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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: India (02/12/09)

TITLE: My Daddy
By Marita Thelander


Timothy rested his head on his mama’s arm and listened to his daddy preach. His left toe barely reached the floor and he let his right foot swing back and forth. He had heard this message many times. He even knew when his daddy would click the button to the next slide.

The pictures magnified on the screen from the slide projector were real. His daddy had already been to India. He returned to the states with new zeal to finish his itineration for monthly support.

Timothy squirmed, adjusted the right toe to rest on the ground and began to swing the left foot.

“Our role in India,” David’s voice resonated with passion, “will be to rescue these children from a life of slavery, illiteracy and ritualistic temple prostitution.”

Timothy scrutinized the face of the Indian girl that looked about his age. He winced at the lost look in her eyes.

With a grunt, Timothy leaned forward to look beyond his mama at his older sisters. They sat stiff and void of emotion. They didn’t want to move to India. He studied his mama’s face to see how she felt. She slid her arm around his shoulder and drew him in close.

“It’s almost time,” she whispered and kissed the top of his head.

“I know.” Timothy switched his foot pattern again.

“Last week,” David paused and looked at his family, “I…uh……”

David’s big shoulders heaved with a huge sigh as he struggled to compose himself. He wiped his eyes, and smiled at his son.

Timothy wriggled forward in his seat, both feet on the ground.

Joan rubbed the little boy’s back.

“Last week,” David started over, “My son asked if he could learn a song to sing when I tell my India stories. I have to tell you he caught me off guard. I stand here deeply humbled by my son’s childlike faith. Timothy,” David invited his son to the platform.

Timothy hopped out of his seat and made his way to the platform. He glanced back at his sisters. They looked at him quizzically, unaware of the change in the routine of their Daddy’s message.

With boldness, young ten-year-old Timothy took the microphone his daddy handed him. “Hi.”

A ripple of laughter floated across the congregation.

David sat by the pastor on the platform, behind his son. Timothy turned to look at him.

David nodded.

“My sisters and me, we don’t know if we really want to move to India. It isn’t going to be easy on us kids. It’s all sort of scary.”

The two girls sunk in their seats, embarrassed that people knew their true feelings.

“We don’t want to leave Grandma and Grandpa, but I have given it a lot of thought. I trust my daddy,” Timothy pointed to David, “and he trusts his Daddy,” he pointed heavenward. “So I want to sing you a song that tells you why we are going to India. It’s pretty simple really.”

As music began to play, Joan reached for her hankie and dabbed at her eyes.

In his young soprano voice, Timothy shared his heart with sincere compassion.

Everyday they pass me by,
I can see it in their eyes.
Empty people filled with care,
Headed who knows where?

On they go through private pain,
Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries,
Only Jesus hears.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize, people need the Lord?

We are called to take His light
To a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost
For sharing Life with one who's lost?

Through His love our hearts can feel
All the grief they bear.
They must hear the Words of Life
Only we can share.

Unaware of the level of emotion he had stirred in the midst of the crowd, Timothy beamed with pride, “So, that’s why we’re going to India. People need the Lord and my daddy is going to teach them about Him.”

Timothy casually hopped down the stairs off the platform and slid into his seat, left toe on the floor, right foot swinging.

“Folks,” the Pastor addressed the congregation, “we need to get this man back to India. People need the Lord, and Timothy’s daddy is the man to teach them about Him.”

The Pastor winked at Timothy, “And a child shall lead them, indeed.”

Author’s Note:
People Need the Lord, recorded by Steve Green, written by Greg Nelson and Phil Mchugh, 1996 on Sparrow Records label

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This article has been read 607 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Angela M. Baker-Bridge02/19/09
I remember my father showing his slides of India...he too came back with such a new zeal for a land still unknown to me. Touching story.
Laury Hubrich 02/19/09
I love your attention to detail in this piece. It is very well-written. I would have been wiping my eyes even as the little boy walked to the platform and grabbing another tissue during the middle of the song. Awesome job portraying a family in turmoil about changing their whole lives to follow God's call.
c clemons02/20/09
Good story, I am sucker for any story that's titled "My Daddy". Good job.
Holly Westefeld02/20/09
You did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of young Timothy.
And yes, my eyes are moist.
Jan Ackerson 02/22/09
Very sweet!

I was waiting for a little bit of conflict, or something unusual to pull me along into the story...but sometimes a cute little kid is all you need!
Seema Bagai 02/23/09
This is an adorable story. Good work.
Glynis Becker02/23/09
I could see it all happening and was moved like the crowds. Adorable piece!
Joanne Sher 02/25/09
So sweet and lovely. Really enjoyed this piece.Love that little boy!
Joshua Janoski04/20/09
I agree that this small child is enough to make this story a fun and enjoyable read. Stories don't always have to have intricate plotlines to be good. Sometimes having the simple leading of a child is all it takes. :)