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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outgoing (05/05/11)

TITLE: How Lisa Jones Was Saved
By Joe Moreland
05/11/11


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Douglas Jones was alone inside his own mind. Old age; Alzheimer’s; senility - call it what you wanted - he was trapped inside himself. Most of the time he was living in the past, enjoying the glory days of his youth when he had been strong, rash and driven to serve his God.

Other times he was lucid and able to carry on short conversations with relatives whose names he actually remembered. Those rare moments were what kept his family coming back as his remaining days slipped away like sand through his fingers. Douglas had been the rock of their family and was beloved by all. Any chance to catch him when he was almost his old self was like a winning lottery ticket for the person who happened to be there when it happened. Everyone wanted their shot at one last moment with Preacher Jones.

There were other times for Preacher too, like today, when he was lucid, but unable to communicate or even see much of his surroundings. At times like these, he was able to hear the whispers of his visitors, their worries and their tears; their frustration at not being able to speak with him and their fear that they would never see him again. In times like these they never knew he could hear them, let alone understand what they were saying. As a result, he suspected, they spoke a lot of concerns they would otherwise have never given voice to.

This day was different though. It had started out with a visit from his great-granddaughter, Lisa. Although he could not speak, he had a feeling that this 24 year old girl could sense that he was listening to her every word. Something in her eyes told him that she saw something in his eyes - a glimmer of understanding. She spoke to him as though they were having the most normal conversation in the world.

“…and David, you remember David, right, Poppy? Well David said that wasn’t funny, and then broke into hysterical laughter. Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing? You would so love how he’s growing.”

On and on she went, and Preacher hung on every word like a shipwreck survivor to a life raft. Until her voice began to fade in his ears. “Oh no!” He thought. “Lord not now, I’m so enjoying this visit.”

But it was no use. His sight became fuzzy too and soon he was trapped again. He couldn’t hear a word Lisa was saying and he saw nothing but a white brightness.

“Why God?” The old man sobbed to himself. “Why do I linger this way? I once was strong. I once was so alive. I once was used by you to build churches and bring your message. Why leave me this shriveled husk? Just take me, please! I’m of no use to you like this.”

Then it came to him. A voice as clear and deep as his own had once been, but more gentle and full of compassion. It spoke a single word.

“Abide.”

“But Lord, I want to come to you now.” Preacher Jones was sure it was the voice of God himself.

“Soon, my son. Abide a moment longer. I still have use of you.”

A silence stretched between them. Then the voice came again.

“My precious child. You are perfect in the eyes of your God. Accept Him. Come to Him.”

“Gladly, Lord!”

“Reach out your hand and say it, my son.”

Preacher was confused momentarily, he had a momentary doubt. Maybe he was hallucinating again after all. But as always, he bent his will to obeying his God.

**********************

Lisa sat with her elbows on the edge of her Poppy’s bed, her head in her hands.

“Poppy, I wish I could talk to you again like we used to. I feel so lost without you. I feel so alone without you!”

A sudden movement from Preacher startled the young woman as his arm suddenly shot out and his hand grasped hers in an iron grip. In a voice straight from his days in the pulpit, Poppy spoke to her - strong and clear.

“My precious child. You are perfect in the eyes of your God. Accept Him. Come to Him.”

So spent Preacher Jones his last breath. And so God gave his faithful servant one last use of his gift on his way out of this world.


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This article has been read 531 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/12/11
This is so touching on many levels. You did a great job with this.
Fiona Stevenson05/13/11
Very touching. God bless you.
Noel Mitaxa 05/15/11
Very vividly descriptive with an uplifting twist as you closed it off. Well done.
Leola Ogle 05/18/11
Very well written. It pulled at my heart, and brought an ache to my chest. I loved Poppy's desire to "go" if he was no longer useful. Lovely ending. God bless!
Patricia Protzman05/19/11
Congratulations on your well deserved first-place and EC wins.
Catrina Bradley 05/19/11
The ending raised the hair on my head! I love this - congrats on your EC!!
Theresa Santy 05/19/11
Wow. Powerful. Beautiful. Congratulations.
Sydney Avey05/19/11
Alzheimer's is such perfect grist for the writer's mill. Don't think I've ever read something written from the sufferer's POV. Good choice. It will touch the hearts of those who have loved and lost someone to this disease, as it did mine.
Noel Mitaxa 05/19/11
Congratulations on your win. Excellent work.
Jean Beier05/19/11
I wish I could express what this piece has given me. God surely was with you in writing this. I've had two generations of women pass on with Alzheimer's and a third now on the journey. I can't wonder if my time is coming. Your story gives me peace in the knowledge that no matter what, God is with us till the end, and He uses us for His good purpose.
Jean Beier05/19/11
Oh, and Congratulations! Good job. God Bless.
Kim Hamlin05/19/11
Joe, this was awesome, just beautiful! Congratulations!
Grace Merkey 05/20/11
I liked this very much. Older people are experiencing this so much these days, such a difficult situation.
Bonnie Bowden05/20/11
Beautiful and touching story. Thank for the reminder that God is always in control of our life and brings beauty out of ashes.

Congratulations on your EC award.
Linda Goergen05/20/11
Congratulations on a well deserved win! I was glued to this story beginning to end. And I have to confess of asking God many times why he allows those with dementia or Alzheimer’s to linger, allowing both them and their families to suffer. This story a good reminder that God has His reasons. Great Job!
Connie Dixon05/23/11
Wow! I am in awe of this piece. Incredible. The POV has given me insights that I never ever thought of. Going through the mild stages of dementia with my mom right now. So sad to watch...you captured it so well. Congratulations on your 1st place and EC.