Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)
TITLE: Come Away
By Shannon Parker
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She cries. She beats the ground screaming, “Why? Why do I do this to myself over and over again? Why can’t I just move on? Why do I trust these men in my life? I need to be loved. I need to feel loved. Why, O God, why?” Not a moment too soon, a stranger comes, kneels down beside her and says, “Can I help you?” She jumps up startled. “What? How long have you been here? Where did you come from? Please just leave me alone!” The stranger looks to her and with tears in his eyes says, “Please, just come with me. I truly mean you no harm. I will take you somewhere safe and somewhere that you can feel peace again!” He holds out his hand. Reluctantly she takes it, not knowing quite why she feels so compelled to go.
They begin to walk away and as they’re walking, she goes to take her hand away from his, but he now has her pulled in to where they are locking arms and his right hand resting upon hers. She doesn’t fight him. She doesn’t even know why she is feeling so safe all of a sudden, but a little scared at the same time. He leads her down the alley and they turn right onto a street called Grace. He leads her down this road, through a gate that opened to the most beautiful sanctuary full of flowers, birds, butterflies and cobblestone paths that wind through every crevice of this glorious place.
As they walk, he begins speaking to her telling her of how this place was a mess not too long ago, but with some cleaning, planting and pruning, the outcome is as it is now. A beautiful and glorious place to walk through, that you can’t help but want to see even the inward beauty that this sanctuary entails. Her eyes are gazing in awe to her surrounding. They come to a bench in the middle of a circle and take a seat. She takes a seat looking over every detail, thinking there has to be a hundred gardeners keeping this place up. Only that couldn’t be, because she saw no one there.
The gentlemen looks at her and says, “Do you see the beauty here?” She replies, “Yes sir. Such beauty as I have never seen before.” He looks at her with a smile and says, “This is how He see you. You see a mess and He sees the outcome. If you ask Jesus in your heart, He will tend to you, just as I have tended this garden. He loves to take the messes in our lives and make them into beautiful gardens for people to want what they have. He wants and desires to have you come away with Him. It takes only you letting go of the past hurts and regrets. He will cleanse you and mold you into His daughter, full of beauty and passion. Would you accept Him into your heart today?”
With tears in her eyes and an overwhelming feeling of anticipation to be made like this well watered garden she has walked through, she says yes. He prays with her and listens to her pour out her heart of all the things she has done wrong. He holds her close to him and wipes away tears that stream down her face. The overwhelming feeling of heaviness has left her and she feels so free now. He smiles as he sees her begin to smile. She looks at him and says, “Well I must be going.” He rises and says, “Know that it is only He who will never leave you, nor forsake you.” Then as he walked away and turned the corner, he was gone. She sat thinking of everything she had been through this day. She smiled looking up and said, “You loved me that much, huh?”
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