Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GREED (avarice, particularly for wealth and things) (01/22/15)
TITLE: Tessa's Tablet
By Francy Judge
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“Are you sure I’m in the right place?” Lyla asked Renny.
“One hundred percent sure. You’ll see—she’ll grow up like every other child. Remember, Romans 3:23: For all have…”
Lyla shook her head as she tried to imagine that sweet heart shaped mouth speaking words she’d regret. “Are you sure she’ll never be able to hear me?”
“Yes, but I have met a Ministering who claimed he was able to influence his person to choose the right way. There is a possibility her heart can feel your presence and her soul can hear you.”
Two years passed, and Lyla grew to love Tessa as her own. She watched her every move and heard her babbles begin to form words. “You’re one of God’s miraculous creations,” she’d whisper. As required in her position, Lyla always wore her tablet around her neck. Whatever she wrote would instantly transfer to the main data bank. “My job doesn’t make much sense,” she complained to Renny. “God knows everything that goes on, everything she’ll say, so why do I need to write it down? And what if I never have anything to write down?”
“Just do your job and stop worrying. We don’t have to understand everything.”
As a heavenly breeze fluttered her wings, Lyla heard someone cry. A piercing, high-pitched squeal. “That couldn’t be Tessa!” It wasn’t. It was the little girl sitting next to her on the Toddler Time Gym play mat. Lyla breathed deeply and sighed.
Tessa’s mom leaned over. “Tessa, honey, what are you hiding?”
Tessa shook her head. “None.”
The other baby screamed, “Meme! Meme!”
“Tessa…” Her mom pleaded.
Tessa looked down and unfolded her hands, holding a stuffed Minnie Mouse. “Mine! Mine!”
“No, honey. It’s Sally’s.”
Renny nodded at Lyla. “Okay, I get it.” Lyla scribbled Tessa’s first act of greed on her tablet. Her heartache traveled to her fingertips. “Oh, Tessa. This is the beginning of your end.” She prayed this was just a freak occurrence and she’d never be greedy again.
By Tessa’s tenth birthday, Lyla’s tablet had filled a few times over.
--She hid another box of Wonderoos Chocolate Chip Cookies in her sock drawer.
--Tessa lied when her friend asked if she had another piece of gum to give her.
--Tessa told Mary she wasn’t having a sleepover so she wouldn’t have to share Katelynn’s friendship.
--Tessa slipped another twenty dollar bill from her mom’s wallet without asking.
--She kissed her best friend’s boyfriend.
--Tessa had to buy a Fiona Farley handbag, though it cost as much as a week’s pay and her husband told her not to waste money.
--Tessa bought another Fiona Farley handbag and hid it in the back of her closet.
--She couldn’t resist buying the three hundred dollar pumps to match the Fiona Farley handbag she hides.
Lyla watched Tessa struggle in the delivery room of the same hospital she was born in. The baby was coming a month early. Lyla whispered prayers over her. Then Tessa prayed, “God, I know I haven’t been following you like I should, but I promise I will change if you just help me now. Please let our baby be okay. Help us be good parents.” The contractions wrenched her body and her prayers turned to screams.
After four more hours, the nurse placed a healthy, tiny baby girl in Tessa’s arms. Lyla could feel her heart melt as Tessa whispered another prayer. “Lord, you are so good. Thank you for this miracle. She’s beautiful. I promise to teach her about you like mom taught me. Forgive me for all my greed and straying away from you. From now on, I trust you as my Savior.”
Lyla felt the chain on her neck split as the tablet fell. She picked it up and turned it over. It was blank. She looked up to heaven. “Thank you. You are awesome! Now, I understand.”
She wanted to say goodbye to Tessa, but Renny said it wasn’t possible. Lyla blew her an angel’s kiss.
Renny pointed. “Look.” Tessa’s nurse placed the swaddled baby in the bassinet with a pink bow and a tag that said, “Lyla.” The new angel hovering over her smiled.
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