Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)
TITLE: Use Me Lord
By Debbie OConnor
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She got up, shoved a pile of unfolded laundry aside and twirled around the room singing praises.
After several minutes of rapturous worship, Lainey dug into the pile to retrieve a rumpled t-shirt and shorts and went off to take a bath. She thought of nothing but how good it felt to worship God and how excited she was that her family would be attending the third night of revival at their church that night.
Brad bustled into the room looking for his wallet. “Lainey, I’m late,” he muttered. “Have you seen my wallet?”
“Hm, mmm,” she replied, sinking under the water. Honestly, Brad seems to think I have nothing better to do than keep track of his things...
“Lainey!” Brad shouted. “The baby’s screaming. I have to go!” Brad tore Lainey’s keys from her purse and ran from the room.
“Hey!” she shouted. Then she drug herself from the tub grumbling.
“Hi Sunshine,” Lainey chirped at the toddler standing, sobbing in her crib. “How’s Jesus’ little princess today?”
Emily shuddered, her face a red mess of tears, slobber and snot.
Lainey wiped the little face with a cloth, making Emily scream louder. She picked her daughter up and carried her to the recliner. It was time to watch Joyce Meyer.
Emily was gnawing her fists, drooling and whimpering so loudly that Lainey had difficulty hearing her program. She irritably cranked the volume and shoved a pacifier in the baby’s mouth.
Moments later, Lainey heard the rumble of a garbage truck passing in the street. “Oh, no,” she said. “I’ve missed them again.” She decided the overflowing garbage would have to remain on the patio for another three days. Too late now, she reasoned.
When the program ended, Lainey hobbled into the kitchen with Emily on her hip. She plopped her in the high chair with some Cheerios and made herself a sandwich, ignoring the mound of dishes in the sink. She switched on the radio to listen to Charles Stanley while she ate.
After lunch, Emily napped and Lainey sat down to journal prayers for an hour. Then she relaxed, fantasizing about leading a mission team to Afghanistan. She drifted off in the recliner, until Emily’s screams awakened her. The dream slipped away, leaving her frustrated. Lainey was sure it had been prophetic.
Emily needed feeding—there wasn’t time to make dinner for Brad. Well, he’ll just have to understand. I’m busy too, she thought. She had a twinge of unease, knowing Brad would be hungry and that they would have to hurry to make church.
Brad entered the kitchen and found Lainey feeding Emily and listening to Chuck Colson on the radio. The counters were filthy, the sink was piled with dishes, and dinner wasn’t ready…again. He stiffened, but said nothing, hastily kissing his wife’s forehead. He went upstairs to see the same pile of what might once have been clean laundry, three Bibles and a prayer journal sprawled across the floor.
He snapped when he discovered the garbage on the patio.
“Lainey, I don’t understand. What did you do today?”
“I spent a lot of time with God,” she smiled, appearing satisfied. “I read, sang, prayed, watched Joyce Meyer and listened to Christian radio. I took care of Emily…”
Brad flushed with emotion. “Lainey, your devotion to the Lord is one of the things I love most about you…but do you really believe you pleased Him today?”
Lainey was horrified. How can he ask me that? Why wouldn’t God be pleased? What more could I have done?
A memory from the morning rocketed through her mind. She remembered praying, “I want you to use me, Lord.”
Lainey’s cheeks flushed guiltily as she looked at her messy house. She grinned foolishly up at her tired, hungry husband and said, “Maybe we should stay home? I think God wants to use me here.”
Brad looked shocked for a moment, then he laughed and said, “Please, God…use her!”
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