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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)

TITLE: The Perfect Opportunity for Sheila McGuire
By Amy Michelle Wiley


“Is anyone sitting here, ma’am? I heard the plane is going to take off in five minutes. ‘Course, a flight attendant’s five minutes is more like twenty, but still, I thought I was gonna miss the flight. I only made the reservation a few days ago and didn’t have much time to pack and git a ride here and all that.

“But when I heard about the beauty school in Atlanta, I said to myself, ‘Sheila McGuire, that is the perfect opportunity for you, girl!’ See, I’m not made for anything much. I mean, I’m not anyone special or anything, but doing ladies’ hair is filling a need, you know? And that’s as noble as anything, I figure.

“Is that a picture of your granddaughter, ma’am? She must be about six years old and so cute I could just eat her up! Is that who you’re going to visit? Leukemia? Oh you poor dear, I could just give you a hug right now. Don’t you worry, though, ‘cause I just know that our Daddy in heaven is holding that chil’ in His arms so tight, an’ won’t let go until you get there yourself.

“Oh, He cares, ma’am! Don’t you worry none about that. He cared so much He gave His own Son for us, and that’s a fact. That’s why we can have faith. And you know what, ma’am? I have faith that your little granddarling will be healed all up. And if she isn’t, well, if she isn’t, all ya’ll just trust she’ll be waiting up there right in the arms of God. Now isn’t that a comforting thought?

“Here we are taking off and you’ll be there before you know it. We’re leaving right on time, too! God had this flight planned out for us, I can tell. You’ll be there in time for that little angel’s chemo treatment, and I’ll be there in time for my training.

“Yes, that’s right, I’ll just be cutting hair. No high and mighty plans for me. Not like my sister and her wonderful husband. They are going to Nicaragua next month to tell them natives about Jesus. At first I was feeling a little sad for myself when they told me, and that’s the truth, but now I know this is enough for me.

“My sister tol’ me, ‘Honey, you don’t gots to go to deepest, darkest Africa to be a missionary. You can be one right in yer own town.’ I tol’ her I knows that, but I just ain’t been given no special gift like that. No, Sheila McGuire just wasn’t made to be a missionary. I’m just not much good at it, you know?”

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This article has been read 2589 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 10/26/06
Oh, I love this one way conversation! It was so real that I wanted to find Sheila and tell her what a wonderful missionary she really is. Great job.
Allison Egley 10/27/06
Oh, this is great. I can here her talking like she's right here in the room with me. If only she knew she had "the gift" too.
Shari Armstrong 10/27/06
Cute! I love it, I could almost see her chattering away.
william price10/27/06
I felt like I was reading this under steel magnolias. Beautiful work. I like a story that doesn't make you feel like you were beat over the head. Great job. God bless.
Aylin Smith 10/29/06
Simply awesome. I too giggled abit. You have a way with words.
Ann FitzHenry10/29/06
I love this out-of-the-box entry! Great use of dialogue to tell the entire story. I could picture this character chewing a piece of gum and telling me EVERYTHING! Excellent writing!! Loved it!
Jan Ackerson 10/29/06
Excellent! I love the way you made your readers fill in the other half of the dialog--highly original and effective. So few words, and I feel as if I know this delightful woman.
Donna Powers 10/30/06
The title drew me in and I wasn't disappointed. This was a wonderful story of a wonderful missionary. Excellent!
Anita Neuman10/31/06
I love it, I love it, I love it! I can totally picture this character, and her unspecified actions. What a great use of dialogue! And a brilliantly subtle message, too. Great job, dear friend!
dub W11/01/06
Well done. Thank you for posting.
Betty Castleberry11/01/06
This was so much fun. I loved the light hearted feel, and the conversation was well done.
Sara Harricharan 11/01/06
Sweet! This was a great read, the tone was light which made for easy reading and the story was quite enjoyable. Sheila McGuire is an excellent missionary :)
Joanne Sher 11/02/06
This was SO fun, Amy! I just adored Sheila's voice - and your unique approach! Definitely a favorite of mine.
Yvonne Blake 08/17/11
Ha Ha ...well done, Amy! I've sat next to people like that, and it keeps up for the whole trip!