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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: Nose Prints on My Window
By Teri Wilson


Alice sat at her window that beautiful Tuesday morning in September and watched the people falling in the sky. They looked almost as though they were floating, like colorful leaves on a crisp autumn day. Imposing gray buildings blocked her view of the sidewalk below and she was glad. She preferred to think the jumpers had landed softly in the arms of angels.

The two towers stood for barely another hour, their thick black garlands of smoke reaching for miles. Then the world shook and everything became gray. Alice choked on the sooty powder creeping in through her closed window and shut the lace curtain.

“Are you all right in there?” The voice on the other side of the door was barely discernable among the rumbling thunder making its way through the city streets.

It took Alice more than a few minutes to make her way to the door. When she opened it, she found herself facing the young man from upstairs. “I’m fine. Thank you for checking on me.”

“Are you having any trouble breathing?”

“No. There’s just a little dust.”

“Would you like me to call a doctor for you?”

“I think the doctors need to go where they’re really needed, son.”

Tears pooled in the corner of the young man’s eyes. “Are you going to be alright here alone?”

Alice nodded and the young man disappeared down the hall. She was quite accustomed to being alone.

But as one sorrowful day followed another that awful week in September, Alice found she had never felt so isolated from the world around her.

God, I just wish there were something I could do.

The young man from upstairs was volunteering at the hospital, churches were calling for people to help at Ground Zero and there were blood drives all over the city. Yet, Alice remained in her apartment. Useless.

God, it’s horrible being old. It should have been me in those buildings. No one would miss an old woman like me.

She lifted her handkerchief to her weathered face and wept; wept for the lost and lonely, wept because there was nothing she could do to help a single soul. She sat like that for many hours until she could weep no more. Then, for the first time since Tuesday morning, she made her way to the window.

She peeled back the curtain, unmoved since the towers had fallen. When she looked to the right, she could see the apartment of the sweet young woman next door who was listed among the missing. Her eyes clouded once again with tears and she turned to walk away. But then she saw them.

Nose prints on her neighbor’s window.

Alice’s delicate fingers shook as she dialed the number for the SPCA, the one that had been scrolling across the bottom of her television screen for days.

“SPCA hotline.”

“My neighbor’s been missing since Tuesday and I think there might be an animal inside her apartment.”

“We’ll send someone right over.”

Alice wrung her hands nervously until the man with SPCA printed in large block letters on his chest stood in her doorway. In his arms he held a trembling Chihuahua.

“Well, you were right, ma’am. It’s a good thing you called us.”

“Do you think he’ll be okay?”

“He needs some water and a good meal. Physically, he’ll be fine. Just a little lonely, that’s all. Thanks again, ma’am.”

The burly man turned away with the quivering pup tucked under his arm.

A Bible verse Alice had not heard in many years rang in her ears. God sets the lonely in families.

“Wait a minute! I’m lonely, too.”

The man turned back and looked at Alice standing in her doorway. “Excuse me, ma’am?”

“I’m lonely, too. Maybe he could stay here with me. I’ve been praying and asking God for a way I could help someone and this must be it. I’m an old woman, but I can still help. God sets the lonely in families, you know. I could be his family.”

Alice’s face beamed with joy and purpose and the man thought he had never seen a woman look so beautiful. He held the dog out and placed him carefully in Alice’s hands.

“Yes, He does. You take good care of him. He’s lucky you were here to save him.”

Alice closed her eyes, held the Chihuahua’s soft face up to her cheek and wondered if just maybe it was the other way around.


“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” Psalm 68:5-6.

The Holy Bible, New International Version.

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This article has been read 1100 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/03/07
This started beautifully. I found the solution to be not quite as strong, though. Still, lovely story.
Jacquelyn Horne05/03/07
A wonderfully written story. God answers prayer. I liked the verse used here.
Joy Faire Stewart05/04/07
Excellent story of doing what we can...love that she gave the dog a home.
Betty Castleberry05/04/07
Very touching. I'm happy the lady took the dog. They really did need each other. Thanks for a very good read.
Mo 05/04/07
william price05/05/07
I don not think I have ever been as impressed as I am with this story. It is beautiful. One of my top five favorites here, ever. Nothing "wow" or gimmicky here, just great writing and crafting. No beginning, middle or end, just a perfect unit, great flow, voice, tempo.
Masterful. And destined to be published and enjoyed elsewhere. This is why I love to read. It's writing like this that inspires me to write. God bless Faith Writer!
Lynda Schultz 05/05/07
What a moving story. Well done.
Joanne Sher 05/05/07
Excellent description, and so heart-wrenching. I was with this woman from the first word to the last.
Angela Winters-Turner05/07/07
This is a very touching story. Great Job!
Crystal Dueck05/07/07
What a lovely story, and filled with emotion that could be felt. Great job!
Loren T. Lowery05/07/07
In a word: wonderful! And now I've added a new word to the gifts of the Holy Spirit - Watchful. If was her gift and you've shown how it can so well be used.
Great writing!
Sheri Gordon05/07/07
This is wonderful. Beautiful writing. So easy to read, and flows nicely. What a great message -- we're all useful in God's plan. Great, great job.
Jan Ackerson 05/07/07
Your first paragraph is stunning. Simply wonderful writing.
Donna Powers 05/09/07
A very touching and lovely story. I hope it's true. Thanks for sharing it
Elizabeth Burton05/09/07
I'm so glad I read this! Watching my mother go through that "I'm old and useless" feeling has been tough-I think I'll run this off and give it to her. Thanks for brightening my day!
Sara Harricharan 05/09/07
Aww! This was cute and kind of sad at the same time. I could really feel for Alice, thinking she was useless. I thought she was taking in a young guy though and not a dog, but maybe I just missed the definition somewhere. Great story! ^_^
Rita Garcia05/09/07
Beautiful, inspirational and wonderfully written!
Martha Helton05/09/07
Wow. What a beautifully moving story. This brought tears to my eyes as the universal theme of loneliness so masterfully touched my heart--and I'm not considered an "old" lady yet! Keep up the great work! You inspired me!