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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)

TITLE: A Reasonable Decision
By Valora Otis


"Mom, I want to be a police officer,” my seventeen year old threw down his backpack. "Before you say anything, I know what you’re thinking,” he held up one large hand. “It’s too dangerous, you’re going to deal with criminals and I’ll worry myself sick!”

“Mom, this is what the Lord wants me to do. I want to give back to my community and help people. I’ll be good at it and I can make a decent living, too. Besides, what I really want to be is a conservation officer and you have to be on the force for at least four years before they’ll even look at you." He plopped down on the sofa taking a cleansing breath.

I fumbled for a Kleenex. How could he possibly be safe with people shooting at him? I did what I had done in the past when Spencer had come up with other ‘bright’ ideas. Silently I counted to ten.

“Earth to Mom, come in?” I focused on his green eyes filled with anticipation, seeking reassurance. My heart turned to mush like usual.

“Your dad and I told you that if you pray about a reasonable decision and you still felt strongly about it we’d offer our support. Have you prayed about it yet?”

The gold sparkled in his eyes as the curve grew on his lips. “Yes, Mom, I prayed for several days. The answer was a warm kind a tingly feeling from my head to my toes. I felt the Holy Ghost witness to me.”

Again, choosing my words carefully my heart was in my throat. “Well then, you have my support.”

“Cool! There’s more; I’m going to college now, Mom.”

I started bawling happily reaching for one of his burly bear hugs. As he loomed over me, his shoulders were broader than my husband’s. When had he grown up? I knew my fears were founded as I felt a tangible feeling gnawing at my chest. After the horror of 9/11 the country didn’t seem safe anymore. Although painful, I’d just have to place my son firmly in the Lords hands now. The U.S. needed good young men and women to protect us more now than any other time in history. I felt a warmth rush over me as well. I let go of my son. Mopping a tear I smiled for him.

“Mom! I’m sorry I didn’t mean to make you cry! Did I say something wrong?”

“I’m fine Spencer,” I said moving to sit in the nearest chair. “I had that feeling you told me about earlier; kind of warm and tingly all over. I think it’s the Lord’s way of confirming to me that you’re making a good decision. A couple of things are on my mind though and need to be said.” Grabbing a Kleenex to dab my eyes I paused, “Always stay close to the Lord, Spencer.” He straddled a chair nearby. “He’ll be a shield and a protection against the evil of this world.”

“You know I will, Mom.”

“Hey, I’ve watched how you appreciate and care for many different people.” Spencer cleared his throat looking steadily into my eyes. “Remember those ‘Goth’ kids you brought home for your party?”

“Yeah Mom pretty rough kids, huh?”

“They sure were! You saw past all the paint, black hair, tattoos and piercings seeing goodness in them. They went home washed their faces free of paint; took those rings out of their noses, lips and tongues. Why did they do that?”

“I knew they were just mixed up, but were great kids. I told them that they would feel better if they came to our house cleaned up. They all came too.”

“Well, your friends are always welcome in our home. Initially they would’ve given me a shock, but I’d have welcomed them nonetheless. Only one of those kids left because he didn’t like the sweet spirit of our home. The Lord is at the head of our home. You’re going to meet a lot of people like that and worse. Can you handle it?”

“I know I can, Mom. I’ve learned a lot from you.”

“Really, from me?”

Spencer rolled his eyes. “You know I have, Mom. Remember you taught me about the worth of one soul and the lost sheep in the book of Luke. If I only save or help one person; it would all be worth it.”

What more could a mother ask for?

Luke 15:4, 10 KJV
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

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This article has been read 825 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Haug10/20/06
What a sweet son! And the power of influence of a mother. One grammar note: When you finish a direct quotation, you must close the quote with a period or question mark etc. You can only use a comma if you are going to say 'he said' or something similar. Good advice about praying about a decision and then receiving the support. A wise mother.
Marilyn Schnepp 10/21/06
A very touching and moving story. Written well; moved right along; made great points to ponder; and an enjoyable read from top to bottom. Kudos!
Laurie Glass 10/21/06
This piece touches the heart. And what an honest, open and beautiful relationship between mother and son. Enjoyable read.
Melanie Smith-Taylor10/21/06
I liked this heart-warming story. I could relate to the son who so desperately wante his mom's approval; I understood mom's fears in releasing her son to follow his dreams. There are a few issues with commas but was not problematic for me in that I was not distracted from the story. I especially love the Scripture reference for this story as it applies to a situation from last Sunday as the Lord kept it in my heart as I searched the fields for one of my beloved pets. Always excellent!

Ann FitzHenry10/21/06
I loved this conversation between mother and son. It shines with warmth and honesty. I loved the ending and this family's trust in the Lord. It is A Reasonable Decision indeed! :-)
Edy T Johnson 10/21/06
On target! Opening sentence grabs the reader. The dialog is natural and carries the story well. I only "back-tracked" over this quote. Apparently the mother is speaking, but Spencer jumps into the middle, which makes it sound like his words, especially with his clearing his throat.
“Hey, I’ve watched how you appreciate and care for many different people.” Spencer cleared his throat looking steadily into my eyes. “Remember those ‘Goth’ kids you brought home for your party?”
But, that's just a minor blip and easily clarified. You tell a sweet story well!
william price10/23/06
Very nice story here. Great depth. I could feel the emotions. My grandboy wants to be in law enforcement in the worst way. I just smile, proud that he would want to, but still hoping he grows out of it. If this is Val's story, great job, Val!!! You're hitting your stride. Good work.
Val Clark10/24/06
A precious story! Love the things revealed about the relationship between the son and the mother, her real fears, his burning desire, all under the headship of Christ.
Jan Ackerson 10/24/06
Great story, and what a neat kid! Aside from a few missing commas, which didn't really detract from the piece, this one really appealed to me.
dub W10/25/06
Nicely poised. A good narrative and a sweet story. Be careful with exclamation marks - one time use is plenty.
Sharlyn Guthrie10/25/06
I could relate to the emotions expressed of a mother toward her son. Most wonderful, though, is the tenderness and respect the son showed toward his mother. Sweet story, right on topic!