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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rejoicing (11/22/04)

TITLE: Round & Round


Curling irons are one of todayís modern conveniences that I can truly say brings rejoicing to my lips. Iím old enough to remember, and Iím sure a lot of others out there are too, the hours spent in front of the mirror rolling my hair around curlers. Jabbing bobby pins into my head, and getting a nightís sleep that I wouldnít wish on my worst enemy. Then, getting up on the morning class pictures are being taken, to that wad of hair sticking straight out because it had escaped the roller during the night. All wonderful reasons to begin rejoicing and never cease.

Hey guys, donít go anywhere, this round metal rod charged with electricity had to be one of the best things to happen to you too. No more turning over in bed to have a roller poke you in the eye or stab you in the back as you laid on it. Bobby pins that not only jab you in the arm as you try to hug your wife, but penetrate the bottom of your foot as you walk across the kitchen floor are a thing of the past. How many blessing do you need before you start rejoicing from the rooftops?

The benefit to the human race that this modern day wonder has brought canít be calculated. Unfortunately, this extraordinary instrument can cause lamenting as well as rejoicing. A few years ago I received a harried phone call, ďKaren, you need to get home immediately. Heatherís house is on fire!Ē

Needless to say I left work and headed straight to my daughterís home. Fire trucks blocked the street and smoke billowed from the windows of her home. The family dog lay dead from smoke inhalation in the front yard and my Heather came sobbing into my arms. ďMom, I canít believe it. I couldnít have been gone more than 45 minutes. The kids had a doctorís appointment. The Fire Marshall says there isnít anything that can be saved. What are we going to do?Ē

Comfort and love are the only things I could offer her at this early stage of the devastation. I took her in my arms and we cried together. One of the firemen finally came over and said we could go into the house. What our eyes beheld canít be adequately described. Black as evil is the only thing that comes close to describing the scene that greeted us.

Charred wood, peeling paint, melted metal banks, broken windows; all assailed our senses. The bathroom seemed to have suffered the greatest damage and we soon learned why. In Heatherís haste to get the kids to the doctor sheíd forgotten to unplug the curling iron. It had slid against a plastic cup, melted it and then the cup had burst into flames igniting the bathroom curtains and then exploding a waiting can of hair spray.

The fire lapped its way through the doorway and into my grandson Ericís bedroom destroying everything in sight. Black soot replaced the wallpaper. You could follow the fireís path along the wall and down onto the dresser, then back onto the curtains. It continued to snake along the ceiling line and then travel down the next wall.

The ruin filled our minds and fresh tears ran down our soot-covered cheeks. Our eyes continued to scan the room. I glanced over at Heather and thought I saw a smile begin to tweak at the corner of her lips. She pointed toward the wall as she said, ďLook. Will you just look at that.Ē

When I focused on the area, rejoicing did fill my soul. There on the wall hung the prayer Iíd written for my grandson Ericís dedication. It hung there in its charred frame, with black soot covering everything around it, but the glass over that prayer remained clear for all to read. A sign to us that Godís protecting hand had been upon our family.

Our Father in heaven is there protecting us in every situation of life. He also brought about a happy ending as the things of this life were replaced and love from the community poured forth. God uses everything for good for those that love him.

He also gave me a special gift. You see, when I use my curling iron, I have rejoicing in my heart for the loving God who made sure my family wasnít in that house when the fire started.

Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 11/29/04
Wow! I can't imagine going through destruction like a fire! Good job bringing a bit of humor into this tragedy. I, for one, will definitely pay more attention to my curling iron and make sure there is nothing on the counter within several inches of it!
So now I want to know what the prayer was that stayed intact amidst all the damage! Will you share??
Great entry!
Blessings, Lynda
Delores McCarter11/29/04
Great story. I liked the humor and drama. It was very engaging. I'll be watching MY curling iron too!
Mitzi Busby11/29/04
Karen, Awesome! He is our Protector. I too would love to know the prayer that you wrote for Eric's dedication.
Deborah Anderson11/29/04
I liked the way your last line tied it all together. God bless you.
Pam Williams11/29/04
I like how you wound the whole story around one of modern technology's creation -- the curling iron. I enjoyed your story.
Debbie OConnor11/29/04
A very enjoyable story with a great hook and title. Very creative.
Kathy Cartee11/30/04
A very good story and well written.
I am blessed with natural curly hair so never had to spend a night with rollers in my hair or use a curling iron. I am blessed. Now our 10 year old grand daughter lives with us and the poor kid has to figure out curling irons all alone I am afraid I am no help at all ! I enjoyed your story.
I wanted to thank everyone for their beautiful comments on this article and for those that want to read the surviving prayer I'll post it here.
Dear God,
Thank you for sending me into this world and for choosing this family just for me.
I pray you would give my family the wisdom, strength and courage they will need to raise me.
I also ask that I be led to accept you as my personal Savior as early in my life as possible so that I may grow up knowing your grace and mercy.
I thank you again Lord for giving me the opportunity to know and love you and this family you have given me.

P.S. The Lord answered the salvation part. Eric accepted Christ about a year ago and this year he was baptized. He is nine.

Lois Jennison Tribble12/01/04
It's a beautiful prayer and a great story, Karen. Your family has a terrific attitude to see you through disaster and help God bring good out of it. Excellent title, also!
Sandra Clayton12/02/04
Enjoyed reading this and, of course, happy to see it was a happy ending!
Sandra Clayton12/02/04
Here I sit with tears running down my face. This hits home for my husband and me, and for three of our four children. We are all still "waiting" for the fourth child to return. Thank you.
Linda Germain 12/05/04
Wow, Karen! Very well told. I am so sorry your daughter had to suffer those awful consequences though. If my curling iron were not the kind that shuts itself off when not in use ,I am afraid to think what havoc might be wrought! Side Note: My grandmother told me the curling irons they had in the 1920's, and before ,had to be heated in the fireplace or on the stove, and invariably singed your hair...oh, the price we pay for our crowning glory! :0) Nice readable writing.