Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: ĎThe Lord helps those who help themselvesí Ė Hezekiah 3:16
By Suzanne R
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Stubborn and independent, Zeke meandered his way through the maze of education, employment, marriage, mortgage and a child.
In the wee hours of March 16th, Zeke woke to Lydia‚Äôs urgent prodding. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs time. Quick ‚Äď he‚Äôs coming fast!‚ÄĚ
Rubbing his bleary eyes, Zeke scooped up their sleeping three-year-old. Lydia was already in the car.
At 7:30am, Zeke called his mother and told her of Matthew‚Äôs birth. ‚ÄúBut Zeke,‚ÄĚ his mother remonstrated, ‚Äúwhy didn‚Äôt you call me to collect Emiline last night?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúDidn‚Äôt want to bother you, Ma. I‚Äôve got to go to the office for a few hours. I‚Äôll see you at the hospital later. Emiline can come with me. You enjoy the baby, okay?‚ÄĚ
Having successfully dressed his daughter and safely strapped her in, Zeke steered the car into the drive-through. ‚ÄúOne hash brown and a large strong coffee please.‚ÄĚ
Zeke put Emiline in a corner of his office with playdough and dolls. He sat at the desk with an exhausted grin, stirring three sugars into the coffee as he tried to concentrate on the task at hand. The secretary poked her head around the door. ‚ÄúCongratulations, sir. And should I watch your little girl for you?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúNo. I can do it. Thank you.‚ÄĚ
Emiline picked at her hashbrown, scattering pieces of potato over the polished wooden floor. Zeke‚Äôs coffee sat forgotten on the large mahogany desk. Focused now, he busily reviewed the paperwork for his meeting with Jack Adams, the company‚Äôs most important client.
The sweet little voice piped up.
‚ÄúDrink, Daddy. Drink for Emi?‚ÄĚ Drink. Drat. No time. For a fleeting second, he thought of his secretary. But no, Emiline was his child. He could do it.
‚ÄúTry Daddy‚Äôs coffee, love. It‚Äôs very sweet. You‚Äôll like it.‚ÄĚ
Indeed, Emiline did like it.
The angel voice piped up again. ‚ÄúPotty, Daddy. Quick.‚ÄĚ
Blast. Men‚Äôs or women‚Äôs? She was a girl, he a boy. Not a boy. A man. Surely he could handle something so simple as a child‚Äôs personal needs.
The secretary‚Äôs offer of help was again refused.
Zeke held her over the toilet. Emiline squeezed her eyes and pushed. Zeke rolled his eyes. How could he hold her and clean her? She was awfully squirmy.
A brown smear on his white cuff, Zeke slipped on his jacket to hide the evidence of his ineptitude. Meanwhile, Emiline decided that she no longer wanted to play quietly. In fact, sitting still seemed downright impossible. Bouncing around the office with the wastepaper basket over her head, she pulled papers out of files, throwing them in the air, all the time singing loudly.
‚ÄúSir, Mr Adams is here. Can I help with your little girl?‚ÄĚ The secretary poked her head around the door.
‚ÄúI CAN DO IT. Sorry. Didn‚Äôt mean to yell.‚ÄĚ
Mr Adams walked through the door, his polished shoe stepping on Emiline‚Äôs favourite doll. The child erupted into an ear-splitting wail. ‚ÄúYou killed my dolly! I hate you.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúEmi! Settle. Say sorry.‚ÄĚ
The wail only increased in pitch and volume. Jack Adams looked at the paper-strewn office. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm sorry. Sorry that I ever set foot in this place.‚ÄĚ The door slammed.
There was a knock. Zeke groaned. Hair on end, eyes wild, tie knotted near his right clavicle, jacket sleeves hitched up revealing the stained cuff, hashbrown smeared down his trousers and play-dough on his shoes, Zeke muttered through gritted teeth, ‚ÄúI can do it.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúNanna!‚ÄĚ Emiline threw herself around the stockinged legs of Zeke‚Äôs mother.
‚ÄúOh my. Look at you both. Matthew is gorgeous. And such a good Biblical name. Remember what it says in the New Testament book of Matthew? That the meek are blessed. You, my stubborn son, could not be less meek. Repeat after me. ‚ÄėMa, please help us.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúMa, I can do it.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúFoolish boy. Look at yourself. Look at your daughter.‚ÄĚ
Emiline had found a whiteboard marker and was now decorating the walls as she bounced off them.
‚ÄúMa, please ‚Ä¶ h-h-h-h-help?‚ÄĚ
Zeke‚Äôs life was a mirror reflection of the great king after whom he was named. March 16th ended Zeke‚Äôs era of ‚ÄėThe Lord helps those who helps themselves.‚Äô
Zeke grasped a greater truth that day. It is the meek who are truly blessed.
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