Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)
TITLE: Marla Gets It
By Rhonda Clark
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A ripple of pain ran through my heart, and a flood of tears stood behind my eyes, but I maintained my stoic expression.
“I’m sorry, Mama ‘Nae, but all that trilogy stuff is confusing.” Marla’s forehead creased and bewilderment radiated from her innocent, ice-blue eyes.
I smiled sympathetically. “It’s ‘trinity’ not ‘trilogy.’ My voice was as smooth as butter. I didn’t want to put her off with condescension.
“Whatever.” She stared at the ceiling so I wouldn’t see the pool of tears gathering. Her nervous twitch took over her leg and the table began shake. I had to find a way to explain this to my youngest foster daughter. She’s been asking so many questions lately about salvation, but the most important thing won’t sink in.
My eye caught a glimpse of my cell phone, and I pick it up. “Marla, what’s this in my hand?”
“Duh, your cell phone.” I overlooked her surliness.
“What happens when you call this number?”
Again, she furrows her brow and gives me a look that says I’ve completely lost my mind. “Uh, you answer.”
“What about when the other kids call?”
She slammed her hands down with a huff, “Do you have a point?”
A wide smile parts my lips as I roll the phone over in my hand. “Don’t I always? This phone is my connection to you. If you need me, all you have to do is dial this number.”
She crossed her arms and squinted. Her leg began to shake even harder. “I thought you had a point.”
“Just like this cell phone is your connection with me, Jesus is our connection to God. His death and resurrection, is what gives us the connection. If you don’t have Jesus in your heart, then there can be no connection with God. Sort of like you knowing I have a cell phone, but don’t have my number.”
Several minutes passed as Marla connected the dots. While her thought process turned wheels inside her mind, I prayed, over and over that she’d get it. Then her face lit up with bright gleaming eyes and a broad smile. “That makes a lot of sense. You can’t phone someone unless you have their number. With Jesus in my heart, then I can call on God whenever I need Him.”
My insides leapt in praise to God, and the dam holding back my tears threatened to burst. “Yes, that’s it. With Jesus in your heart, you have God’s number. But, you don’t just call when you need Him. He likes it when you check in and tell Him how your day is going.”
Her glistening eyes narrowed. “Are you saying I don’t check in with you enough?”
“Let’s just say it would be nice if you let me know what’s going on in your life.” A giddy giggle fell from my smiling lips.
Marla mirrored my expression. “I could if I had a cell phone.”
I give her a little wink. “We’ll talk more about that after we file adoption papers.”
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