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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)

TITLE: Imprint Upon My Heart
By c clemons
09/08/09


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Growing up in a small town fifty years ago, had its many rewards but it also had some drawbacks. The bonus of small town living was being able to leave the front door unlock and your car too. Car alarms? What was that? Neighbors were actually neighborly. People looked out for one another and would come together for a common cause. The telephone party line kept people somewhat nicer because you never knew who would be listening in. Imagine that, actually sharing the same phone line. Does anyone remember the phone numbers that use to have a location before the number? It might be Butterfield-8 7654. It's funny that after all these years I still remember our first telephone number that was all numbers, 524-5603.

I will never forget the church picnics with my mother's fried chicken. Going to the amusement park, or riding the roller coaster we called the 'Old Wooden Monster'. Mr. Softee was every kids' friend, (next to the Dairy Queen of course). You have not lived until you have purchased your first footlong (hotdog) at the Queen with your own money.

Playing baseball in the street, or playing whatever until the street lights came on. Having dinner with the family at the dinner table discussing your day. For an outing Dad would pile us in the car on Sundays and take us for a ride either to the country or to the lake.

The one bad memory I have from childhood will never ever leave me. In fact it changed my whole perception of the world. Being a small town there were only a few elementary schools. So when the two little girls went missing everyone knew who they were. They were younger than me probably second or third graders. I was a fourth grader. The park where we all played on the swings was the last place they were seen.

Until that time, everything was alright with my world. Adults were authority figures and to be trusted totally. The report was that some man had snatched these little girls. It was then that my mother warned us repeatedly to never talk to strangers or go with anyone we did not know. I found myself looking behind every tree thinking some scary man was going to jump out at me.

Sadly, about a week later the two little girls were found dead in a drain pipe in the park. The perpetrator was a guy from the neighborhood. He confessed and told the police how he had lured the little girls away with candy. The only good thing that I can think of that came out of that was, a safety movie that re-enacted what had happened. It was shown in the schools for many years after that.

The drawback of the small town was the parents of the perpetrator remained there amongst the stares and finger pointing for years.

I have many memories of growing up some good some bad, thankfully more good than bad, but I shall never forget when the innocence of a child was shattered. Unfortunately because of that terrible incident I carried distrust and fear for many years. It was not until I acquainted myself with the author and finisher of my faith, that I no longer automatically doubt and walk in fear. He gave me neither. My heart has now been imprinted with something else.


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This article has been read 382 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Johnson 09/12/09
It is the nature of our sinful world that spawns such senseless tragedy. Thank God for the fact that He offers redemtion, and allows us to imprint His mercy on our hearts.
Allen Stark09/16/09
A hard article to write, and even harder to recall such a tragedy.
Colin Swann09/17/09
This sounds like a testimony - if it is I'm glad Jesus put things right and I suppose a restored view of the majority of mankind, as well - very well and interestingly written. Thanks