sinking
By Joanne Sher


"Bye, mamma!" Carmen walked somewhat pensively toward the waiting car.

"Bye, Carmen! See you after lunch." Lorraine blew her a kiss and waved to the driver.

Oh, how Lorraine Staccato wished that, just this once, she could have driven Carmen to school. Not only would Lorraine have been able to listen to her practice again - something she knew Carmen would have coveted - but she could have calmed the anxious 10-year-old's nerves. However, it couldn't be helped. With all the time she'd taken off in the past few weeks for her father-in-law's illness and subsequent death, she felt fortunate her boss was giving her an extra hour off at lunch so she could attend the performance.

It was a music assembly, and Carmen had a solo. For both of them, this was a big deal. Carmen had grown shy over the past year or so, but when she heard what the song was, her bashfulness simply disappeared.

"Mamma - I've GOT to sing it! Daddy sang that song to me all the time; and grandpa too! Maybe he can even come and hear me!"

But that would not happen. Devin Staccato, Sr. had given in to his battle with cancer and fallen into the arms of His Savior a week ago - and one year, to the day, after his son Devin had succumbed to the same disease.

When Carmen's teacher heard about her grandpa's passing, he offered to give the solo to someone else. She considered it - briefly - then decided against it.

"God wants me to sing this song, mamma," Carmen had said resolutely. "And daddy and grandpa will hear me from heaven."

Oh, to have the faith of this young girl. With all Lorraine had been through, she wasn't as confident as her young daughter. For the past year or two she had felt at the end of her rope. Dev's death, of course, had been hard on her, and just as she was feeling like she was putting it all behind her, Dad got sick, and it was back into that valley.

She hadn't played the piano - really played - since Dev first got sick. Lorraine wasn't a singer - in fact, Dev had once teased that she couldn't carry a tune if it had a handle and attached with Velcro. The Staccatos were the singers - it was Lorraine who provided the melody to go along with their wonderful voices. She had even substituted for the church pianist on occasion. But it had been quite a while - too long, she realized - since Lorraine had exercised her gift. It had seemed that, when Dev died, her music died with him.

As she sat at her desk, she found herself humming Carmen's song to herself.

"Carmen's song?" Lorraine muttered to herself, stunned at her thought. "I've always thought of it as Dev's song, or Dad's. I loved to hear the two of them sing it together - what a heavenly harmony they made!" Lorraine smiled, despite herself.

"I really should start playing it with Carmen. I know she misses it, and it would likely do both of us some good. But every time I think about it,..."

A glance at the clock interrupted her musings. Almost 1pm! She headed for her car to drive the five miles to Word of Life Christian Elementary.

The school's small parking lot was full, so she parked at the grocery store across the street. She joined several other parents as she crossed the street and entered the school's auditorium, finding a seat about seven rows back.

Carmen's performance was first, and as she heard the lead-in, Lorraine suddenly realized that this wasn't just a song - it was a message from her husband. As she went through this gale of life, she must hold onto the true Anchor. She smiled, and listened as her husband ministered to her through their daughter.

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.


My Hope is Built Text by Edward Mote, Music by William B. Bradbury, emphasis added

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This article has been read 1472 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/31/06
Great story with a wonderful message! :-)
Kevin Kindrick08/31/06
This is a great story - music, children, what more could you need?
Thanks for sharing.

God bless,

Rebecca Livermore09/02/06
When I got to the part with the song, it gave me the chills. Thanks for sharing!
Valerie Routhieaux09/02/06
This is really good. Great story. Well worth the read.
Marilyn Schnepp 09/02/06
This was a lovely story and an enjoyable read. God bless.
Joanne Malley09/03/06
This is a lovable, well-written story - and what a BEAUTIFUL song! I needed those words today. :) Great job. Jo :)
Edy T Johnson 09/04/06
This was my dad's favorite hymn, and it is such a wonderful witness to our Blessed Hope, Jesus. Thank you for the lovely story illustrating the hymn.
Shari Armstrong 09/05/06
Well done - and I love the character names :)
Debbie Sickler09/05/06
The Stacattos, huh? Is their family rather short? hehe, sorry, couldn't resist. :)

This was a good story. One thing I'd suggest would be to not use bold in the hymn. If that was the part you wanted us to pay attention to, I'd suggest just starting with that stanza or maybe using italics. The bold was sort of distracting and drew my eyes to it before I'd read that far. :)
Teri Wilson09/05/06
Very good writing. Nice job.
Allison Egley 09/05/06
One of my favorite hymns. I could hear her singing it, and see the tears in her mom's eyes as she finished.
Jan Ackerson 09/05/06
Great title, tremendous sweetness and poignancy in this story. Lovely.
Brenda Craig09/05/06
Ahhh...You made me cry. I loved the part where she was ministered to by her husband through the daughter. Shows the importance of handing things down to our children and how powerful the things we share, as we rise up and sit down,with our children really are. Wonderful writing!!!
Sue Dent09/05/06
I loved the way you wrote this. Simple, just enough detail and wondrful sweet message. ;)
Ann FitzHenry09/05/06
My favorite line:

Dev had once teased that she couldn't carry a tune if it had a handle and attached with Velcro.

I also liked how the title and the "true Anchor" tied together.

Great job!
T. F. Chezum09/06/06
A well written story. I enjoyed the read. Great job.
Suzanne R09/07/06
Beautiful - really brought the words of the hymn to life again for we in the gales of life.
Carol Gray09/07/06
Joanne, what a great lesson on faith and courage. It was a well written piece of work. God Bless, Carol Gray
Val Clark09/08/06
Wonderful story of how our children minister to us in the most unexpected ways. Well written without being overly sentimental or melodramatic. yeggy
I read this with tears in my eyes. Well done, it is very well written!
Jacquelyn Horne06/13/07
Wonderful account of healing. A child often is the balm.
Lynn Wallace03/16/10
Joanne, A Song for the Sinking is a tender and powerful story. God often uses children to speak to our hearts. The Song you chose has a powerful message. Music often speaks to my heart. It was his favorite songs that brought tears to my eyes at my husband's funeral. God bless you as you continue to write for Him.