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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: Windows of Opportunity
By Patty Wysong


“That's quite a load you've got there, Kylie,” Mable White called from her front porch where she sat with her feet up. “What are you up to today?”

Kylie parked her wagon at the bottom of the steps. “Can I wash your windows for you, Mrs. White? Mom says I'm a good window washer and I've brought everything I use to clean our windows.” She waved her hand toward her wagon of supplies, which included a step stool.

“Well, my goodness, child, you've surprised me! I'd love to have you clean my windows,” Mable said.

With a big smile Kylie grabbed her bucket and roll of paper towels, went up the steps, and got right to work with her squeegee.

“So, what are you saving up for this summer?” Mable asked as she watched Kylie work.

“Well, I'd like an mp3 player.”

“A window washing business is a great idea. You should be able to save enough fairly quickly. You could even call your business 'Windows of Opportunity'.” Mable chuckled at her own pun.

“Oh, I'm not doing this to be paid, Mrs. White,” Kylie hastened to assure her.

“You're not? Then why are you washing my windows?” Mable asked, perplexed.

Kylie bit her lip as she worked. “In Sunday school yesterday, Miss Beth told us that we could serve God by doing things for other people. She said serving God isn't something we have to wait to do until we're grown-up; we can do it right now. And she said there's always something we can do to serve Him, but that sometimes we need to do things we're not used to doing.”

Mable chuckled, nodding her head. “Miss Beth is right. Serving God is important and it is something you can do at any age.” She gazed up into the maple branches, thinking about what Kylie had said.

Lord, I'm not used to being the one who's on the receiving end of being served. I'd much rather be the one serving.

“So why aren't you serving instead of feeling sorry for yourself?”
came the silent reply.

Because I'm stuck in this chair with a lame knee!

“And there's nothing you can do while you're there?”
Before Mable could respond there was more. “Did you even stop to think that maybe you're there for a reason? That maybe it's time for you to do something other than the things you're used to doing?”

Mable looked over at Kylie.

“If a child can find a way to serve Me with her seemingly limited resources, don't you think you can find a way to serve me from your chair?”

Mable's eyes slid closed as the truth hit home. I'm sorry, Lord. You're right--there are many ways that I can serve You from right where I am. Help me to have a good attitude about this adjustment in my life. Bless Kylie, Lord. Her willing and sweet spirit have been an encouragement...” Mable's eyes popped open.

“Kylie, would you run in the house and get me a few things?” she asked.

“Sure, Mrs. White. What do you want?”

“That little lap stationery desk my son gave me, my Bible, and the church directory; that should get me going.” Mable smiled as she watched Kylie hurry into the house, feeling better than she had in weeks.

While Kylie washed windows, Mable wrote a few notes, praying as she wrote. She was just putting on her fourth stamp when Kylie lugged her bucket and step stool back around to the front of the house.

“You've been a tremendous blessing to me today, Kylie.” Mable said as Kylie climbed the stairs.

“For washing your windows?” Kylie smiled as she sank down into a matching chair.

“Yes, but not just that. Not only did you wash my windows, but you encouraged me, too—and that was also serving God.”

“Encouraging people is serving God, too?” Kylie asked.

“Yes, it is. Serving God can be done in many ways, and sometimes we just need to look around for windows of opportunity to serve Him.” Mable tapped the small stack of envelopes and smiled.

Kylie giggled. “And those windows don't even need washing!”

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This article has been read 881 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/29/07
A very sweet situation, with the youngster unintentionally helping to nudge Mabel along to use her own gift. I like it.
Joanne Sher 11/29/07
Great job with the character development especially. Love the message too, of course - good stuff.
Joy Faire Stewart11/29/07
Love the message in the piece. Great dialogue. You make the reader feel part of the story.
Laury Hubrich 12/01/07
This was a very good story with a great message. Thank you for sharing!
william price12/03/07
I'm a big fan of effective dialogue and this was superb. Excellent job. God bless.
Shelley Ledfors 12/03/07
Wonderful! Very sweet and engaging, and a great message as well. Loved it.
LauraLee Shaw12/03/07
This is a wonderfully written, feel-good all over kind of story. Thank you for putting an ordinary situation into an extraordinary message. :)
Dee Yoder 12/04/07
Wonderful! I love both of these characters. They're very real and the dialogue is perfect. It's a lovely, positive story about the gifts of the Spirit.
Yvonne Blake 12/04/07
The that girl was learning a valuable lesson! Also, this shows that we are never to old to learn or to serve the Lord. Great story!
Temple Miller12/04/07
I love your title's metaphor with a child cleaning the windows/eyes for the older woman to see. Terrific
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/04/07
You had a wonderful message in this lesson learned by a child and passed on. Very well written.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge12/04/07
You've preached several messages here as already noted... I'm sensitive to one not mentioned, that disability or illness doesn't stop us from serving God, it simply may change where and how... blessings
Sara Harricharan 12/05/07
A sweet story! I liked the character of Kylie. ^_^ She was fun and I know the feeling of saving up for a mp3 player...I bet she'll get it pretty soon and windows all over will be sparkling because of her gift of encouragment without even knowing it!
LaNaye Perkins12/05/07
You wove such a wonderful story here with your words. What a wonderful message you gave us. Great writing my friend.
Betty Castleberry12/05/07
There's so much truth in these 2 lines.
“Did you even stop to think that maybe you're there for a reason? That maybe it's time for you to do something other than the things you're used to doing?”
This was really good read. You did a great job.
Peter Stone12/06/07
Congratulations on your highly commended. I thoroughly enjoyed this cute story, and laughed at the joke at the end. 'Notes' should probably be 'letters'.
Catrina Bradley 12/06/07
I absolutely loved everything about this story. Great job, Peej. Congratulations on your HC. :) Love, Cat