Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER (don’t write about the song) (04/30/15)
TITLE: The Safety Net
By Amy Gaudette
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My twelve year old mind was doing somersaults in confusion. What was
happening? Why wasn't Pa going to work? Why were Mom's eyes all red? I didn't voice any of these questions, but I knew Grandma knew. She always knew, and one look into those sky blue eyes and I immediately felt better.
Breakfast was meager that morning. I was worried Grandma hadn't eaten enough and tried to give her half of my toast.
â€śHush child,â€ť she reproved me gently. â€śYou're a growing girl, and the only growing I have left to do needs food of a different kind.â€ť She pointed a gnarled finger to her heart. I smiled and hugged her.
â€śCome on, lets get the dishes done for your Momma. She has lots of canning to do today.â€ť
I loved doing dishes with Grandma. She would talk about Jesus like she really knew him, like He was her best friend. Sometimes she would say the most amazing things about heaven. That morning she told me in heaven there would be no more tears, pain, or fear! Wow! I wished we could go there now, my whole family, because fear had moved in and was becoming a member of our home.
One evening about a week later, I walked into the living room while the news was on. Momma's hand was over her mouth, and her big brown eyes were opened wide. She really looked upset. Pa looked real grim. Grandma was the only one who really didn't seem all that upset, but that's my Grandma. I asked her once how come she was like that and why didn't anything bother her. â€śIt's prayer,â€ť she would say. â€śIt always comes back to prayer.â€ť
I tuned into the news for a minute. I could see why my parents were upset.
â€śUnemployment rate hit an all-time high of 22% today. Countless line up on streets outside of food banks hoping there will be something left for them. Violence has spread to all the major cities . . .â€ť On and on the reporter spoke. I turned to leave the room. I didn't want to here any more. I could feel my stomach tie into one great big knot and squeeze my breath out. What would we do? Would we starve?
I heard someone turn the TV off, and Pa say in an irritated voice, â€śWhy did you do that Ma? We were watching!â€ť
Grandma called me back in and asked that we all sit down, as she had something to say. My ears perked right up. This was not at all like Grandma.
Her sapphire eyes were brilliant.
â€śSeventy years ago, give or take a few, my family was in the same boat as you are now. You know it's called the Great Depression. It hit and hit hard. We were falling apart like an old knit afghan. My brothers wanted to take off on their own, and my mother spent hours in her room. There were no jobs anywhere.â€ť
â€śWhat did you do Grandma? How did you eat?â€ť I had to know right away.
â€śWell, my Pa asked that we stay together for two more weeks. If in that time nothing had changed, my brothers were free to try to make it on there own. He made one rule. We were to gather for prayer in the morning to thank God for a new day, and to make our needs known. We were also to gather again in the evening to once again give thanks, only this time for all God had provided.â€ť
â€śThat's a lot of praying Grandma,â€ť I commented.
A smile lit her face from the memory.
â€śThat was the best time we ever had together. We saw God provide in miraculous ways. Eventually our evening prayers went on for an hour, and we all looked on in awe to see how God seemed to open doors we never thought possible. We started praying for our neighbors needs and then our friends joined us. That time of prayer wove a safety net all around us and shaped our lives forever.â€ť
We were spellbound by Grandma's words. Ma was wiping tears away, but she had a smile on her face. Pa's face had softened.
â€śMa,â€ť Pa spoke gently, â€śthank you.â€ť He got up and kissed her cheek, then he looked around at all of us. â€śCome, it's time to pray.â€ť
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