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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

TITLE: Supernatural Acts of Kindness
By LauraLee Shaw


To: Elaine__emeyer@friendmail.net

Subject: I’m DESPERATE!

On 4/16/07 10:55 AM, Jennifer Miller wrote:


I’m sorry I haven’t called you back, but I don’t think I could talk if I wanted to. I’m really strung out taking care of grandmom right now. I’m so afraid she’s going to fall that I can’t even sleep. Sheer exhaustion.

The medicare office said they’d send someone over for TWO lousy hours a week, Lainey! How am I supposed to do all this and manage the kids, too?

I know this stress will pass, but PLEASE pray for me. I could use a supernatural touch.


After pushing the send button, I fell to my knees in prayer. Lainey will pray, Lord. But I feel like I’m beyond help. I know You’re there, but I beg you to let me feel You in a real way.

I spent the next few minutes pouring out my weary soul to the only One that could fully understand. A deep thump and a clank sounded. I knew that Grandmom had fallen and hit the side of the bed’s metal frame.

“MOM!” my nine-year-old screamed from the bottom of the stairs, “Grandmammy fell again!”

“I’m coming!” I yelled as I flew down the stairs.

When I got to her room, Grandmom was trying to pull herself up using the iron post of the bed.

I stood over her and carefully grabbed her arms. “Here, let me help, ok?”

She smiled, and her eyes were thankful, though they had that far away look in them again. “OK,” she feebly responded.

While straining to get her back in bed, I gently scolded her: “Grandmom, you’ve GOT to stay in bed unless I help you, ok? It’s not safe for you to do it by yourself. Please use the bell to call for me, alright?”

It was only moments later that she was asleep again. Thank goodness. I tiptoed out of the room.

My little ones were anxiously waiting outside the door.

“Mom, is Grandmammy ok?”

“Did she fall?”

“Yes, but she’s ok now,” I reassured them tenderly.

“Mom, Mrs. Jones called. She said that she wanted to bring you over some dinner tonight,” my daughter reported.

My youngest chimed in, “Yea, lasagna—YUCK!”

Oh, Lord, please give me patience!

The phone rang, and I saw it was my mentor at church. I can’t face her right now, I thought. Yet as the answering machine picked up, I heard her lift up a prayer on my behalf. It moved me.

The doorbell interrupted her prayer message, and the dog began barking at the door. What now? I impatiently thought.

“Stop barking, Sally!” I snapped.

I opened the door to find my dear friend Laurie standing there. “I’d like for them to come and do homework with us for awhile, if that’s ok?”

My kids began to pull and beg at me.

“I don’t know what to say, Laurie," I spoke as the tears welled up in my eyes. "Um, sure...sure they can go. Thanks.”

She gave me a big hug and a knowing look. “Oh, and here’s your mail.”

I waved as she drove away with the kids in the back of her Suburban, and I collapsed into the first chair I could find. A feeling of thankfulness overwhelmed me. Thank you for the break, God.

As I remembered the pile of mail in hand, a card from my Bible Study group was on top. I hadn’t been able to go for several weeks, and it had just added to my sorry state of mind. When I flipped open the card, all of them had written a personal note, but it was the scripture in the center that grabbed me:

“You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
You encourage them and listen to their cry.”

Psalm 10:17

Oh, Father—You heard my cry…

It was as if God had reached down and caught my fallen spirit through the words and actions of the Christian friends He had provided for me. Refreshed and renewed, I went back to Grandmom’s room to show her the mail that had come for her: Two cards from her dear church friends, and a note from the Pastor. I was glad to find her awake.

We both cried together and spent some time by the side of the bed, thanking God for His supernatural acts of kindness.

And then our tears turned to rejoicing.

********************inspired by my own life experiences******************

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Member Comments
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Deborah Engle 11/16/07
This is a scenario all too familiar in many homes today. The story felt very realistic, and I could feel the relief and gratefulness of the MC as encouragement was offered. To have it come just as she prayed is awesome!
Peter Stone11/16/07
What a difficult situation to find yourself in, but so comforting to see how Christian friends rallied around you to help in so many encouraging ways.
Joanne Sher 11/16/07
You did an awesome job of capturing the anxiety and desperation of your MC, and of bringing in that so-needed encouragement. Great sense of place.
Seema Bagai 11/17/07
It is difficult caring for someone who is elderly. A great reminder to encourage those who are facing the same challenges as the MC. Great piece.
Tim Pickl11/17/07
Encouragement is courage heaven sent! God's Word tells us not to be weary in well doing, because we will reap if we don't give up-- But--during those times when we DO get weary, our Father gently reminds us that He is right there with us: His strength is made perfect in our moments of weakness. Thank you for sharing your faith experience--from the young ones to Grandmom, and the whirlwind of life in between!
Laury Hubrich 11/18/07
Very nice. I like how you intertwined the e-mail with actual contact with others. I really like this one! E-mail is a God-send in our busy world!
Dee Yoder 11/20/07
You've got all of the emotions, frustrations, and relief in the MC's manner and dialogue down pat! So realistically written, I felt I was in the room with her.
Beth LaBuff 11/20/07
This is very well written! You've written this from experience and the sense of overwhelm"ment" is evident in your writing. The ladies who ministered to you were used by God! What an amazing testimony!