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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: Rivers Of Mercy
By Ruth Renwick



There he stood. Frail. Forlorn. Forsaken.

Perhaps only five years old, he stood motionless. His empty gaze was not just due to hunger, disease and the emptiness of his bare, brown-skinned belly. His soul seemed empty – of emotions, of will or purpose, and especially of hope.

Some children were playing at the edge of the muddy water. No longer a river, it had become stagnant water. The water was stirred as women washed their clothes there, cattle came to drink and children played in what was their only drinking water.

Josef did not play. He did not have the energy or the desire. The diseased drinking water had taken its toll on his little body. He did not have friends. His parents had lost their fight with disease and left him motherless and fatherless.

With the hot sun in his eyes, Josef did not see the young woman come up the dusty track toward him. She was hot, her hair, coated with sweat, hung limply and dust-coloured sweat trickled down her face. Kneeling in front of Josef she captured his gaze.

With a little difficulty, he adjusted his focus to look into the cool sweetness of her eyes. Kindness and compassion looked at him, really looked at him, and did not turn away with embarrassment or sense of helplessness and regret.

Josef could not remember the last time he had been looked at as an individual, as if he had some value. The impact was like a magnet to him as he was drawn to follow this woman around. He learned she was part of a team to drill a water well nearby.

They were busy organising things, but not so busy that she wouldn’t just sit sometimes with Josef on her lap and run her fingers through his dark curly hair. He sensed in her an inner well of joy, mercy and love as she talked tenderly about her Saviour, Jesus and His love for Josef.

On that glorious day when the fresh water came gushing up from the ground, he understood. It was not just an inner well, but it was a forceful river of living water, mercy and love in action. It was the compassion to take a forgotten little boy into loving arms, but also the passion to change his world and future.

Now, ten years later, Josef no longer stands forlorn and fatherless. He has not allowed the river of mercy poured into his life to become muddied or stagnant. His soul is full of hope, determination and purpose. Out of his heart flow rivers of living water and mercy to others. (John 7: 39 NKJV)

Dear one, do rivers flow out of your life? Has the flow been hindered by muddied waters or areas of stagnation?

We must always stay connected to our source of living water. We must also allow all He gives us to flow out to others to keep the flow strong and fresh. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10 : 8 NKJV)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Emery09/07/06
What a lovely story and how hopeful! I could see this scene clearly. This was very well done.
Frances Roberts09/11/06
Very well written. It caught my interest in the first sentence and kept it to the end.
Joanne Sher 09/14/06
Wonderfully written! Congratulations on the highly commended!
Jan Ross09/14/06
Congratulations on your "Highly Commended" win! God bless you as you continue to grow in your gifts and talents! Very, very well done!