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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)

TITLE: Breaking the Rules
By Karen Treharne


It had just started to rain when I saw something on the side of the road. I wasn't sure at first, but I slowed the truck as I passed by to get a closer look. Yes, it was a body lying in the ditch. It wasn't moving. I stopped and backed up, jumping out and going to the passenger side. I knelt down and discovered it was a woman. Her matted brown hair hung damply around her bruised and bleeding face. Her eyes were blackened and only half opened, and she was mumbling incoherently. Her torn jeans were covered with dirt that was turning to mud as the rain beat down in earnest. I shivered from the cold and the shock of finding a body so near to my home. It didn't seem real. I prayed to God to help me make a decision. My husband had always told me never to pick up a hitchhiker or stop for a vagrant on the street, but this limp victim of abuse was somehow different. I opened the door and supporting her thin body, helped her shuffle toward the Ford. Her bony arm was around my shoulder and I could smell her rancid body even outside in the clear air.

When I drove up the driveway about 10 minutes later, I honked the horn and waited for my husband Dan to respond. He stood on the porch with a questioning look on his face until I yelled out the window that I needed help. Ignoring the rain he hurried to my aid, and I told him the story.

Dan inspected Ellen, the name she finally gave us, and returned to the house to bring out a warm wash cloth. He stayed with her while I went inside to phone the police and make a sandwich. We tried to converse with her to determine what had happened, but she was difficult to understand, and I'm not certain that she wasn't on drugs. I took her hand and prayed out loud that God would protect her from harm and lead her from this situation to a better life. The police arrived and lectured me on picking up strangers while Dan nodded in agreement, then they took her away.

Several months later as I was writing a check for groceries, the box boy came to load my bags in the cart. I looked up to thank him and came face-to-face with Ellen. I didn't recognize her at first, but she remembered me. Her auburn hair was clean and tied back at the neck. she wore a white shirt and clean jeans with tennis shoes that showed some wear. What struck me the most though, was that braod smile exposing a broken tooth, and the sparkling blue eyes filled with tears. She reached to hug me and we stood for moments embraced together. Her life had turned around with a steady job and rehabilitation, and she thanked me over and over for my kindness and my prayer. She was now an active member in a nearby church and had accepted Christ into her heart.

I couldn't wait to tell my husband, and that night when we said our evening prayers, I was surprised to hear him say, "Thank you Lord for leading us in your will and teaching us that sometimes breaking the rules serves your purpose perfectly. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of Ellen's recovery and for making us aware of what you did for her."

Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight08/23/04
Karen this is an absolutely beautiful testimony!
Lynda Lee Schab 08/23/04
I echo Darlene's comments - wonderful testimony! Great angle on the "breaking the rules" topic!
Blessings, Lynda
Sheila Boyd08/23/04
You may have broken one rule, ‘don’t pick up strangers’ but you kept the more important one: the Good Samaritan rule. Good writing.
Marina Rojas08/23/04
Sometimes that little sneaky Holy Spirit lets us know when it's ok to break the rules! What a blessing that you took the intiative to respond to His urgings--and by doing so, changed a life!

Thank you!
L.M. Lee08/23/04
ahhhhhh how truly blessed!
Kenny Paul Clarkson08/24/04
Wonderful real life story. I wonder if you're still in touch with Ellen?

Melanie Kerr 08/25/04
It is a shame that we all think twice before stepping out as a good samaritan. Thankyou for your courage and compassion.
Joanne Malley08/26/04
Very nicely written story and storyline. I like your use of descriptive words. Good job.
Lynda Munfrada08/28/04
Very moving! Your bravery in breaking the "Don't Pick-up Strangers" rule lead to another place at our Heavenly Father's table! Amen! And may you continue to "pick-up" souls for Christ! :-)