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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Unsung Hero (12/07/06)

TITLE: A Jeep & A Prayer
By Valora Otis


The pain resonated in my head. I could almost swear that someone was ringing the Liberty Bell in the parking lot. My vision blurred into waves. I was grateful for the hand of my friend Jenna steadying me as I walked through the clinic doors. Not a perfect time to enter a new clinic without an appointment. I prayed they wouldn’t turn me away. As we rounded the corner I was nearly thrown off balance by a beautiful cherubic toddler.

“I’m so sorry.” The mom scooped up her daughter. “She jus’ keeps me a running all over the place.”

“She’s such a beautiful baby. I’m fine.” I watched as they rounded the corner of the waiting room. I remembered the days when my boys lead a merry chase around stores, clothing racks, churches and yes––waiting rooms. My heart went out to her. But the pain hammered on. My friend handed me off to the nurse who was waiting for me. All else was forgotten as I sought the relief of strangers…

After my favorite part of the office visit was over, the dreaded “weigh in.” I sat in the waiting room. Through pounding haze, I realized that Jenna had found a new friend. She was sitting on the floor with the baby who had nearly tripped me earlier. The mother was resting in a chair pouring her heart out to my friend. The tears were flowing, the baby was chortling and Jenna was comforting a perfect stranger. I was in awe.

Later as we walked out of the clinic, I couldn’t resist teasing Jenna “You can’t wait to be a grandma.”

“Are you kidding? I’m already a surrogate grandma for the Smith kids at church.”

“No, I mean when your kids have babies, silly.” I held my head. The pounding never ceased.

“I can wait. I want to tell you something when we get to the car.” The Toyota was a few feet away. We climbed in and she started up the engine.

“Kara, I prayed for something specific this morning.”

I turned towards her. “What was that?” She had my full attention.

“After you called for a ride, I asked Father, that I might be of service to someone and to share the Gospel too. We met this lady, because, she was placed in our path by Him. She needed help, Kara. She poured her heart out to me while she rested–– to me a perfect stranger. She’s a single parent and out of work. She used to ride the bus for hours one-way to work, leaving her kids alone. Then they had a drive by shooting last week!” Jenna pressed a hand to her mouth, fingers trembling as she drove towards home. “We’ve got to find a way to help her! I have her phone number. I know we can find the resources to help. She wants to work but without a car it’s really tough.” The car slowed as Jenna turned onto my street. “I invited her to the Church Christmas dinner. She told me that her kids aren’t getting gifts this year. We can at least solve that problem right away.”

“She seems like a good mom.” I watched the road ahead. “I have a thought…we’re going to give our Jeep to charity this week. It’s rusty, but still works well. Do you think it would be insulting to offer it to her?”

“Kara, I really don’t think so. All we can do is ask. I’ll give her a call.”

Jenna dropped me off at my house. As I reflected on the morning, I was amazed at how Father had worked through us to help another one of his children.

The phone rang. “Hello?”

“Jenny, I couldn’t wait to get home to tell her about the Jeep. Guess what?”


“She can’t believe anyone would give her a Jeep.”

“Well, I could charge a dollar.” I laughed out loud. “I won’t go any higher.”

“Thanks again. I’ll bring her over tomorrow.”

The next morning I opened the door to Jenna, Lorna and her baby. This beautiful woman reached out to hug me tight. Understanding tore at me as the tears flowed.

Lorna sobered as she pulled away, “I nearly gave up yesterday. I’ve praised God nearly all night. I got called in for a job interview today!”

“Well, you should be hugging, Jenna. She prayed Father would guide her to help someone yesterday. I just happened to have a very used, well loved Jeep.”

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This article has been read 775 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany12/14/06
Wonderful story of how we can make ourselves available to help anyone - your friend was a hero to notice and help!
Edy T Johnson 12/14/06
Your writing is so interesting, with sweet characters. I have just a small critique: what happened to Kara's bad headache? This reader wanted to know. I would just add a sentence to wrap up that part of the story (such as: These pesky migraines served God's purpose, today!)so you don't leave your readers dangling.

One other blip got by your radar: "Jenny" should be "Kara" in the phone conversation. But, stuff like that happens to all of us, I know!

Jan Ackerson 12/15/06
Some great phrases: the Liberty Bell bit, the relief of strangers...this is well-written.
Betty Castleberry12/19/06
Very nice portrayal of an unsung hero. There were some really good descriptive phrases as well. I liked this a lot.
Donna Powers 12/20/06
A truly touching story and it's something that any of us could do if we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for sharing this.
Jen Davis12/20/06
I loved how Jenna had prayed that God would guide her to help someone and that she was able to. A very sweet story with a wonderful message. I loved the title too!
terri tiffany12/21/06
Merry Christmas Valora!!! Congrats on placing!! Whoo hoo!!
Leigh MacKelvey12/21/06
congrats on placing! Great story!
Donna Haug12/21/06
I too would like to have seen the headache tied in at the end - even if it didn't go away. Loved your description of the little toddler. I've been there! ;) Congratulations!
Edy T Johnson 12/21/06
Congratulations, friend! It's a thrill to see your name in the headlines!
Ann FitzHenry12/22/06
Congratulations, Val!! I love your title. It's a real blessing to see your name in the winner's circle. Congratulations again my dear friend!
Val Clark12/30/06
Well done, Valora! A sweet story of quiet obedience. (Do watch out for repetition... rounded the corner... :-))