Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BLESSED (03/07/19)
TITLE: A Gift for Lacey
By Nancy Sullivan
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She tapped lightly on the door and waited for the tender voice of her patient to welcome her in. But what Lacey heard were the soft and hesitant steps inching closer to the door.
“Miss Lillian, should you be out of bed?” Lacy asked.
“You know, Nurse Lacey, I’m feelin’ just a little stronger today an’ wanted to greet you at the door. Proper like.”
“Well, thank you. That makes me feel a little stronger, too. It’s been a long day.”
Lacy knew she would soon be going home to unfinished homework, dishes in the sink, and a husband absorbed in his TV world. She would take any positive attitude that came her way and try to embrace a piece of it for herself.
“How do you do it, Miss Lillian? With your family so far away and being here alone day after day, yours is the most pleasant face I see each week.” Lacy waited for a response until Miss Lillian made it back to her chair and caught her breath.
“Chil’, you know I’m never alone. The good Lord promised me that many a year ago when I was a young ‘un. I feel His presence with me ever day. He’s the biggest blessin’ in my life.”
Lacy wished she could feel that same presence in her life and quietly said as much as she reached for her medical bag.
“What’s that you say, Hon? You wish you could know the Lord is with you, too? Well, you can!” Miss Lillian’s hearing was sharper than she was given credit to have.
“How can I know that? I believe there is a God, but I don’t feel anything special,” Lacy explained.
“Even the demons believe. The Good Book says so right there in James 2:19. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
Lacy could never understand why people quoted from the King James. “No one ever talks like that,” she thought. But she admitted to herself that she had never heard that scripture.
“Did you know God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for your sins? You. Lacey Stone. Like you are the only person in the world. Ever sin past, present, an’ future. Once an’ for all.”
Lacey was familiar with the Easter story of how Jesus died on the cross and rose again three days later, but never considered that He would do that for her. She had made too many bad decisions in her life.
Miss Lillian continued with John 3:16, Romans 3:23 and other verses that speak of salvation. Lacey sat quietly and listened. As the Holy Spirit drew her in. Lacey’s heart began to feel the burden of the sin in her life. At the right moment, Miss Lillian led Lacey in the prayer of repentance and of asking Jesus to become the Lord of her life. The God she knew in her mind existed was now real in her spirit.
Lacey left with a heart free and filled with awareness of the presence of Jesus who was always with Miss Lillian. She would soon know that feeling day after day, through hours of driving and quiet times with patients who could see Lacey’s new joy. She welcomed any opportunity to share her faith with them, several of whom confessed they had been praying for her.
For the last time, Lacey stepped up on the creaky porch to Miss Lillian’s home. She was there to pay her respects to the family who had traveled there to honor their mother.
“Mother asked that we give this to you, Lacey.”
Lacey’s eyes filled with tears as she reached for Miss Lillian’s worn Bible. The King James Version. She smiled. “If it was good enough for Miss Lillian, it’s good enough for me.”
That night, Lacey sat in the glow of a nearby lamp and opened her “new” Bible. A note written in Lillian’s hand was waiting for her:
“Because of you, my days were brighter
Because of you, my burdens were lighter
Because of Him, I’m in Heaven’s rest
Because of Him, I was blessed by the best.”
(Scripture reference is from KJV.)
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