Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)
TITLE: Mall of Dreams
By LaNaye Perkins
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All at once the empty shopping mall came alive. There were three stores, each with an elaborate window display. The first shop had a sales clerk whose smile compelled her to come in. Her legs moved with a mind of their own as she entered it. There was such kindness in the clerks face that Tracy couldn’t help smiling back. “Come, follow me to this table. Let’s see if we can’t help you find what you are looking for,” she said as she clasped Tracy‘s hand.
Tracy’s focus was drawn by what was on the table. She saw beautiful heart shaped boxes. On the top of each one was written: “Love“. She turned to the young woman and asked her how much it cost. “Oh, don‘t worry about the cost honey! Just put it in your bag for safe keeping and go on to the next store. It’s okay, go on and have fun!” she said. With a brilliant smile, she shooed Tracy out of the store and pointed her to the next shop.
The next store was like the one she'd just left. A sweet clerk came to meet her with such warmth that she followed without hesitation. This store offered brilliant boxes of all colors that had “Hope” written on them. Again she asked the price and was told the same thing as before. With excitement pounding in her chest she placed the box in her bag along with “Love“. Both boxes already seemed to be having a profound effect upon her. The beating of her heart made her feel a little giddy. She was excited, and couldn’t contain the smile that lit her face. She hadn’t felt this alive in a long time.
Only one store remained now. This clerk had an air of authority about her. Yet she was so full of love, and much more. Tracy couldn’t put her finger on it, but there was something very special about her. She knew she wanted what this lady had to offer. As the woman led her to a table, its pretty boxes had the word “Faith” written on them. “Faith,” Tracy said out loud, without realizing it. The woman gently nodded and said “Yes dear, faith in Jesus. He loves you so much and He‘s been waiting for you all your life”.
Tracy's mind was flooded with years of Bible stories. She knew she had never accepted Jesus even though she‘d felt Him tugging at her heart many times. Her heart filled with the knowledge that this was Him, reaching out to her again, asking her if she was ready to believe in Him. Without hesitation she opened her heart and said “Yes“.
There was no need to look. She felt His presence as soon as He came near her. His voice was so tender as He said her name and wrapped His love around her. He told her that all she had received was hers to keep and much more. He had purchased it all, long ago. With a trembling heart, she looked up to see His face through her tears.
Tracy woke up with a start. Looking around she knew she was at home, in her bed. Had it all been a dream? Trembling with emotion, Tracy slid off the mattress to kneel beside her bed and pray. She stayed there for a long time, feeling the warmth of Jesus’ love for her. No, this was real. She knew it in the depth of her soul. This was REAL! As she opened her tear-filled eyes, she saw the bag on her bedside table. Inside were three boxes, each with a different label: Love, Hope, and Faith.
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