Winter 1989 • Vol. XI No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 1989 |

An Errand of Mercy

We do not know how to pray for what we need, but it is the spirit itself that intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. —Romans 8:28 "It's closed," Ruby Upchurch said. "Push on through, then," Ora Belle Ivey shouted. "We're on an errand of mercy ain't we?" Ruby Upchurch tentatively lifted her hand and touched the metal plate on the door as if testing its reality. "What if he ain't there?" she asked. "He's there all right. I asked the nurse. I said, 'He in there?' And she said, 'That new resident?' And I said, 'Yes,' and she said, 'Of course. He don't ever leave.' And I said, 'Not even to go to the nurses' station?' And she said, 'Not even to do his business. And not only that, he can't talk.'" "Can't talk?" "That's what I hear. The nurse said he can't make a sound. Opens his mouth, nothing comes out but air. And I said, 'What's he do if he can't talk?' And she said, 'Rolls about in bed and watches TV.' And I said, 'How old is he?' And she said, 'Y

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A Thief

By Erin McGraw

We do not know how to pray for what we need, but it is the spirit itself that intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. —Romans 8:28 "It's closed," Ruby Upchurch […]

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