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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: Consider The Ravens
By Lori Othouse
06/21/06


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It was over in a matter of seconds. The silence that followed seemed louder than the crash. Rachel tried to lift her head off the steering wheel, but everything started to spin and a stabbing pain shot through her neck. As sirens approached, the events of the day replayed in her mind.

She had just dropped off Kevin and Lisa at their elementary school. It was another hectic morning with arguments over who got what for lunch and who kept touching whom. The early chaos had caused her to forget a report due at work and she just noticed a stain on her blouse. Wishing for what seemed like the millionth time that she could just get away, she leaned over to get a tissue out of her purse and didn’t see the oncoming truck. There was no time to even scream as her car spun wildly into a telephone pole.

The last thing Rachel remembered was being wheeled down a bright hallway with a kindly nurse holding her hand repeating, “It’s going to be okay, you’re going to be fine.” Then everything seemed to just fade away. It was peaceful, actually, kind of like floating in water. Her senses felt numb to all that was around her. There was no time, no urgency, no…anything. It was like one long dream, except she couldn’t wake up. Occasionally there were noises and voices, but it was like they were in a tunnel, until one rang out clear.

“Mommy?”

It was Lisa! Her little voice sounded so frail and frightened. She longed to hold her and tell her everything was okay, but she could do nothing. Soon she heard Kevin talking followed by her husband, Tom.

Even though they were right next to her, she felt a thousand miles away. She was surprised at the things she suddenly missed: the scratchiness of Tom's new beard, the smell of Lisa's hair after her bath, even the sound of Kevin pounding his toy drum. Would she ever know those things again?

After what seemed like years of drifting in a sea of nothingness, something within Rachel began to stir. There was a rustling, a sort of tingling inside. It was familiar, yet in such a new way. Then came the voice. She couldn’t see Him, but the presence she felt left no doubt as to Who was speaking. The words formed in her mind as though she was talking out loud.

“Lord, will I be with You soon?” she questioned.

“No, Rachel. Not yet.”

“But why am I here, then? I can’t go back to my family and I can’t go to be with You. I’m trapped in this prison of unconsciousness.” She hesitated. “Am I being punished?”

“No, dear one, I’m not punishing you. You are more precious to Me than you’ll ever comprehend. As My Word says in Luke 12:24, ‘Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap… and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?’ My eye is always watching you; My hand is always near. You won’t realize it for a time, but this will be a turning point in your life, your family, your ministry. Trust Me. And treasure all that I have given you.”

With that the presence faded into a peace like no other she had ever known.

It was seven days since the accident. The dreamy vagueness Rachel had grown used to was slipping away. Now there was pain. And stiffness. And that hospital smell. Her eyes fluttered open as she blinked at the harsh fluorescent lights, trying to speak.

Suddenly, there was a flurry of activity. Tom, who had been dozing in a chair, jumped to her side. Kevin and Lisa scrambled up from the floor where they were coloring. A nurse rushed in and began checking the myriad of machines that surrounded her.

All was well. At least it would be, in time. A sudden movement caused her to look and she saw a curious black bird perched on the windowsill. He cocked his feathered head toward her and then flew away as quickly as he came. “Consider the ravens…” she pondered with a smile.

Kevin and Lisa soon began to argue over who would sit closest to mommy. Tom groaned as he tried to referee the two. Rachel blinked back a tear. This was her life. And it was wonderful.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Sherry Wendling06/23/06
What a wonderful story of God’s faithfulness! A whopper opening paragraph—one of the most irresistible I’ve read—then an amazing trip in to the ocean depths, hovering with her on the fringe of life.

My one small glitch came when I was identifying so perfectly with your mc’s unconsciousness, then just before she came to, she knew exactly how many days she’s been under. Might this be more believable if she simply overhears someone mention seven days?

I liked the ending, with the two kids arguing, reminding her of life’s preciousness. Great stuff!

Jen Davis06/24/06
Excellent writing. Great intro, loved the ending and flowed so well in between. A nice touch to have the black bird sitting on the windowsill. "...seemed like years of drifting in a sea of nothingness." Very well done.
Phyllis Inniss 06/27/06
Quite an impact this writing has on the reader, not unlike the crash. You carried us along and the end was wonderful with its touch of reality - the children squabbling and the father refereeing. Seeing the raven at the close just clinched it for me.
Edy T Johnson 06/27/06
This reads as true as actual experience rather than fiction. You have either lived through this, or else you have a wonderful imagination. From your opening grabber to the nice touch of the bird at the end, this is just exquisitely well done writing!
Sherry Wendling06/29/06
Congratulations, Lori! So glad the judges liked it, too! Great stuff.
Jan Ross06/29/06
A well-deserved CONGRATULATIONS! :)
T. F. Chezum06/29/06
Congratulations! I don't know how I missed this story before. Great job, I enjoyed the read.
Linda Watson Owen06/29/06
Lori, this is so excellent! I started reading and before I knew it I was at the end. I felt like I had just 'lived' everything you described. Wonderful writing! Congratulations!!
Brenda Craig06/30/06
Congratulations, I'm so glad I read this. What a blessing and yes the end was there before I realized it. What a wonderful flow. Great job!