Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)
By Karen Deikun
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His wife was like a quiet little bird who hardly ever raised her head and never looked you in the eye. You could see her spirit was beat down and weren’t no fight left in her. She died one fine spring day, and my Momma went to work for that preacher. Six days a week she went to his place and cooked for his children and cleaned his house.
Ever’day when I got off the bus from school, my Momma would be walkin’ up the sidewalk to our house, her lips sittin’ like a hard line and her face lookin’ purely mad. She always wiped her face clean right as soon as she laid eyes on me, and she smiled her best smile and hugged me tight.
I mighta never knowed what made her carry that look on her face when she came home from workin’ all day at the preacher’s house, ‘ceptin that she was a singin’ woman and a prayin’ woman. After she got done singin’some right fine hymns, she prayed right out loud in her room at night, and lots of them prayers had to do with that preacher and those two boys of his.
She prayed for grace to keep goin’ by there to work, and she prayed for strength to keep her mouth tight shut. She prayed hard for those two boys to be safe and grow up to love the Lord, in spite of everthin’ they went through all week. She prayed for God to right the wrongs, and bring out the truth. An’ she prayed for that preacher to see the light and turn.
I do think she stayed workin’ over there for them fourteen long years just to see those boys safely growed up. She never got no raise that whole time – just gray hair all over her head, and a weariness to her step. But she never did lose heart, no sir. An’ she never did give up on the Lord, like I almost did.
See, my Momma prayed for me too. She held me up when my hate pushed me down, and she kept showin’ me what it was like to love the Lord ever’ day. She shined from the inside out. Wasn’t much way I could close out her words, even though she sometimes spoke hard ones. She put a lot of love into me and shared some with those two boys. I always thought she hung onto us and kept us safe all by herself. But when I tol’ her that one day she said: “Honey, I didn’t do that. That was God. I jus’ hung onto Him, and He hung on to you.”
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