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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Endless (01/09/14)

TITLE: Caroline's Journey.
By Danielle King


Caroline closed the blinds and cast a cursory glance around her plush apartment. On the far wall, a colourful display of holiday pictures brought a smile to her face. Memories, captured in time with girls from the admin block.

In stark contrast, on the dresser, an old brown photo image of a couple with a young child clutching a big metal bucket.

The aroma of summer flowers filled the room. A huge bouquet adorned the table with many greetings cards from colleagues.

Strangely, the room seemed smaller, less vibrant than before. Caroline hoped that retirement proved to be the correct choice for her.

Of course everyone planned to keep in touch, like they do. Caroline had heard it all before. People become absorbed in the here and now; the old has-beens are soon forgotten. But she didn’t mind that so much.

Flopping onto the lounger her eyelids drooped as she took stock. A sea of faces, well wishes and hugs swirled in her head. ‘Time to collect the eggs Caroline.’ Mum’s voice was loud and clear. Caroline awoke with a start.

‘Oh mum,’ she laughed, picking up the photograph. ‘I’d no idea I was so exhausted.’

The phone rang. ‘Hi Penny, yes I’ve finally done it. And where on earth did you dig the old photo from?’ She asked her cousin.

‘In among my mum’s old stuff.’

‘That’s amazing. I’ll even forgive you for taking it into work behind my back.’

After a restless night’s sleep, Caroline awoke to the blissful realisation that she could stay in bed all day if she wanted to; but no, that was not on her agenda.

By 7.30, she had showered, breakfasted and settled in her ruminating spot by the window. In her hands she clutched a tattered, leather bound book. Glancing down on the vista of high rise office blocks and lines of congested traffic, she shuddered.

‘Lord,’ she began. ‘It’s the morning rush hour. And I’m done with rushing!’ She paused, ‘I have a confession to make.

‘Lord, I’m a fake. I’m not who people think I am. I am not the bright and bubbly oldie, always up for a laugh; the party animal who loves a knees up. Far less the jet setter, swanning the world over before she croaks.

‘Lord, my life is one big lie.’ There was no drum roll or lightning strike from above, so she continued.

‘How I wish I could step back in time. See this picture? Simple, hardworking folk. Dad tending his vegetable plot; me scattering corn for the hens.

‘We were poor and times were hard. But one thing I remember well. Though not church goers, every night when mum tucked me into bed, we recited a little prayer.

Jesus, tender Shepherd hear me
Bless Thy little lamb tonight
Through the darkness, be Thou near me
Keep me safe ‘til morning light

‘I can feel you now, sitting beside me in the darkness, holding my hand. You were so real to me once.

When the morning light awakens
Then I’ll thank Thee for Thy care,
Take me when I die to Heaven,
Forever to be with you there.

‘And I did. Every morning I thanked you. I trusted you to always be there.

‘What happened, Lord?

‘I’ve been searching. Endlessly seeking, chasing my tail; trying all ways to find a fix. I’m missing out big time. There’s a gaping hole inside me. A place that no-one sees. A wound that never heals. An ever flowing torrent of unrest.

‘I’m sorry Lord. I don’t even know how to speak to you. Can you help me? Please?’

Caroline sighed deeply, fingering the Bible on her lap. When she finally opened it she found spidery writing on the inside cover.

‘To my future grandchildren, whom I may never meet in this life, please…


Grandpa, who died in battle during WW1, handed down a family legacy to his child; who by kneeling in prayer at the bedside of her own infant daughter sparked a thirst in her that would not be quenched.

Caroline marvelled at the ‘coincidence’ that she should be given Grandpa’s Bible and the family picture right now. She’d seen neither for years.

She mused a while, reflecting on the endless unfulfilled and wasted years. The unfamiliar silence was delicious. She savoured every moment as she began to read; slowly, prayerfully and hopefully.

But in the silence, Caroline failed to hear all heaven rejoice as another lamb returns to the fold.*

*Scripture reference - Luke 15:7 (NIV)

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This article has been read 308 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen01/18/14
This gave a great picture of so many in this world, so seemingly “full of life ” on the outside, but empty on the inside. I’d say your MC had a truly peace filled retirement! Enjoyed!
lynn gipson 01/19/14
This is a truly moving piece and Caroline revisits the past and finds peace.

Jesus, tender Shepherd hear me
Bless Thy little lamb tonight
Through the darkness, be Thou near me
Keep me safe ‘til morning light

This is a prayer I'll remember. It speaks volumes of genuine faith.

Very Well done!
LaVonne Wood 01/19/14
You did a wonderful job showing us the room, the pictures, and the thoughts of an old lady. So wonderful that she came back to the fold in her last days, yet so sad that she lived so much of her life without Him. This happens so often.

Beautifully written. Not sure how it expresses the topic though. Maybe I'm missing it?
Blessings, LaVonne
Judith Gayle Smith01/20/14
Priceless descriptions and situations. I LOVE this story!
Judith Gayle Smith01/20/14
Priceless descriptions and situations. I LOVE this story!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/23/14
This gave me goosebumps. I love those types of "coincidences," though I feel extremely sad for those who do think it's just a coincidence. Over the past year or so I've been trying to be mindful of "God's I love you Shann" moments. I am seeing them more and more, often at least once a week. I reckon they probably occur on a daily, if not an hourly basis. Like I am having one right now. I think of all the things that had to happen for the Holy Spirit to use your words to lighten my heart right now in this moment. It had to go back many years when Scott started the site, when Deb designed the challenge, when God helped you and me both to find our way here, when Jesus spoke to your heart, when you wrote your story, even when I was in too much pain to read as many stories as I would like. I'm not saying God sent the pain so I could have this moment, but he used it to glorify him. (I don't know that I would have needed it if not for the pain.) Looking at all of these moments brings tears to my eyes and reinforces the fact that God will and does use difficult experiences to bring joy to his name, and a what a delight it is when we open our hearts and minds up to receive that glory. I guess that was a long-winded way to say Thank you, my friend for being obedient to Jesus. Hugs!