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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)

TITLE: The Voice
By william price
07/11/07


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“Gram-mommy!”

The Fisher Building was 67 stories tall. Elisa Rockford was dangling from her office window hanging on with both hands. Smoke was pouring out over her as an angry fire was devouring the top floor of the skyscraper.

Minutes before, the blaze had started quickly near the elevators and rapidly spread. Smoke and extreme heat blocked the stairwell. The sprinkler system failed. Elisa and her boss were trapped.

The young wife, mother of one, church pianist and executive assistant was praying feverishly as her grip on life began to weaken. The heat from the inferno inside was burning her fingers. She didn’t want to look down.

“Gram-mommy!”

Earlier that morning, Elisa had cooked breakfast for her son and husband. She gave them each a kiss as they left for work and the school bus. Just before her son got on the bus he turned around with a big smile spread across his freckled face.

“Don’t forget about the game tonight, Mom.”

“I won’t, Honey. I love you.”

“Awww, Mom.”

A shriek and shattering glass startled Elisa as she watched a shadowy figure burst through the window next to her. She closed her eyes until the scream suddenly silenced 670 feet below.

“Dear God in Heaven, please hear me. My child, my husband, Gram…”

Elisa was about to release her hold on the window pane when she thought she heard a familiar whisper in the midst of the roaring blaze above and sirens below.

“God, is that you?”

She dug her charred fingers deeper into the melting frame of her window.

Let go.

“No! I won’t. They can’t make it without me. I’m a mother, a wife, a granddaughter.”

Let go.

Elisa didn’t know where her strength to continue to hold on was coming from. Flames were starting to bite her fingers. The heat was sucking the breath from her lungs.

“God!”

Let go.

“Yes, Lord.”

Elisa didn’t realize she was falling. She was concentrating on the voice.

Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Twenty-five years earlier, Elisa was taught Philippians 1:6 from her grandmother. At night, while dressed in one of her many pairs of footed pajamas, she was made to repeat it before she went to sleep.

“Why do I have to say this every night, Gram-mommy?”

Her grandmother would glance over at a picture of Elisa’s mother on the nightstand and then kiss her grand-girl’s forehead.

“Because it gives you confidence, my little darling, confidence that God is in charge.”

The last words to escape Elisa Rockford’s lips were, “I trust you, Lord.”

A week later, Elisa’s husband and son were dressed in matching black suits standing in front of a yellow and red flower covered casket. Their polished black shoes were splattered by falling tears.

Between sniffles and sobs a soothing voice whispered in their ears.

“Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

“Amen,” said the father.

The child looked up at his dad with tear streaked eyes.

“Daddy, I didn’t know you knew the Bible like Mom. She used to tell me that scripture every night.”

“That wasn‘t me speaking, Son.” The father choked on his words as he gave a look heavenward.

“Was it God, Daddy? I bet Mom asked Him to tell us that. Don’t you think, Daddy?”

The father gazed back down at his son and forced a smile from his trembling lips.

“Yes, Son, I’m sure she did.”

“I’m confident, Daddy, are you?”

“I’m getting there, Son. I’m getting there.”

An hour later, a crowd of mourners stood around the fresh grave of Elisa Rockford who was just laid to rest next to her mother’s tombstone. An elderly woman draped in a black shawl sat trembling in her wheelchair.

“Are you okay, Gram?”

The woman looked down into the sparkling eyes of her great-grandson. She was amazed how much he looked like his mother and grandmother.

“I’m far from okay, Little-one, but I’m confident.”

“Me too, Gram. Did you hear God whisper that too?”

The woman closed her eyes for a moment and wryly smiled.

“Yes, Little-one, a long, long time ago.”


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This article has been read 879 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 07/12/07
To be honest, I don't know what to say about this one. It's a sad story, but it's triumphant too! And it certainly is well done.
Dee Yoder 07/12/07
Here's where the rubber meets the road in Christianity; to accept death in our loved ones before we think they should have died, yet feel a sense of God's joy and peace in our lives and hearts from then on. We don't like to think about it, and we still believe this world, since it's all we know, is better! Your story made me think about my notions that answered prayers should always have an "earth happy" ending.
Janice Cartwright07/12/07
It's the grandmother who stole my heart in this one. Ancient, battle-scarred, rickety old saint whose faith and confidence became a legacy to her family.
Mo 07/12/07
Wow, the ending made me a bit teary.
terri tiffany07/13/07
Very sad but good - I agree too- the grandmother made the story by her teaching. Good emotional fiction.
Dixie Phillips 07/13/07
I'm a sucker for "grandmas". God happened to give me two of the very best. They are now with Jesus and your story was a great blessing to me. Thank you!
valerie chambers07/13/07
This was so awesome right up until the casket I thought perhaps the firefighters caught her--oh that life could always be like that but the truth is We can be confidant no matter what.Extremely well done!!!!
Joanne Sher 07/16/07
You've got some real drama here - I was enraptured in this story throughout. A bit of tightening up here and there, and it would be an absolute masterpiece. Wonderful for a "quick job."
Janice S Ramkissoon 07/16/07
I relate so well to this piece. I saw my grandma in the 'gram-mommy'of this story. Grandma used to make do the same thing when we were small. I carried it with me through life and some of those bible verses become ready-made pieces to save the day. Thanks for the memory.
Jan Ackerson 07/17/07
This is so good that it has left me speechless. You just get better and better with each entry.
Jacquelyn Horne07/17/07
Very sad. But so true in many cases. Facing death is not always a place of confidence. But we, as children of God, must learn to be confident in him.
Loren T. Lowery07/17/07
“I’m far from okay, Little-one, but I’m confident.”
What a great message! In the end it all boils down to that - trust. Great, gripping story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/17/07
This is just an excellent story by a gifted writer.
Edy T Johnson 07/17/07
Absolutely on topic and on target with one of my all time favorite scripture verses. Definitely not a sugar-coated version of life, you capture the reality that God's Word gives to the Christian's life. Great job, and Happy Birthday, today, too :)
Sharlyn Guthrie07/17/07
Gripping story! I especially liked the aspect of spiritual legacy witnessed here across generations.
Linda Watson Owen07/17/07
Yes, I 'amen' the spiritual legacy strength in this story. I want to be this kind of grandma someday!
Kristen Hester07/18/07
Oh this is so touching. I really was hoping that they weren't at the mother's funeral and she would be there with them. But that is not how life works all the time, is it? Very, very nice story. You had me from start to end.
Sara Harricharan 07/18/07
Beautiful. Heart-breaking. There was so much packed into this. An enjoyable read all the way through, I liked how you used 'condfident'. Awesome writing! ^_^
Maxx .07/18/07
Excellent dialogue. Near perfect characters. This is very strong ... and of course the emotion was spot on. Very very good!
Patty Wysong07/18/07
Oooh. THAT's confidence! Clinging to God when everything else has crumbled.
Catrina Bradley 07/20/07
A true to life drama, without the MC being saved in the end. I usually don't like unhappy endings, but you turned unhappy into triumph. Great job.