In the absence of love when love comes
by Shaudonna Bryant
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Chapter 1 Bitter We Are
“ Bitter We Are” is a town that has existed for many years. The people in “Bitter We Are” started of innocent, loving, and caring. Everybody looked out for each other. In the neighborhoods, all the children would happily play together at the park. The name of the park was Unity City Park. At the city park many things went on, you would see the most beautiful rose gardens, the most intriguing chess games, and the most joyful children on swings, teeter-totters, and in sand boxes.
The town was very colorful. No house or store was the same color. Everyone showed how creative they were. One house in the middle of the town square was shaped like a cross, and next to it was a house shaped like a dove. Each house, and building was as unique as each person who lived there; or worked there.
One day the Offense Family moved into town, across the street from Unity park. The Offense Family brought along Gossip, Unforgiveness, and Bitterness. Soon they all began to duplicate themselves in the people. At first the people tolerated Gossip, Unforgiveness, and Bitterness. The people then eventually accepted them in the community.
Soon after they came, the Offense Family had Unity City Park closed down. The people became hurt, and began to blame one another. They even swore they would never forgive each other. Thus the time became “Bitter We Are”
Chapter 2 The Love Family Moves to “Bitter We Are”
Forty-nine years later the Love Family moved to town. The Love Family is a family of five. Their names were Abba, Adriel, Ahzai, Amariah, and Anna, the youngest. When the Love Family moved to “Bitter We Are” they moved into in the house shaped like a cross. The house was over grown with vines, and weeds so high you wouldn’t recognize it; or you would get so distracted, you would over look it. The town lost all it’s color. Everything was black, and gloomy now. No one smiled anymore, or had sympathy for his neighbor. No one cared that the town was now segregated. They only about themselves, and those in their group. “Bitter We Are” was now split into sections. Only certain people could live in certain places.
The Love Family lived right in the middle of it all. Their hearts were broken by what they saw. One little Offense caused the invasion of many hurts; which tore apart an entire town. Now everything was confusing, and chaotic, to the point that no one knows who they are, or how to love. Let alone what love is.
Chapter 3 God Can Use Anyone or Anything
Anna is a petite little girl, with eyes as blue as pool water, and golden blonde hair.
One day Anna was at a store called Dolls-R-Us. She was looking at all the dolls in a row on the shelves. Some dolls smiled at her, some frowned; some had save the dolls faces. Some were dark skinned, some were light, or medium colored. The dolls all seemed to have spirits, or personalities of their own. In this store there were depressed dolls, I’m all that dolls, you know you want me dolls, So how do you pick the right doll in a world of dolls? Big dolls, little dolls, girl dolls, and boy dolls, well you get the point.
Anna walked, and looked up, and down through the huge shelves. For 7 hours Anna went through the store. Finally at the back of the 77th shelf at the very bottom by her self was a doll with a warm smile, the cutest blue button eyes, and with arms reaching out as if to say “ I’ll be loyal, and love you forever, just treat me with kindness.” “Wow” Anna said, “She’s the one!” I must take her home with me. So Anna looked at the price tag on the doll in disbelief. Fifty cents! Anna exclaimed, this doll is worth more than that! With that Anna knew it was the right doll for her.
Anna took the doll to the counter, and patiently waited in line with a smile on her face. When her turn came she was relieved. She felt like she had been waiting for fifty years, which was only five minutes, but it seemed longer. Behind the check- out counter Hanniel, the clerk, saw the doll she was very disgusted. “ You couldn’t find a better doll than that?!”
This one has been there for 80 years and has gathered dust from rejection!” This made Anna furious, so furious that she had to work to keep her composure. Anna said, nothing to Hanniel, but Anna’s actions broke the silence. She stood there hugging, and cuddling the doll. Hanniel saw her, and said, “ Just take it, get it out of my sight!” So Anna ran out the store in tears with her doll in her hands. Her heart broke, and for that moment she felt what the doll probably would have felt, if it had life. Anna looked into the big blue button eyes, and said, “ You’re a very special doll Carey, and I love you.” As she said this she hugged the doll tight, and went home.
Chapter 4 One Person at a Time
One day at work, Hanniel, the clerk at Dolls-R-Us was having a flashback of Anna. How could someone love something so pitiful? Even more puzzling to her was how in such a dark, depressing town could there be such a glow? In amazement Hanniel began to examine the glow she saw on the girl, over such a dusty, blue buttoned eyed doll, that Hanniel thought would never sell.
