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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Breathe (08/19/10)

TITLE: I'll breathe again
By Anthony David
08/25/10


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Robert gasped. His skeletal frame shook. He became quiet after that. “Is he dead?” thought Solomon who was standing next to the bed. The seconds ticked by. “ I I can’t breathe” Robert’s whisper trailed off as he gasped again.

Solomon sat next to the bed and reminisced. Both of them had been good friends at school. Once they finished school they parted ways. They were not in touch till a few days back. Meeting after decades, Solomon had been aghast as he saw the thin frame of Robert. “What have you done to yourself? I can hardly recognize you Rob! You were so healthy and full of life in school!” he exclaimed.

Robert looked ashamed of himself. “What shall I say Sol?” he replied, “I failed in my job. Felt depressed and moved away from home. Got caught with the wrong crowd. Started going out with them, doing drugs and what not. Then I caught HIV. Now it has become AIDS. None of my good time friends are near me. No one is around and I am all alone.” Tears began to fall freely on his stubble as he tried to hold on to Solomon’s hand.

Solomon found a ramshackle room for Robert. He made sure that he got some food and medicines. He convinced a doctor friend to visit Robert. Yet, Robert’s conditioned worsened as the days went by. “It’s no use Sol,” said the doctor after one of his visits, “He won’t survive. The infection in the lungs is becoming worse despite the antibiotics. His resistance is minimal. You can put him in a hospital if you want. But I won’t give him more than a week.”

“What more can I do?” thought Solomon as he sat in his room, “Of course I can pray!” He knelt down and bowed his head, “Heavenly Father!” he prayed, “I pray for my dear friend Rob, Lord! Please let him live Lord. Let him know your forgiveness before you take him. I plead with you for his soul my Lord. Hear my prayer and let him be saved.” Tears rolled down as he got up.

As he walked in to Robert’s room the next evening, Solomon felt that there was a difference. Of course Robert still was looking the same. He did look sick. But yet, there was a smile on his face! He saw a tattered copy of a Gideon’s New Testament lying near Robert’s pillow. “What happened, Rob? Glad to see you smile” he enquired.

“You won’t believe what happened last night Sol.” Said Robert slowly, “the Lord Jesus Christ Himself appeared to me in a dream. He said ‘I know how you are suffering Rob. I too couldn’t breathe when I was on the cross of Calvary, you know. I suffered and died for you Rob. Won’t you let me into your heart my dear son? I’ll come in and cleanse you up’ I got up with a start Sol. Then I wept and wept for hours. I knelt down besides this bed and prayed as I never did all my life. I simply invited the Lord to come into my heart. And He did Sol, He did! I can feel him all over my body now! I dug out this tattered old New Testament and started poring over the gospels! Thank you for caring for me Sol. I am now saved! “

He fell down on his pillow exhausted with this long speech. He continued to struggle to breathe. Solomon breathed his thanks to the Lord. “I knew you would listen to me Lord”, he whispered, “Thank you Lord for saving my dear friend Rob, right here on his sick bed. Thank you Jesus.”

Robert slowly opened his eyes, “Sol, Sol,” he whispered as he came out of his stupor, “I may breathe my last now Sol. But but I’ll breathe again soon, the lovely breath of heaven! I’m sure Sol. The Lord is calling me”

“Hallelujah! May the Lord’s Name be ever praised!” said Solomon as he sat watching Robert die peacefully.


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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/27/10
It's strange as Christians we often think or say well the least I can do... or there's nothing left to do but to pray. Praying shouldn't be the last thing, it should be the first. It's not the least we can do for another it is the most. Your story really drove that point home.