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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Persuasion (not about the book) (09/01/11)

TITLE: He knows
By C D Swanson


I stopped in front of an old dilapidated brownstone.
The red brick steps were peeling with decay.

As I walked up the steps, I heard crunching under my feet as a brick came loose.
Regaining my balance, I made it to the top without incident.

The huge yellow wooden door, with a broken glass pane in the center greeted me menacingly.
There was a sign that read, “Do not ring bell…out of order.”

I held my bible in my hand.
I knocked on the door gingerly at first.
No response, then I knocked again…slightly harder this time.
I tried to peek into the broken glass pane.
But, it was covered with so much grime it was exceedingly difficult to see anything.

While I was waiting, I glanced at the open trash can and its contents that spilled over the rim.
Yodels wrappers, Hershey bar wrappers, macaroni & cheese boxes, potato chip bags.
The garbage spoke volumes, it screamed, “a veritable potpourri of artery clogging nutrition”

It made me sad knowing that people who are low on funds,
eat inexpensively, and that usually means “junk” food.
Probably an older individual living alone on a fixed income,
And, as I finished that thought, the door opened slightly.

“Yes?” The wrinkled face with faded blue eyes asked in a low tone.
“Hello, I am sorry to disturb you…I am from the Christ Missionary Offices, my name is…”
“What do you want?” She inquired, this time in a loud blunt tone.
“I would like to speak to you about God, and do a health assessment on you as well.

“I don’t know you Miss, why should I trust you, even though you have an honest face.”
“You are correct to say and feel that, however, here are my credentials.” Kristen held out her ID.
“Yep, that is you, so?”

“Well let me start by saying this…We are a non-profit organization that donates items needed for people, such as yourself, according to their individual circumstances and needs.
“I ain’t got no need for nothing Miss pretty face.”
“I appreciate that” Kristen continued, with due patience. “I only want to help, God sent me.”

“Okay, so how do you want to help me?”
“Well, I would love to enter your apartment, sit down, and take inventory of your health; and your surroundings as to what may be needed. Is that okay with you, Mrs.…?”
“My name is Mrs. Grayson, why you want to bother with me?”
“Mrs. Grayson, it is a pleasure.”
“Well, I suppose you can come inside, for a while anyways.”
“Thank you.”

The hallway reeked of urine, and the blue paint on the walls was peeling.
“Here is my apartment, come in.”
“Thank you.”
The apartment was musty, and filled with knick knacks.
Kristen noticed a Holy Bible its words on the cover well worn. It had obviously been used for many years.
“You want some tea?”
“No, thank you.”
“My husband and I used to drink tea, all the time, and right about this time too.”
Kirsten nodded and smiled.

“I was mad for a long time when he died. I felt God took him before his time.”
“I am so sorry Mrs. Grayson. How long were you married?”
“65 years” She picked up the Holy Bible. “I was angry because I found him dead in bed, I wasn’t able to say goodbye, nothing. He was just gone, just like that.”

“I couldn’t understand. He seemed fine. I was so angry at God, but then the autopsy report came back. He had cancer throughout his body, never told me a thing. He must have suffered so very much. I got down on my knees and asked God to forgive me! He took him out of his misery, took him home, and all I did was yell at God!”

“We do not always know God’s ways or His plans…But, they are always for the best” Kristen said.
“He took Albert home while sleeping peacefully. I had no idea the pain he was in. And, I was yelling at God! Can he forgive me?” She started to cry openly.

“God loves you.” Kristen smiled. “He knows you are sorry…It will be okay.”
Through her tears she saw her bible opened to Albert’s favorite scripture, Psalm 119:105.

And, suddenly the beautiful lady was gone! She left a card with a number, and money.

Mrs. Grayson realized it took an Angel to persuade her that she was forgiven.
She sipped her tea. Thank you Lord!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 09/08/11
There are some very engaging moments of dialogue here. Yet I must confess to being a little confused; with a beginning in 1st person; a switch to 3rd person - when Kristen is named as the old lady's visitor - and then an angel seems to be the one.
Danielle King 09/09/11
I have to agree with the above comment. This was a sweet story and made we want to read on to see what happened, but I think it would have been improved by sticking to the 1st person and also putting more space between dialogue. However nice job.
Linda Goergen09/09/11
Whether it was a Heavenly angel or one of earth’s angels that came to visit Mrs Grayson, praise God Mrs Grayson was ministered to and peace brought back to her heart. Charming story and with a little tweaking of the tenses that might distract some readers from its powerful message, it would be a terrific story to pass along to the many who are angry at God for one reason or another, to help them understand God has reasons beyond our understanding or knowledge. I enjoyed this.
Hiram Claudio09/10/11
A very moving story. I enjoyed the way it resolved from a distant, hard woman to one who not only needed forgiveness but found it. I understand the comments about 1st to 3rd person but honesty ... it took me reading it 3 times to really notice it. This story touched me. Thank you!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/10/11
This is a sweet story and I really liked the characters.

You did switch tenses. You also missed some quotation marks here and there. I was a tad disappointed at the end. The older lady had known God and I don't know if you really needed to make the visitor an angel.

I did enjoy the message. It is okay to get angry with God at times. He will forgive us. I also liked that someone cared enough for the elderly to go out and minister to their physical and spurted needs.
Edmond Ng 09/15/11
A very interesting read.
Fiona Stevenson09/15/11
Great concept. 'Nuff said about tenses. The last three paragraphs need the most work, but I guess the word limit made this a little difficult, and you will be able to recraft successfully given a few more words! God bless you.