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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)

TITLE: Tapping On The Wall-Melinda and Jack's Final Chapter
By Sharon Singley


Melinda huddled in the corner of her cell, awaiting her execution for ‘crimes against humanity’. Her crime? She would not denounce a religion which practiced unapologetic intolerance. But the charges might as well have read, ‘refusing to denounce Christ.’ She and Jack were arrested, tried, and sentenced all in one day. Now they awaited death by beheading, an ancient ritual which somehow made it back to modern times. She figured the method of execution was in direct relation to the so-called crime, at least in the eyes of those in authority. They scheduled the execution for six months from the date of sentencing.

She pressed her ear against the cold wall, trying to hear any sound from the next cell. This is where they kept her husband, Jack. Exhaustion wrapped itself around her weary frame and for a moment she actually found rest as she leaned on the wall. But in no time she was jarred awake by a tapping sound. Tears stung her eyes and a soft smile formed as she absentmindedly touched the wall in response, as if her touch could penetrate the solid cement and caress the man she loved on the other side. She tapped lightly in response letting him know she was with him.

This ritual of tapping on the wall began the day after their sentencing. Jack would tap a few times, break, tap a few times again, break, and then tap again. At first Melinda wasn’t sure if this was random or if he was trying to communicate something. But then she began to get the pattern! He tapped twenty four times, stopped, tapped twenty nine times, stopped, tapped eleven times, stopped. Finally she gave a little tap to let him know she understood, and then sat back to concentrate on the numbers.

She had a gut feeling he was trying to recite scripture to her. It took her a good portion of that first day to figure out exactly what he meant. She thought perhaps the first set of numbers represented a book in the Bible, the second set represented a chapter, and then logically the third would be the verse. After straining to remember the order of the books in the Bible, she finally understood! The scripture he was tapping out was Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” She praised God that she and Jack had spent so much time reading and memorizing The Word.

From that day forward they would tap scriptures out to each other, giving encouragement through a hard, cold wall. The scriptures would come alive within them, sustaining them through fear, through sorrow, sadness, and loneliness. They could not read the Word of God with their eyes, but they could read it with their hearts. The words were filled with power and moved like fire through the prison cells.

Melinda jumped at the sound of keys in the cell door. Although terror rushed through her soul for a brief moment, she stood and faced her captors with her head held high. On this day, six months to the day of her sentencing, she would walk a final walk out of her cell and into freedom. In her heart soared the scripture Jack tapped out today. Her mind repeated the words her heart had read.

‘Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”’ (Luke 23:43)

They could imprison her, they could kill her. But they could not erase the Word of God dwelling within her.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Graham02/01/07
This love story is very poignant and touching. The power of God's love can overcome any challenge. Although separated by prison walls, this man and his wife remained strong in their faith in God and love for each other. You captured their story in a very moving way, with rich imagery and feeling. Very well-written.
Jan Ackerson 02/02/07
Very good--a strong statement about the value of memorizing scripture, and of being firm in one's faith. Creative use of the topic word, too.
Virginia Gorg02/03/07
Very nice - and has the distinct sound of what the future could be. Nice writing, pulled me in, and I wanted to keep reading.
Sharlyn Guthrie02/03/07
Your story has many wonderful elements, and the take on the topic is creative. Great writing!
Jacquelyn Horne02/03/07
This is a good story. Makes you wonder what led up to this. The ending is clear. Thanks for sharing.
Donna Powers 02/04/07
Excellent story and what a wonderful testimony! This reads like a chapter in the "Left Behind" series (and I mean that as a compliment). I loved the love story and Jack's way of sending her the scripture verses. Very good!
Birdie Courtright02/08/07
I love stories of herioc faith. You did a great job with this. Congrats on your win!