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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gossip/Rumors (either or both) (10/28/10)

TITLE: Innocence of the Innocent
By Sarah Elisabeth


A trip to the grocery store with a six year old rarely concludes without incident. Kathy had experienced it all – stomping feet past the candy aisle, a “Can we go now?” whine to set a clock by, the cry of “I need to go” three times in half hours time, and an accidently demolished canned goods display. Yet nothing prepared Kathy for Adrian’s crowning moment. Or maybe it was hers.

Their trek down aisle three led to a bump into with Jackie, an unmarried friend from church. Kathy gulped. If only she’d started at the bottom of her grocery list.

“Hi, Jackie, how are you?” Kathy wondered if the person receiving a sugary greeting was ever fooled by it. They would be the only one.

“I’m doing well, thanks. How about yourself?” Jackie hauled her loaded cart to a stop, and checked the status of her newborn’s nap in the carrier.

“She’s such a doll,” Kathy cooed with a glance at the sleeping angel.

“I wanna see!” Adrian stood on tip toe next to the cart.

Kathy lifted Adrian to the best vantage point then lowered her back down. Adrian wasted no time with her question, directed at Jackie. “Is that your baby?”

The two women laughed until the next words tumbled out of Adrian’s mouth. “’Mommy told Daddy she wasn’t sure whose baby it was.”

If Kathy ever doubted the term ‘dead silence’, she didn’t now. It filled the gap between the two women like liquid. Full. No way to breathe. Kathy stood with bright red spreading from her cheeks down to her neck, with not one polite thing to say. How much easier it had been to restack cans.

Kathy forced her mind to revisit the conversation she had with her husband the evening before. She’d just got off the phone with a close friend from church who had shared a fairly juicy bit about Jackie. She’d thought her low tone and the Veggies Tales movie was ample safety precautions against young ears.

God heard it. Think before you speak, Kathy. Think. How great a forest a little fire kindles

Kathy tried to drain the silence, using a classic statement. “I don’t know what to say.”

Jackie laughed the only way she could - awkwardly. “It’s okay. I gotta go. Bye.”

Kathy didn't go to church for three straight Sundays. She used her time in study of the scriptures, and in earnest prayer.

Seated at the kitchen table, she spent the third Sunday writing Jackie a letter of apology for speaking about something she knew little of. As she signed the letter, Adrian galloped in.

Adrian leaned on Kathy’s knee, holding up a piece of paper. “Look what we learned in Sunday School, Mommy.”

Kathy examined the drawing with admiration. “Good, Adrian. What was the lesson on?”

“Mousetraps. They help us remember that our tongues can say bad things and trap us and hurt people.”

Kathy smiled. Thank You, Lord. I think Adrian and I need another trip to the grocery store to buy Mommy a mousetrap – and have a talk about repeating things we hear.

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This article has been read 722 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 11/04/10
Oh my, you captured the embarrassing and awkward moment perfectly--I think I was turning red. Out of the mouths of babes--great age-old message we all need to hear.
Sarah Heywood11/06/10
This was really good! I liked how Kathy used her mortification as a reason to change her habits. I also thought it was good writing in how you had Adrian trotting in at the end with his SS lesson. It packs a visual whallop and leaves the image of a mousetrap over our tongues for the reader to take away. Great writing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/07/10
Out of the mouths of babes! It's amazing how much we can learn by listening yo our little ones. I particularly related to the lesson of if Adrian heard then God certainly heard it.
Amanda Brogan11/08/10
Absolutely perfect! I love how you discribed the "liquid" silence and how Kathy tried to "drain" the tension from the moment.

Love the quote from James and Adrian's discription of her Sunday School lesson. How awesome that God often using children to teach us important lessons! I admire Kathy's "cleansing" herself from her sin of gossip through Scripture and prayer.

Thumbs up! (I'll be back on Thursday to congratulate you on a win of some sort. ;) )
Cheryl Harrison11/08/10
Caitlyn Meissner11/08/10
I enjoyed this story, and the lesson it told. I could feel your poor MC's embarrassment. I'm glad she learned something from it, though. I did think Adrian was a boy at first, but I soon got it straightened out. :) Good job!
Mona Purvis11/08/10
Well done, for sure. Reminds me to be more careful about jumping to conclusions and seeking to see people as Jesus does.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/09/10
You put me right in the grocery store with the MC, feeling her embarrassment and shame as though it were my own. What a wonderful way to convey a message!
Rachel Phelps11/09/10
I really love this. I remember hearing grown-ups talking about things and wondering why they didn't go by the rules they taught me about what is and isn't polite to say. Excellent, girl.
Carol Penhorwood 11/10/10
Entertaining and profound, all at the same time! Loved it.
Lollie Hofer11/10/10
You captured that akward moment beautifully. Great message here without preaching it one bit.
Patricia Turner11/10/10
And the truth will out. I felt Kathy's embarrassment like it was my own and I really like the way you showed how the Lord can work to change a heart. Very well written.