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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)

TITLE: Opportunity Knocks
By Deborah Bennett


Lisa rolled over in the bed, pulled the pillow over her ears and tried to blot out the loud knocking at the back door of her home. Her husband snored next to her and down the hall, her two young sons slept peacefully, all oblivious to the racket that had awakened her.

“No,” she murmured throwing back the warm covers of her bed. It was Saturday morning, and she just wanted to sleep like everyone else.

Lisa’s displeasure seethed silently beneath the surface of her calm exterior as she glanced at the bedside clock and realized it was only 7 a.m. Pulling on a robe, she made her way to the back door, knowing full well who she would find standing on the doorsteps even before the she opened the door.

“Garrett,” she said staring down at the young boy looking up at her. “What are you doing out so early? Does you daddy know you are here?”

“He’s still sleeping,” the young boy told her. “Can Caleb and Cason play?”

Lisa’s anger began to slowly rise to the surface. This was nothing unusual, she realized. Garrett’s parents were divorced, and his dad, who lived next door, was always pushing the child off on her when he had him on the week-ends. Well, Garrett was not her responsibility, and this was one time he was not going to impose on her good nature…

“Garrett!” a small voice cried from down the hall. “Can he come in and play,” Caleb asked as he stood at his bedroom door and rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

“Yeah, let’s play,” echoed Cason as he came running up the hall to greet Garrett.

Lisa sighed wearily. She was stuck again – babysitting for her neighbor.
The day passed slowly for Lisa with the boys playing inside because it was too cold for them to go out into the yard. What began as playful games escalated into feuding, arguing and fighting as the day wore on with Lisa acting as referee. By the time Lisa finally convinced Garrett that it was time to go home, it was getting dark and Lisa’s nerves were frayed. What infuriated her even more was the fact that his father had not even bothered to call and check on him all day.

“Can Garrett go to church with us tomorrow,” Cason asked as they walked Garrett to the door.

“No,” Lisa replied quickly. “He can’t.”

Garrett’s hopeful face sank into a sad frown, but Lisa ignored it. She deserved a break, she told herself. And, besides, it was not her responsibility to take the child to church. His parents should do that! She had her own children to care for.

…….Lisa was relaxing in the swing on the front porch of her home, enjoying the peace of Saturday morning, when the police car pulled into the drive next door. Two officers exited the vehicle and knocked on the door of her neighbor’s house. When Garrett answered the door, the officers swiftly handcuffed the teen and led him to the patrol car where he was placed in the back seat.

“I wonder what kind of trouble Garrett has gotten into now,” Lisa remarked as Cason came out of the house. “If someone had taught him the ways of the Lord as a child, this would not be happening now.”

“Yeah, too bad he couldn’t have gone to church with us on Sundays back then,” Cason remarked as the patrol car drove away and Lisa stared at her son in stunned silence.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Roome 03/13/08
Very good reminder to use every opportunity that comes our way.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/13/08
I was really taken with the message of your story. The way your MC missed her opportunity to help a little boy know about Jesus was very sad.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/15/08
Wow, plus an "Ouch!" From the title to the end...a good story and well written. And with your "Oportunity Knocks", you nailed the topic this week. A great entry and very creative...I do hope this is fiction. Good Job!