Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Love and Grace (09/11/14)
- TITLE: Conviction Of Love
By C D Swanson
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<i>So this is what it comes down to Lord? My children and my wife are penniless due to my mishaps and incompetence. Why do they suffer for my sake? Why must they be a part of my ineptness?</i>
Jim's wife Elisa was disabled from her accident earlier in the year. She was in acute pain from the spinal injury sustained from a drunk driver T-boning her. She was in critical condition for the longest time, but with dedication and determination, and faith...she pulled through. She walks with a limp and suffers from frequent headaches, but she is happy to be alive.
Their five children range in age from nine to three. Mary, Rebecca, Sarah, Ruth and their little man, Andrew. All precious and special in their own way. Jim made poor decisions in his investment portfolio and lost every single red cent. Within three months of his financial disaster, he was cut from his job. Everything after that was a domino effect of his failures. The house went into foreclosure and soon they'd be out on the street.
Jim looked at the beam overhead before tossing the rope over it. He pulled at it to make sure it was secure. He fell to his knees, <i>"Lord, forgive me for what I'm about to do. I'm so sorry...but my family is better off without me. I'm a big failure and have been so depressed, I'm not a help to my children or wife any more. They'll be better off without me."</i>
He stood and climbed onto the chair, placing the noose around his neck he looked up and prayed. Then he heard music and saw a vision, "Daddy, I'm so proud of you. This is the best wedding any bride has ever had. I couldn't have done any of this without you. I love you." Mary was a beautiful bride.
And another vision appeared as rapidly as the first. This time in a hospital room, "Daddy, thank you for your kidney, you saved me. I love you." Rebecca smiled as she ate her ice cream.
The third vision was especially moving, "Daddy, you were so right about Billy. I'm so sorry for not listening to you. Thank you for being there for me. If you didn't come in when you did, he would have killed me...I love you. I don't know what I'd do without you in my life." Sarah sobbed on his shoulder.
The next vision was of Ruth in an open field, "Daddy I don't think I would have passed my exam if you hadn't pushed me and helped me study every night. When I wanted to give up, you were there for me. Encouraging and helping me. It's because of you I'm a board certified surgeon now. Thank you Daddy. I love you."
And, then there was Andrew at bat in the big major league. "And now number twenty-one, Andrew Moore." He hit a grand slam and after the game grabbed hold of his father. "Dad, I owe this all to you. Those days you pitched to me and your constant encouragement at the little league games. It's all because of you, when I doubted myself you were there. This game ball is for you. I love you Dad."
Finally, he heard Elisa's voice, "How could he do this to me? I loved him...why didn't I see this coming? Oh Jim, why didn't you talk to me baby? I loved you...why didn't you talk to God? I love you Jim...come back."
Suddenly, the rope was off his neck, and somehow he was off the chair and on his knees again. He then prostrated himself on the ground and cried, <i>"Thank you Lord! Forgive me for wanting to take my life...thank you for Your enduring love and grace. I will man up and with Your help and guidance, I know I will get through this. My children do need me, as does my wife. Thank You for letting me see. In Jesus name, Amen."</i>
He heard his wife's voice, <i>"Honey, we're home"</i> the exact moment a rainbow cast its glorious prism of colors through the window brightening the attic, chasing the darkness away....
<i>And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:5 KJV)</i>
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