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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)

TITLE: A Simple Prayer?
By Sue Dent


Jerry. His name was Jerry and he was homeless. At least, he was homeless by our standards. He’d come to the church with the group of homeless people we bought over every Sunday. Yet he was somehow different from all the others. He seemed to have a purpose in life even though he held no real job. Not one that paid him monetarily. He did some drywall work here and there for those who couldn’t afford to pay, painted for the same reason. He was presently staying on a cot at the Red Cross shelter.

We liked Jerry and so we took him to our house for lunch.

Heads bowed for the blessing, I began. “God is Great--”

“And The Lord said to Moses,” Jerry enlightened, head still bowed, eyes still closed, "I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel; say to them, 'At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; then you shall know that I am The Lord your God.'" In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew lay round about the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, What is it?"

My eight-year old son peeked with one eye when Jerry grew quiet.

I continued. “God is good!”

"I have compassion on the multitude,” Jerry emphasized, “because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.”

More peeking about, except for Jerry who remained poised and ready.

“Let us thank Him for our food,” I said tentative yet curious. What would Jerry have to add to this?

“As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.”

“By his hands, we are fed . . .” I actually paused here making sure Jerry noticed if he were in fact paying attention which I do not think he was.

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”

On the home stretch now, I bravely said, “thank you for our daily bread.”

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

I was barely able to get out the word, “Amen!” And I can honestly say, I've never enjoyed a meal more!

A simple prayer? Not anymore.

*Exodus 16:10-15 RSV
*Matthew 15 KJV
* John 20 KJV
* Matthew 6 KJV
* John 6:51 KJV

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This article has been read 1216 times
Member Comments
Member Date
david grant07/13/06
Very interesting. I'd like to know about Jerry and how he came to be such a dinner prophet. I guess you could only tell us that if you were allowed more words. Good job!
Carla Feagans07/13/06
I agree with the previous comment, I was anxious to hear more about Jerry.

I really liked how you took this simple prayer that we often gloss over and made us take it slow and really look at each part - good job!
Brenda Bates07/13/06
I enjoyed this very much. We often say what we think we should with little thought regarding the words or meaning. A simple prayer became a time of true worship. Good job!

I did notice a typo: "we bought over" should probably be brought.
terri tiffany07/13/06
Nice take on the topic. I too would have liked to have known more about the guest and how he came to know the scriptures but I liked how you broke it up and had people peeking around and ended it. Very nice.
Rita Garcia07/14/06
I will never view this "Simple Prayer" the same way again. You have brought it to life! I love the way you presented Jerry.
George Parler 07/14/06
There is nothing simple about this story. Wonderful gem. I enjoyed every word.
Brenda Craig07/17/06
An very unique and wonderful story or should I say, prayer drama. I loved this. I wanted to clap. Brenda
Jan Ackerson 07/17/06
I like the tender, self-deprecating humor here. Nice wordsmithing.
Lynda Schultz 07/17/06
I needed more (I know, 750 words doesn't do it). This character is too fascinating to left sitting at the dinner table. Write on! This is good.
Helen Paynter07/18/06
When I read this I felt as though my soul had been kissed. It is beautiful and tender, and a blessing to me today.
Lynda Lee Schab 07/18/06
Very creative entry! Loved Jerry - definitely wanted to get to know him better. I'd be interested to know what kinds of things he talked about in regular conversation. Well written piece on topic.
Sue Dent07/18/06
Buy-bought, bring-brought. See, I do know the difference. Now if I could just teach my fingers.
Stephen Paynter07/18/06
Hi Sue,

A great entry! What a special way of meditating on a prayer. I agree with those who wanted to know more of this prayer-prophet, but I
recognise that the piece is just right as it is. He plays his part so well - focusing us all on God!

Don't worry about the typo ... I've got one in my title for next week (or is that illegal hinting? If so, sorry everyone!)
Jan Ross07/19/06
How wonderful! Reminds me of our family bringing home elderly people on Sundays for dinner with us -- we never knew what we would learn from these precious "strangers". Oh, if we could only grasp the fact that just because someone is "homeless" it doesn't mean they are useless! Beautiful! Thanks for sharing this! :)
Teri Wilson07/20/06
Way to go Sue! EC!!!! Congratulations on a wonderful win. I am throwing a peanut parade in your honor.
Jessica Schmit07/20/06
Sue, I've never been so thrilled to see someone's name in the EC. I'm so happy for you. Here's a HUGE Jess huge for your victory!!!
Sue Dent07/20/06
Ya'll are too sweet! But you know what the great feeling is? That I made number eight meaning only that I would have made it in the old system too. And that isn't meant to downplay nine and ten. Those two places definitely needed to be added. Thanks again but I've got to go find my jaw now. It dropped and got mixed up in all the peanut shells and what-not!
Trina Courtenay07/20/06
A Simple Prayer?
A 'Great' win!
Congrats Sue!
Shari Armstrong 07/20/06
YEAH!! Way to go! :)
Rita Garcia07/20/06
Sue, I am thrilled this story won! It was my favorite this week! Keep praising Him with your writing!!

Stephen Paynter07/20/06
Congratulations on your first EC place!! Yesss!!
Well deserved!

L.M. Lee07/20/06
Congrats! Always good to be reminded of what's important.
Julianne Jones07/21/06
Humourous and to the point. Congrats on your win.