Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)
TITLE: Paid in Full
By Trudie Nash
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Regina, blinded by her tears, folded like a papier mache doll, fell into the weather beaten chair on the porch, and wept. She never thought this would happen. Hadn’t she sent seed gifts to almost every televangelist who promised to pray the prayer of faith about her debts? She believed, they, not she could get a prayer through. What was an outstanding balance when you had some of the greatest preachers known to mankind pleading her cause before a just God? But know she couldn’t even go inside her own home without fear of being arrested. She felt like a failure, a nominal Christian whose witness was a joke.
“Lord, have mercy she cried,” as she wiped her face and headed back towards the car. “Have mercy, Father. What am I going to do?” No answer came. All of nature stood silent adding insult to the injury of being broke and now homeless. In a fog she turned the car into the flood of rush hour traffic. Not knowing what to do, she relapsed into the familiar. It was like the car drove it self, as she headed to her children whose undying love always comforted her.
Regina’s mind raced furiously as she headed towards the center where her children studied in the afterschool program. Every road her thoughts took was a dead end. There was nowhere to turn and no one to turn to. How will she say it? What if they cry? What if they want to go live with their father? The uncertainty of it all and her inability to answer her own questions made her afraid.
As she rolled into the school yard, the crunching gravel woke her from the daydream of her despair. I can’t lie to them; no matter how bad things are; I will them the truth. That attempt at bravado broke her heart and again the tears fell. No dam, real or imagined, could stop the waters of her perceived failure.
“Can’t put off the inevitable,” she thought. Her face now devoid of all its make-up and color looked young and gray. Just before entering the building she looked up; a prism of color appeared right before her eyes. She was confused. It hadn’t rained, so where was this rainbow coming from? She muttered “Thank you, Lord I’m putting all this in your hands. Please help me find a place to stay with my children tonight.” She whispered the short prayer and walked through the rainbow.
“Regina, you’re late!” Ms. Noland’s scowl almost frightened her until she noticed her children in a bevy of colorful balloons. Everyone, who are these people, was smiling and applauding and snapping pictures.
“What’s going on?” Regina asked. Her shrill voice was now soft, excited, and uncertain.
“It’s for you Regina, you won.” Your name was pulled; you’re the winner of the company’s Spring Fling rally! You get a three night stay at the Marriott in the Presidential Suite starting tonight, and you get a cash prize of $5,000.00! Her excitement was contagious, and Regina’s tears this time were tears of joy. She looked up at the sky and winked, “Outstanding debt, no outstanding God!”
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