Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CALL (01/14/16)
- TITLE: The Right Number
By Cindy Duncan
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Marissa listened to the message for the fourth time in a row. She had played it many times before, but today she was hearing it with a very different pair of ears. Six months ago, when she received the phone call and the resulting message, she found it hilarious. It was a wrong number, but she played the message for all her friends, laughing and making fun of the lady who had called her by mistake.
“I just wanted to thank you for the check,” the message said. That’s how Marissa knew it was a wrong number. She had never even written a check; she paid for everything with her debit card. “It was right on time, Praise Jesus,” was the part of the message that Marissa and her friends found the most ridiculous.
“If Jesus had anything to do with her receiving that check, then you would think he could help her call the right person to thank,” said Marissa’s friend Beth. They would play it again and laugh so hard; tears would stream down their face. Then they would wipe their faces, and go shopping, or drinking, without a care in the world.
Now things were very different. Two months ago, Marissa had lost her job, and with the loss of her job came the loss of her friends. When she could no longer shop or party with them, they quit answering her calls. Now she was alone, and facing an eviction in five days if she couldn’t come up with the rent money. She had just called her parents, but she had taken advantage of them too many times. They had refused to help. So here she was, lying on the bed, listening to a six-month old message from a woman she didn’t even know.
“The Lord always provides, and remember, he is all we need. Call me sometime, and thanks again for the check.” Marissa couldn’t help but notice the peaceful sound in the lady’s voice. She could use some peace herself, for the last couple of months had been the most stressful of her life. Maybe that peace was why she was feeling drawn to this woman.
Marissa started to play the message one more time when she saw the “call back” button. Without thinking things through, she pushed the button. Almost immediately, the same lady from the message answered the phone. She sounded so happy, so sweet.
“Hello, this is Miss Lizabet, I hope you’re havin’ a mighty fine day.”
“Um, I’m not really,” replied Marissa.
“I’m sorry about that, sweetie, would you like to talk about it?
Marissa poured her heart out to Miss Lizabet, forgetting at times that she was talking to a complete stranger. She told her how she had lost her job, her friends, and even her family. Then she told her about the wrong number, and how she used to laugh at the message, but now she felt herself being drawn to it. “I’ve listened to it four times today. I need that peace and optimism that I hear in your voice.”
Miss Lizabet proceeded to tell Marissa the reason for the hope that was within her. She told her about a savior who loves her and died for her. Marissa hung on every word. She had heard of this Jesus before, but she had never heard that he had died so that she could have eternal life, and that her sins could be forgiven. She accepted the gift of salvation on the phone with Miss Lizabet leading her.
As tears of gratitude flowed down her cheeks, Marissa thanked Miss Lizabet. “Don’t thank me, sweetie, it was my pleasure. Now I have a confession to make to you. Ever since I realized that I called the wrong number and left that message, I have been praying for the person who owned the phone. I’ve been praying for you. I believe now that the Lord used my phone call to call you to repentance. Then when you called me, he used me to help you call upon him.”
“That’s a lot of calling,” Marissa responded with a chuckle.
“It is, but don’t let it stop here. You see, Marissa, God wants you to call to him in prayer every day. Remember, prayer changes things.”
“I’ll never forget that, Miss Lizabet.”
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