Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)
TITLE: He Hopes
By Sally Hanan
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Darkness hovers overhead. Cars gurgle by, their occupants peering forward as the wipers bow the knee, stand up, bow the knee, stand up.
A lightening fork illuminates the sky for a brief second, and a small child hides behind the kitchen curtain counting the seconds until the thunder growls in response. She is home alone. Her hold on her teddy bear relaxes as she reaches the number ten. She lifts him up to eye level.
“There teddy; see? It’s ten miles away. I told you you didn’t need to be scared.”
A boy and his dad jump up and down in the widening pools of water at the curb, the boy a flash of yellow swimming trunks, the dad a navy blue. Dad has the camera out. He wants his son to remember this moment - the doctor has said he has about three months left.
An old man sluggishly shuffles his slippers across the hall floor to peer out his front door, struggling and gasping as he pulls his oxygen tank beside him.
Will the nice lady bring my dinner today? The weather is somethin’ terrible. I wanted to ask her to get me some milk. I’m out of milk.
Thump, thump, thump on the red metal roof. The farmer smiles as the silver cups and hoses chug, chug, chug the milk away from his cows. He pulls out his cell phone. “You should hear the rain the way I can right now,” he texts his wife. “Praise God!”
“Accident on I35 and Rutland. Bad scene here, send help immediately,” the sheriff yells into the police radio. A child seat lies in the grass…..
God sends the rain in season so that the ground will yield its fruit.
God sits in the car with his daughter as she drives.
God holds his little one close as she shivers by the window.
God puts the thought of taking some photos into the father’s head. He knows how much his son will want to look at them in the months to come.
God walks with the old man to his front door, his arm around his shoulder.
God reminds the nice lady that even though she will get wet, the old man is waiting. He whispers the thought of stopping for milk on the way.
God stands rejoicing with the farmer over the fact that the grass will grow again.
God kneels by the toddler still strapped into his car seat - he is crying, but he is all right. God walks by his mother, injured but alive, as the paramedics put her in the ambulance.
Drops of God’s life-giving presence sink into each cracked, gasping life and heart that has almost surrendered in hopelessness. He hopes that one day, each one will know that He was there.
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