Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS (Don't write about the song) (04/16/15)
TITLE: Too Stressed to be Blessed
By Sheldon Bass
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Mrs. Emily Bunch was humming a mellifluous tune as her husband lumbered in and plopped down at the dinette table wearing his usual morning scowl.
“Good Morning Dear,” Emily gushed merrily, hoping to avert her husband’s irritability.
“Mornin,” he answered laboriously.
Mrs. Bunch served-up his plate with three eggs, toast and blueberry jam, and a cup of hot coffee before taking her seat adjacent to Walter. Gently, she attempted to broach the desire of her heart.
“Honey, wouldn’t it be lovely to hear the pitter patter of little feet around the house?”
“Don’t start with that again,” Walter barked. “I have enough to deal with already without having to take care of screaming kids. I’ve told you, maybe when we’re better off financially we can think about having children.”
“But God always provides for our needs,” protested Emily. "Besides, the perfect time will probably never come—we aren’t getting any younger.”
“Can’t a man even eat his breakfast in peace?”
Emily answered resignedly, “Alright dear, we’ll talk about it when you get home from work.”
He responded sarcastically. “I can’t wait.”
The couple actually was not in bad of shape financially, but no matter how much Walter brought home from his technical analyst position he never seemed to think it was enough. Which made Emily wonder. Enough for what? We have everything we need and a little extra saved in the bank. Their two bedroom home would be paid off in another five years and each of them had their own car.
Meanwhile in the house across the street another couple sat on a stuffed sofa weeping. They were entwined in an embrace, comforting each other over the miscarriage of their unborn child.
A few doors down from them, a newly widowed young bride wept over the final correspondence from her Marine husband, who’d been killed in action.
On his way to a downtown office, rush hour traffic elicited the same ranting response as every weekday morning with Walter yelling at the unhearing cars as if it might somehow hasten their progress. Driving a Ford Taurus directly in front of him was a young father and husband, who kept casting worried glances at the red needle on his fuel gauge. Meanwhile, he was fervently praying that today would finally be the day that his visit to the employment office would garner him a much needed job.
Arriving five minutes early, the parking space Walter coveted was already taken. “Of course,” he complained, and then took the empty space right next to it. Straightening his new tie, the analyst exited the vehicle and began his one block trek to an eight-story office building for another day of humdrum work.
Without noticing, he strolled past a homeless man camped on the sidewalk brushing lint off of a half-eaten taco he’d salvaged from a trash receptacle.
When he strode into the office he was met with cheerful greetings from co-workers, but for Walter Bunch this only seemed to add weight to his gloom. At his desk the worries of getting his newest assignment completed on schedule knotted up Walter’s stomach, and he felt a burning sensation in his chest. He thought, that’s all I need, heartburn again.
Suddenly, searing fire ripped through his torso as a stabbing pain shot down his left arm and leg simultaneously. He gasped for air. Then everything went black.
Five hours later, Walter’s eyes fluttered open. He could hear Emily’s sweet voice as the room was coming into focus. She stood at the foot of his hospital bed nodding her head as a doctor spoke.“Just be sure that everything stays peaceful and calm. His heart can’t handle any more stress.”
“But he really didn’t have anything to be stressed-out over before,” she avowed. Walter is good at creating his own stress. But, I’ll do everything I can to keep him calm.”
A foreign realization began to dawn on Walter Bunch, which he responded to with a silent prayer. He began, “Lord, thank you that I am still alive. Thank you for Emily, and for my job, and the home we have to live in…”
Afterwards, Mr. Bunch prayed again: “Lord, I think I’d like to have a son…”
(Author's Note: Happiness comes from a heart of gratitude for all of the good things in our lives that God has blessed us with. Many times we don't even notice those good things, until we take the time to count our blessings.)
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