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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: Seven Thousand Miles of Change
By Dan Blankenship


“Well, God, I’m back again,” I say out loud from the comfort of my bed, “and I’m sure you’re aware that I still haven’t heard about that job interview.” My hands are folded and my sincerity evident.

[In the next room, the television provides some information: “More than 100 perished as a result of this devastating Caribbean hurricane.”]

“I know you want what’s best for me, Lord. I mean, this new job could really open doors for me.” I turn to my side and dream about my future as a Fortune 500 CEO.

[On the dining table, a few rooms away, the headline of the daily news displays a horrifying title: “Father Strangles His Own Child. Mother Collapses in Anguish When She Hears About the Crime.”]

“I know I’m probably getting on your nerves, Lord, but they say you can do anything. So, well…I just can’t imagine that this little request would be a major problem,” I continue, pausing only to turn up the air conditioner, and then returning to the bed.

[Three doors down, Mr. Horrington, in a fit of anger, uses his leather belt as a deadly weapon against a wife who never dreamed she had married a monster.]

“I guess some people would call me impatient, Lord. But I’ve always heard, ‘ask, and ye’ shall receive’, so I’m really just following your commands, right?” I notice that the spring fresh smell in my sheets is fading. Probably need to wash them in the morning, I think.

[An ambulance speeds by the house, on its way to a home where a young girl has decided to take her own life. Her mother struggles to get the pills to come out the way they went in. She cries out over and over, “Lord, don’t take my baby from me!”]

“Well, Lord, just wanted to say thanks for hearing me out. You’re probably very busy with some things far more important than my little request. Good night, Lord.”

[Seven thousand miles away, an American soldier is injured by a roadside bomb in the desert of Iraq. He cries out to God, “Please, Lord, I don’t want to die here. Let me see my son before it’s my time to leave this world.” And as the tears of worry stream down his face, he wonders: “If it is my time to go, will I have the patience to wait for the day my son joins me in Heaven?”]

God rested his hand upon the soldier and assured him that he would provide him the patience he needed no matter what the outcome of today’s events. The soldier looked to the glaring sun and promised God he’d never again take his life for granted. “I can’t believe the man I used to be, Lord. Thanks for changing me from someone who always took the easy road. Just three years ago, I was that spoiled kid, thinking I was going to be a Fortune 500 CEO without working for it. You made a man out of me, Lord. Thank you!”

I was loaded onto a body board. I managed a slight smile toward my rescuers, and I actually laughed – though it hurt a great deal – when I noticed the covers lacked that spring smell I used to find so necessary.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/29/08
Excellent juxtaposition between the somewhat shallow prayer and the situations going on nearby, unknown.

I had to re-read the ending twice to get it...maybe a little row of three asterisks to separate the last two paragraphs would signal the reader to be alert for a POV change.

Love the title, and the MC's change of spirit. The last paragraph is particularly strong.
Sunny Loomis 09/01/08
Very nicely done. Interesting back and forth between the prayer and what's going on around him. Soldier's growth in the lord was especially touching. Thanks.
Patricia Turner09/06/08
Amazing how you captured the bit of immaturity I think we all go through as believers. Only God can change that and you did an outstanding job of showing one of the many ways that He does. Wonderful writing!