Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)
TITLE: Grams El Sews Kindness
By Maryolyn Payne
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Ella Winkler, better known as Grams El, was undoubtedly the fanciest, most skillful seamstress in Brockton County. No one else had a chance at winning first place in the County Fair contest. For twenty years she succeeded in taking the highest honors in the sewing competition. Her creations were superb in artistic ability, design, and craftsmanship. Without a doubt she took great pride in her sewing. Sheer pleasure was enjoyed by the entire community in the gorgeous and elegant creations of Grams El.
Year after year the winner was announced…. “This year’s winner in the sewing competition is … none other than… Grams El Winkler.” Whistles, hand clapping, and shouts of joy sounded in her honor. After many winnings, she came to expect this great honor of recognition. Eventually, Grams El became prideful and she became her own best supporter of her mark of distinction. Soon she was telling new comers to the small city of Vendor of her great abilities. She finally became so enthusiastic over her own talent that neighbors and old friends began to shy away from her.
Her greatest admirer, Megan Hawthorne, quit coming over for coffee. Neither would she answer when Grams El called her for a friendly chat. After several months of isolation Grams El began to wonder what in the world happened to the people she had loved. Loneliness set in. Depression followed. Grams El contemplated… “What in the world happened? Why am I so alone now?”
Ringing Megan’s number, she worked out a plan in her head. “OK, Megan, don’t answer. But I am going to confront you, somehow.”
The following morning Grams El glanced through the front window waiting for Megan to appear. As soon as Megan stepped out of her front door, Grams El swiftly headed toward Megan. Grams El yelled, “Megan Hawthorne, you can’t hide from me any longer. We’ve been friends too long for you to drop me like a hot potato.”
Megan whispered softly, “Dear Lord, please give me the right words to say to her. Help, please.” She waited for the storm to hit.
“Megan, you and I must talk. What in this world is wrong? You won’t answer the phone. You haven’t been over for coffee in weeks. I can’t get you to open your door when I knock. Haven’t we been friends long enough to be honest with each other?”
“Come on in, El. It is time we talked.”
El knew the stony look on her friends face was not good news. In actuality, it made El want to run back to her own house and shut herself in. She spoke to her inner being, “No, I must get to the bottom of this ordeal. I can’t go on not knowing what I have done that no one seems to be my friend.”
Once seated, the two stared at one another. Each hoped to clear the air without harsh words. Finally, El spoke first. “Megan, could you please tell me what has happened? I mean… everyone used to think I was the greatest person around, and all of a sudden it is like I don’t exist.” El could not hold the tears any longer.
“El, I’m sorry. Forgive me?”
“Just help me understand.”
“I don’t know how.”
“Just spit it out, Megan. Nothing is worse than not knowing what you did to make everyone turn from you. This must be a little like Jesus felt when all of His disciples fled and left Him alone.”
“All I know is to be open and honest with you. Maybe you weren’t aware, but you became so proud over your sewing that you just couldn’t quit bragging about yourself. Most people don’t like to hear crowing. There, I’ve been honest with you. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you.”
Although stunned, El began to laugh. “That’s it? Why didn’t you tell me? Why did you let your best friend make a fool of herself?”
Megan too began to laugh. Both laughed until they cried.
That day forward Grams El became a brand new person. Instead of pride, she became the most humble gal in Vender. Instead of sewing material, she began to sew kindness and love to all she met. Once more she became the joy of the neighborhood, and she thanked God every day for His love sewn in the community, one to another.
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” (Heb. 10:24) KJV
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