Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Persuasion (not about the book) (09/01/11)
TITLE: The Three Cords
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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“That is ironic that the death phobias have kept her alive.” He looked at his son and chuckled, “They say God works in mysterious ways.”
“I love her so much and she can’t see her own value or purpose in life. Plus she’s been sick and in pain for years; in and out of hospitals for the medicine. She’s done some wonderful ministry while a patient, but she is destined for so much more. I think tonight is the night.”
Father thought intently, “She is supposed to go home from the hospital today, but I can arrange it so she stays. Just don’t take it too far.”
That night in a hospital room, Shelley tossed and turned. She was supposed to go home today even though the doctors didn’t have any answers. She sat up and heaved into the basin. Her ribs hurt from the constant vomiting. At 10 PM, the nurse came in with a sip of water and handed her a cup of pills. She swallowed them gingerly, waited a minute to see if they would stay down, then turned on her side and drifted off.
She tossed and turned; her dreams were odd. She was at her daughter’s house and her son-in-law just entered the room to find her unconscious. He scooped her up and rushed her to the nearest hospital. But even though she could hear the doctors and nurses yelling out orders and she could feel them try to intubate her to help her breath, she could still see her precious family in the hall huddled together and crying. This dream was silly; there was no way all of her kids could have gotten here so quickly.
She tried to scream as the pain burned her alive. Suddenly, she saw the umbilical-like cords. As she felt her spirit leave her body, she grabbed the nearest cord, the red one. Instantly it filled her with hate and anger; the pain was unbearable she dropped it and never touched it again.
The next cord was silver and though she was in pain, the silver cord allowed her to see her family. She realized she was dying; next to her was a glowing gold cord. She grabbed it for a second and the panic instantly left her, but she couldn’t see her family anymore.
Shelley couldn’t get the picture of her kids crying out of her head. She couldn’t die yet. Her youngest was going to graduate high school, her son was going to be a minister, and her oldest was going to give her a grandbaby. She didn’t want to miss that so she grabbed the silver cord once again. She gritted her teeth as the pain and panic surged back into her body. Finally she could stand it no longer. “Please, Jesus, I don’t want to die. I’m so afraid. Don’t let this be the end.”
Through her fog, she clearly heard the words, “Just hold on, Shelley, hold on. You’ll be okay.” With one last glance at her family, she decided if she were going to believe Jesus was her Savior, she would have to commit and grasp the gold cord and trust that her kids would be fine. She grabbed the gold cord with both hands and held on.
Later, she woke up in the ICU. The doctors had stabilized her and explained that she almost died. Shelley had stopped breathing in the night and the nurse had found her cold and blue. She shook her head in amazement when the doctor told her she had severe sleep apnea and had not slept for more than a few minutes at a time since she was a kid. The lack of sleep was causing most of her health problems. They would give her a machine to use at night so this wouldn’t happen again.
When her minister walked in that afternoon, she smiled, “I had the most amazing vision!”
Jesus looked at the Father, “I think that may have convinced her that she needs to live her life to the fullest. Wonderful plan, Lord, making her vomit.”
“I love her too, Son. Plus you know what they say; God DOES work in mysterious ways.”
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