Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)
By Joanne Sher
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She glanced to her left. Her walker was a few steps away, on the driveway where she'd left it. She approached it, then steadied herself and moved toward her house, fifty feet up the driveway.
After a few steps, she scrunched her face and looked back, tittering silently. She slowly turned her walker around and lumbered back toward the mailbox. Stretching out her arm, she pushed the mailbox's flag into the upright position. Her smile wide, she restarted her journey toward home.
Karen sat in a chair on her front porch, her eyes flitting from her wristwatch to the street. Not a car had driven by in the past five minutes.
She sighed. She hated depending on others, but she had no choice. The oncologist had said she needed a ride home from chemo. Praise God, Anna had offered.
Karen checked her watch again: 9:45. Her appointment, a ten-minute drive, was at 10. Karen drummed her fingers on the arm of the chair. She knew that Anna often arrived at appointments with seconds to spare, if not a couple minutes late. Karen, known for her promptness, gritted her teeth and looked down.
<I>Another change to get used to. Lord, can you just slow down with these adjustments already?</I>
Raising her head, she saw Anna's minivan pulling into the driveway. Karen rose, glancing at her watch again: 9:48.
Sandra poured water from the whistling teakettle into a flowered mug. Her teabag floated to the top. Mug in hand, she hobbled to the kitchen table and sat at its only chair. Before her was an open bible, a pink notebook, and a pen. She placed her tea on its saucer, picked up the pen, and opened the notebook to the first blank page, about halfway through.
<I>Well, Lord, I sent it. Thank you for giving me the energy to make it to the mailbox, and the perfect verse to include. Now it's all in Your hands. May my note bless and encourage her tomorrow. Help her to know peace: the peace You've given me. Thank you for allowing me to serve You in this way. </I>
Sandra signed her name with a flourish. She closed the notebook and removed the teabag from her mug, placing it on the saucer beneath it. She took a sip and smiled.
Sandra turned toward her bible and mouthed a verse underlined there. Her eyes sparkled with tears.
Karen had no desire to rise. Her stomach was queasy and she had never been this tired. Yesterday had been, in a word, awful. She barely remembered arriving home. Yet, it was noon the next day somehow, and someone was knocking on her bedroom door.
<I> Must be Anna checking on me.</I> "Come in," Karen moaned.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Anna bounced in. "I didn't mean to wake you, but this came and I figured you'd want to see it. I thought I heard you stirring."
"It's okay. What do you have?" Karen sat up in bed, inspecting the envelope Anna handed to her.
After a look at the return address, Karen grinned. It was from Sandra Marshall, one of the senior saints at church and a real encourager. Sandra had lost her voice from thyroid cancer a few years previous, but always found ways to share the hope within her.
"You were right, Anna. Thanks."
Anna smiled. "So, are you going to open it? And read it to me?"
Karen nodded as she tore open the envelope.
I have been where you are right now. God was with me, though I didn't believe it then. I pray that you WOULD believe it, and that you would feel His wonderful touch. God will bring you closer to Him through this, and He will strengthen you." Karen breathed deeply, wiping tears away. "He did it for me. Come to Him.
In Christ's love,
Anna put her arm around Karen. "She's so precious, isn't she?"
Karen nodded. "And look what else she wrote."
Anna leaned in and smiled, reading Matthew 11:28.
"Perfect." Anna hugged Karen. "And speaking of rest...,"
Karen smiled. "Yeah; I think I'll get both kinds for a bit. Thanks, Anna."
Karen slid back into the warmth of her covers, and her Savior, and rested.
<I>Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.</I> Matthew 11:28
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