Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)
- TITLE: Renewed Hope
By Cindy McMichael
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I wanted so badly to believe that life could be better, but with a father headed to prison and a mother blinded by drug addiction and self absorption, all remaining hope began to fade.
“I’ll be back later,” my mother grumbled as she staggered toward the front door. I reached for her arm in order to stop her, but she brushed my hand away. She never once looked back at me.
The sickening knot in the pit of my stomach grew as I peered through the broken blinds and watched her walk down the street and out of view. I began to wonder if I was the reason she disappeared for days at a time. Why else would my mother treat me this way?
I gritted my teeth as a rush of anger came over me. I grabbed my jacket and stormed out of the house in the direction of the corner bus stop.
Along the way, I found myself desperately wishing for something to belong to. I did not know where to turn.
As I approached the bus stop, a stranger greeted me. “Hi there,” he said.
I nodded in return and took a seat on the bench.
“Hey, if you don’t have plans tonight, we’re having a barbeque over at the Community Center,” he eagerly began. “We’ll be playing basketball and hanging out. You should come check it out.”
I looked up to see him smiling brightly at me. He handed me a small flyer with directions and other details.
“Hope to see ya there,” he offered, still smiling. He turned and headed towards the corner store.
As I stared down at the brightly colored flyer, something inside me felt drawn to go. I decided to catch the next bus to the Community Center.
When I arrived at the Community Center, I saw many people there who were unknown to me. To my surprise I found that they all were just as friendly as the gentleman who handed me the flyer. Joy radiated from their smiles, and genuine concern coated their words.
I continued into the Community Center when I was then approached by a man who introduced himself as ‘Jeff.’
“I haven’t seen you here before,” he said.
I nodded. “So, what’s this all about? Why is everyone so happy?” I asked.
Jeff paused and smiled. “Have you ever heard of Jesus?”
“Jesus? No,” I answered.
And as Jeff explained the precious source of everyone’s joy, deep down I knew I had found a light in the middle of an otherwise dark city.
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