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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)

TITLE: When Grace Came In
By Pamela Kliewer
09/17/08


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I stand on the precipice of my life enamored by what I see. The glitz, the glamour, the gargantuan salary. I’ve played at the game of life so long, I have it down to an art. But like I said, I’m standing on the precipice, so in reality it can’t be all that delightful can it? Why would I be standing here contemplating taking my life, if things were going as well as I’ve been pretending they are?

I was born to a modest family, with a modest home and modest income. My name is Kathleen – a modest name. Everything about my life was… uh-huh, modest. As I came into my teen years, it wasn’t enough. I wanted more. And while everything about my life was… modest, my looks weren’t. I was what most people referred to as drop-dead-gorgeous. By the time I was eighteen, I knew I wanted more to life than just the demure existence I had had all my life. I wanted to be somebody.

Because of my beauty I was able to push my way into modeling – rising quickly to the top. By the time I was twenty-four, I had ‘arrived.’

Now, at twenty-five, there were no more ladders for me to climb.

The twenty or so pills are in my right hand, a glass of water in my left. Within minutes the game of life I’ve been playing the last six years will be over.

Riiiiing.

Oh great, just what I need, a phone call at the hour of my demise. I might as well answer it…

“Hello,” I say with false cheerfulness.

“Kathleen, this is Derrick.”

Derrick. Oh my word. Why after all these years of silence would my older brother be calling me now?

“Wow. It’s been a long time. How’ve you been?” I had perfected the game of life, and spoke with a joy I didn’t feel.

“I’ve been great… but listen, I’m not gonna beat around the bush. Could you meet me for dinner? I’m in town and I really want to see you. There’s some important news… and… well, I’d rather tell you in person than over the phone.”

Oh gee… “Uh, yeah, okay,” I say as I toss the pills back in the bottle, stashing them in the medicine cabinet.

“What’s that noise?”

“Oh, uh, I was just taking some allergy medicine and I poured too many pills in my hand, so I was putting some back. What time do you want to meet?” I finished in a rush.

“Five o’clock at Applebee’s. I have table reserved for us already and that time of day on a Monday is usually pretty quiet.”

“Okay, I’ll be there.”

“Great. I look forward to seeing you, Sis.”

That was about my undoing. How long had it been since I heard that term of affection, or any term of affection for that matter, that wasn’t laced with someone wanting something from me?

*********

I stand on the precipice of my life, appalled by what I see. The glitz, the glamour, the gargantuan salary. In light of what my brother shared with me over dinner, it is all going to burn.

At first I accused him of ‘getting religion’ but as we continued to talk, I realized it was more than that. He truly had found peace in a relationship with Jesus Christ. I wanted that same peace, along with the glow emanating from his face. When I told him so, he told me all I had to do was ask Jesus to be Lord of my life. He prayed with me and now I feel a peace I have never known. I know from how my heart feels, that my face is glowing now, too.

Grace came in – God’s grace, and saved me from hell, and saved me, too, from continuing to play the game of life – now I’m determined to live life, not play it. Life is too precious to be merely played. It’s time to make something more of myself than just being a top-notch model… it’s okay to live a modest life, in more ways than one, and live life from my heart, rather than mindless posing, and endless parties.

I am in awe that at the moment of my deepest despair God saw me, saw my hurt, saw the pills in my hand, and sent Derrick to call. That was when grace came in. I bow my head in humble submission…


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This article has been read 427 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/18/08
Very well-written, and a great title ("Grace" is my favorite aspect of God).

The only thing I'd consider changing is the "riiiing" and the next line. I'm not a big fan of onomatopoeia in prose, especially that which doesn't really sound like its object. Consider something like "Just as I'm about to swallow the first half dozen pills, the phone interrupts me..."

This is a beautifully-written story, with superb characterization.
Beth LaBuff 09/19/08
I like the touch of humor infused in this serious topic "a phone call at the hour of my demise." This is good, "and saved me, too, from continuing to play the game of life – now I’m determined to live life, not play it…" I love the thought "when grace came in."
Shelley Ledfors 09/21/08
Beautiful! I like repetition of the phrases about her life (the glitz, the glamour...) And how her viewpoint changes from being enamored to being apalled--all because of grace. Lovely piece!
Chely Roach09/21/08
A very nice story with a wonderful message. Well done!
LauraLee Shaw09/24/08
This is an extremely moving story. I was caught off guard by my tears and thick swallows at the end. So humbling to think the ways and people the Lord uses to get our attention.

1 Corinthians 1:27
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."

I cannot say enough good things about this piece.
Leah Nichols 09/24/08
Great take on the topic, and very well done. I thought it read a little cliche, but it had a great point and storyline so it didn't take too much out of the piece. Excellent writing!