At that moment the store clerk began to analyze her own actions. The town wasn’t dark because the colors changed on the buildings, but because of the people. People make towns not buildings. So Hanniel thought, I can’t change the town, but I can work on me. So from that point on she began to give service with a smile.
Anna went back to Dolls-R-Us with Carey in her arms; and immediately noticed the change in Hanniel, and the atmosphere in the store. Anna edified Hanniel, and then went about her business.
As Anna went around town with Carey, people began to mumble, and complain. But Anna continued to smile, and hug her doll. After seeing this, the town came together for a meeting. This family is weird, and they must be figured out, or kicked out.
Chapter 5 Strange Family
They helped people. They fed the hungry, and clothed the naked. They even helped those who came against them. People were being healed right, and left. As they received healing they were delivered, and restored. As people were healed, delivered, and restored; the town began to get it’s color back. One person at a time.
Abba, Adriel, Ahzai, Amariah, and Anna knew their lifestyle spoke louder than words.
When they did speak, they spoke with compassion but sternly. No one ever saw anyone like them before. The color began to come back to the town. It was still a process of teaching, repenting, and restoration. The Offense Family had come in one step at a time.
Because of the shift of influence the Love Family was causing the town to become one, but split right down the middle. The believers and the skeptics.
Chapter 6 Town Meeting
The Offense Family called a town meeting. “ Something has to be done about this heretic family. They go around teaching that love keeps no record of wrong, is patient, and kind, not boastful, or arrogant, or jealous. “ That’s obviously not you!”, one of the towns people yelled. Another person said, “ You don’t hang around them, how can you say you have a problem with them?” “ Well” Gossip said, “ I heard some people say the difference isn’t different.” “Oh so you’re basing your accusations off of nothing but hearsay?” Hanniel replied. “Don’t you see?” the whole Offense family said, “You can’t have both of us” “There’s a conflict of interests here; either you hold on to us, or you hold on to them, and I highly suggest you keep us since we’ve been here the longest.” hey you made your case, let them plead theirs,” the towns people shouted. “ Are you kidding?” This town is messed up anyway. “ Have you lost your mind,” Gossip pleaded. “Do you know dangerous that could be for us?,” replied Unforgiveness. The town’s people debated with the Offense family until they reached an agreement. “Ok” the Offense family said as long as we get to censor what is said before it is said.
Chapter 7 Anna’s Speech
The Offense Family was not about to let just any of the Loves
speak, it could be detrimental to their health. So they picked Anna. They figured she is so young, gullible, and lacks knowledge. I mean who could be wise carrying a piece of junk? Right?
But they were in for a surprise. So Anna and her family came to the town meeting the next day. Anna went to the podium with Carey in her arms, and began to speak.
Everyone of you is like Carey was. Anna said, as she held Carey for all to see. There was a loud gasp, and a pause. Then Anna continued. You are a dirty, and undesirable people who have sat in the same place for years, and have not moved. You wait for someone else to move you, but you’re stuck in our hurts, and virtually unmovable. Your religion holds you hostage, and justifies tolerating things that should have never been tolerated. You served judgement on Carey that she was trash, so no would buy her, but you left her on the shelf. In spite of your past you can still be loved, and love others. You people lost your focus, you let small issues divert, and distract you; like the weeds, and vines did on our house. You let them escalate to the point you lost sight of the true meaning of the cross. The cross is there for a reason. It’s there for you. Come back to the foot of the cross. Leave your hurts at the cross. It will make you clean. Jesus loves you the way I love Carey. It’s not what’s on the outside that counts it’s what’s in your heart. Change what’s in your heart, then what’s on the outside will reflect what’s in your heart. Anna firmly spoke with all her being, and with wisdom beyond her years. The last thing Anna said was, “ Your actions mean nothing unless done in love.” Then the Offense family rose up, and shouted “Heresy!” Run them out of town before they destroy you. Then Adriel, Anna’s mother; stood up and said, “ Can love destroy?” Ahzai then stood up, and said, “ Where a man’s is there his heart will be also.” Amariah was next, “ Without love nothing matters.” Lastly Abba spoke; “ You may run us out of town, but the love will never escape you. But to be fully restored you must rid yourselves of those who don’t reflect love.
Chapter 8 Chose This Day
The eyes of the towns people were opened. They saw the damage caused by the Offense family. So the people came together, and ran them out of the town. They chose that day that love is stronger than anything. After they ran the Offenses out, Unity Park was reopened. The town’s name was changed from Bitter-We-Are to Love Conquers All. Not everybody took the change to heart, and truly repented; but everyone saw that change starts on person at a time; and love changes people, and affects everyone.
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