Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Failure (03/01/04)
TITLE: Preacher's Wife
By Lynne Cox
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On the night of the fire, we were all sitting around the table eating dinner. The house shook with the first crack of thunder, and then a lightning bolt came that lit up the whole dining room with golden crackling light. Daddy jumped up and ran to the window, and Mom snatched the baby out of the highchair and cuddled him against her chest. We were all scared. Daddy cried out “It hit the pine tree!” and me and my two brothers piled out of our chairs and stood by Daddy and saw a huge tree on fire from the trunk way up into the top branches.
Daddy called the fire department, and told us all to get out of the house. I followed Mom and the baby out the front door and the boys followed Daddy out the back. It was cold and wet and dark outside, with lightning dancing and thunder rolling and rain stinging our faces. I looked across the street, hoping the Logan’s were home and we could stay with them, but their house was dark as pitch. Mom and I were forced to stand out in the rain and try to keep the baby dry by tucking him under our coats.
The firemen came, and I could see Daddy and the boys moving out of their way. Huge trees blazed, and smoke rose through the rain and the smell went into my nose and made me sneeze. The storm got worse. Lightning did little skipping dances near our feet, and the rain was coming down in sheets. I took the baby from Mom to give her a little rest, and saw that he was a mess. He had a stinky diaper and his overall straps had fallen down and his little white shoes were drenched.
“I’m scared of thunderstorms, Sissy”, Mom said, huddling in her coat and trembling. “I’m too scared even to pray.”
“Our Father”, I said, unable myself to form a prayer. Then I couldn’t remember the rest of the words because I was cold and scared.
A fireman came over and asked how we were. Mom said we were fine, thank you.
Finally the fire was out, and we were grateful to see that the Lord had preserved our parsonage from the destruction of the fire. We all ran back into the house and Mom got out dry clothes for us and Daddy said “Let’s kneel down and thank the Lord for what He has done for us tonight” and Mom started to cry and Daddy said “What’s the matter Nomie?” and Mom said she had failed the Lord twice that night.
She said she was too scared during the fire to pray and that she let the fireman go away from us without even once mentioning her trust in God to see us through.