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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Commitment (01/05/12)

TITLE: Open Arms
By Ruth Neilson


Somehow it had become a ritual between Mike and his prayer partner, Andy. They met on a daily basis and simply sat in silence before something caused one of them to speak. Lately, the silence was thicker than normal all because of a transient worker who had visited their church three weeks ago Mike couldn't expalin what it was, but there was something about the girl, Jamie, that made him want to protect her. Maybe it was some weird combination of his age, Jamie's youth, and her apparent vulnerability. He wasn't quite sure.

"It's a big risk." Andy's quiet voice shattered the silence. Mike looked up at Andy through hooded eyes. It wasn't as if it was something that he didn't know.
"I know, but I think she's worth it."
"How can you tell? She’s a vagabond..." Andy continued, leaning forward.
Mike sighed, "Who deserves to be loved."
"...And has never shown any interest in a family before."
"That you have seen. I've gotten to know her and she's hurting..."
"Or is it just an act?"
"Does it really matter?" Should it matter?
"No, but what if she leaves?"

The question hung in the air. And Mike paused before making his decision. Something kept on telling him that it was going to be worth it.

"Then she leaves. But she'll know someone cares." He caught Andy's look. "Hey, don't look at me like I'm crazy now."
"Why not? You are already certifiable in that arena."
"I'm just not ready to give up on her."
"So, what are you planning on doing?"
"I don't know; I haven't gotten there yet."
"Okay, but tell me this, what makes you want to protect this transient?"
"Apparently, I'm a glutton for punishment and have a thing for protecting strays and runaways."
"And she is okay with that?"

That was the other problem that Mike was still working through. But so far, Jamie hadn't pushed him away.

"Well, she hasn't protested when we talk..." He admitted before continuing. "Someone has to be protective of the girl."
"So...the question remains, what are you going to do about your young vagabond friend?"
"I don't know...I've made the commitment to her that I'll be here for her whenever she needs me."
"I can respect that, I just hope that she doesn't make you regret it."

"Regret what?" Jamie asked.
"Um, nothing. We were just talking about..." Andy's face started to flush with embarrassment.
"Me. You two were just talking about me."

The betrayal was evident on her face as Jamie turned and slowly walked away. Mike gave Andy a dark look as he stood and followed the young lady out, maybe, just maybe he would be able to convince her that she was welcome.

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This article has been read 394 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 01/12/12
I enjoyed this story, it held a powerful message...The ending had me rooting for the "stray" to return. Nicely done.
God Bless~
Judy Sauer 01/13/12
Following our instincts may not always make sense but it's usually the Holy Spirit nudging us to action. I found your story full of encouragement for those considered as strays. Everyone needs a friend. Nice job.
Kristine Baker01/14/12
Beautifully written. I was drawn into the conversation as if I were there. I even felt the twinge in my heart at the end. Even though there is commitment, misunderstanding is not far off.

Linda Goergen01/15/12
Poor Jamie...she was so used to no one being committed to her, it was hard for her to trust…and then when she did, that fragile trust had to be shaken by someone’s lack of faith. This was very realistic, I found myself hoping Mike could convince Jamie to trust again. Well done!
Nancy Bucca01/17/12
This made me sad at the end, but hopeful too. I can imagine it all working out beautifully due to the commitment involved.