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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)

TITLE: A Feast in the Storm
By Verlie Ruhl


Everyone gasped as the van slid sideways. Tom turned the steering wheel into the slide, and managed to regain traction. He peered into the night, searching for the white fog line—it was barely visible through the snow and ice lashing at the windshield.

“How much further?” Carrie asked. Fear shook her voice.

“Maybe another 10 miles. Everybody hang on—we’re going to make it. Kevin, would you say a prayer for our safe journey?”

“Sure.” There was rustling as the five teens shifted and bowed their heads. “Dear Lord, thank you for taking care of us tonight. Thank you for the awesome weekend we had at the youth rally, where we learned so much about you and your love for us. We know that you will help us make it safely through this storm to shelter and food. Amen.”

“Food!” sighed Macy. “I’m beyond starving! It’s been hours since we stopped for lunch.”

“Let’s all decide what we’re going to order when we get to the restaurant,” Kevin suggested. He hoped he could get everyone’s minds off the treacherous road conditions. “Carrie, what are you going to have?”

“Uh . . . I don’t know,” she replied softly, as she peered through the foggy window.

“Come on, Carrie, what is your favorite food?”

“Liver,” she responded in the same quiet, absent voice.

“Liver!” roared everyone else in unison. Carrie was startled out of her preoccupation with the storm, and gave them a shy smile.

“Yeah! It’s really good!”

“I never realized what a brave woman you are,” teased Kevin. “Amanda, what about you?”

“Country fried steak with mashed potatoes and cream gravy, Texas toast, and Mountain Dew” she responded promptly. The lively brunette barely weighed 100 pounds, but her appetite was legendary.

“You sure that’s going to be enough?”

“I was thinking of coconut cream pie for dessert” she replied.

“I’ve been freezing all day. I’m going to get a big bowl of steaming chili,” said Macy. “Sean, what are you going to order?”

Sean had chosen to sit alone near the back of the van, wedged in with the luggage. Ever since his parents had divorced last year, he had become aloof and sometimes almost hostile. Tom had asked the older teens to try hard to include him. “Mac and cheese,” replied the lanky 15-year-old.

“Just mac and cheese? Aren’t you starving?”

“Five bowls of mac and cheese,” clarified Sean.

“That sounds more like it!” laughed Macy. “Hey, Tom,” she called up to their youth minister. “What are you hungry for?”

“Read Psalm 119:20,” Tom replied without taking his eyes off the road.

Sean spoke up, with an edge in his voice. “Everything’s a Bible verse! Here we are, freezing and starving, and he wants us to look up a Bible verse!”

“Calm down, Sean. It’s O.K.,” Kevin said. “Amanda, hold the flashlight for me. Here it is: ‘My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.’”

“You can’t eat a Bible verse,” muttered Sean.

“No, but think about that verse,” said Macy. “What if we were all as hungry for God’s word as we are right now for food?”

“Yeah,” said Kevin. “Think how it would change us if we took our Bibles with us everywhere, and read them whenever we could. I would know a lot more than I do now.”

“I’ll bet if we knew that much Bible, it would change the way we act and think,” Macy said.

“And you would change the world around you,” Tom added from up front. “Salt and light.”

“Light—I see a light!” yelled Carrie.

“You’re right! We’re almost into town.” They could all hear the relief in Tom’s voice.

A few minutes later Tom eased the van into the cleared parking lot. The cramped teens scrambled out eagerly.

“Double cheeseburger with fries, here I come!” crowed Kevin. He charged toward the restaurant door through the swirling snow, with the others in pursuit.

“Wait,” called Sean. “Aren’t you forgetting something?” They all turned to look at him; he was still standing in the open door of the van. He held up a Bible.

“Yeah! Good catch, Sean!” Laughing out loud, the rest of the group raced back to the van for their Bibles.

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 11/15/04
Very clever - great story of God's provision in all situations.

Thanks for posting it!
Lois Jennison Tribble11/16/04
Excellent use of tension to move your story, Verlie. Your characters jump off the page with just a few well-chosen strokes of the keyboard, and I shared their relief upon safe arrival. The message is seamlessly woven and paves the way for a lively Youth Group discussion. Very enjoyable!
Lucian Thompson11/16/04
Verlie, This story keep me right there in the van with the teens. I won’t tell you all the foods I thought of to eat if I had been asked. I like the food Tom offered best, though. Great article and written oh so well.
Phyllis Inniss11/16/04
Your story kept my interest all the way - hunger for food and hunger for God's word went together very well.
Mitzi Busby11/16/04
Thanks for showing how the Meat of the Word can fill. Good work!
Debbie OConnor11/16/04
Very good story. Realistic and fun.
John Hunt11/17/04
Great story, and great reminder that "man does not live by bread alone."
Nicely done!
Betty Shattuck11/18/04
Great story! Dialogue, tension, message, topic covered - all done smoothly and expertly! I'm impressed!
Deborah Anderson11/19/04
Very, good job, Verlie. I enjoyed this. God bless you.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/20/04
I was drawn right into that car! Great dialogue, excellent writing, wonderful message! Who could ask for more? Well done!
Linda Germain 11/21/04
Excellent use of dialogue. Teens could really relate to this. Well written and on target! ~LG~