Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Crime and Punishment (not about the book) (07/21/11)
TITLE: Amazing Grace
By Amica Joy
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“Any minute, the trucks will come and bring food and water”, his mother Sarah replied.
“You’ve been saying this for the last two weeks. The trucks are not going to come, Mum”. Gavin said aggravated.
“Never give up hope. Never ever give up hope, do you hear?” exclaimed James, Gavin’s Dad.
Gavin was watching a man who was holding his 3-year-old in his arms and was calling out in despair “Won’t anyone give us some water for my son?”
“I can’t listen to this any longer. This is killing me”, Sarah sobbed.
Any minute, the trucks will be here, Sarah”, said James imploringly.
“No, Dad, they won’t be. Stop repeating this sentence like a mantra. That’s not going to change anything.” Gavin looked at his Dad angrily. “Go and do something about it!”
“And what can I do, Son? I’m not God! I can’t make it rain. I can’t stop the scourging sun. I can’t ask for bread to fall from heaven …”
By now, James was screaming at his son. He kicked some of the empty water bottles out of his way that were piling up on their veranda.
A man who had been sitting in the shade of a tree, his hands buried in his arms, weeping and whispering to himself, slowly got up and looked straight at Gavin, James and Sarah. Beside him lay his wife and his two daughters. They were dead.
“You can do something”, he said and raised his voice.
We can all do something!” he shouted.
“I want to live”, cried a woman staggering toward the man.
“Calm down, woman”, the man said with new strength rising up in him while he took her hand and held her tight.
“We can pray to God. We all can.”
“I can’t believe it. He’s mobilizing everyone!” exclaimed Gavin.
The man stood straight, looked up to heaven and started to sing:
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me … “
“O my God”, gasped Sarah who was watching the people form a great big choir. Those too weak to walk were crouching toward him.
“I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”
“This is ridiculous. I can’t see God in this suffering. He’s forgotten about us. He’s punishing us. Where is his grace?” cried Gavin who couldn’t believe what was happening.
Sarah turned to her husband. “James?” she said. But he wasn’t standing on the veranda with them anymore.
“He’s walking to that crazy man, Mum. Look!” cried Gavin.
They watched James reach for the man’s hand and sing with him:
“T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.”
“But Dad doesn’t believe in God”, Gavin mumbled. “This is crazy. We’re all going to die and they are singing hymns.”
"How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.”
“We won’t give in to this spooky stuff, Mum, will we?”Gavin said.
“Hey! Mum! Where ya going?” cried Gavin.
“I’m joining the heavenly choir”, his mother said.
Sarah joined two 8-year-old girls who were barely able to stand on their feeble feet. They were singing with beautiful angelic voices. She joined hands with them and, while tears were ceaselessly running down her cheeks, they sang together:
"Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home."
People were starting to lift their hands to heaven and worshipping God. Their song grew stronger and stronger and louder and louder.
“You should come and join us. Don’t sit here alone on your veranda”, a little boy said to Gavin and tried to pull Gavin away with him but he had no strength.
“I’m coming”, said Gavin finally and lifted the little boy on his shoulders and walked slowly to the choir.
All of a sudden, Gavin could hear honking horns, and the sound was coming closer. “The trucks are coming!” shouted someone and everyone started shouting “The trucks are coming.”
The first truck arrived and stopped right in front of Gavin.
Two men jumped out: “We had lost our way. We thought we’d never find you. We were about to go home. But then we heard the singing ...
“Thank you, Jesus!” whispered the little boy on Gavin’s shoulders.
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