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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: Reckless
By Paul Servini


Obolah moved from plant to plant carefully measuring out the drops of water he could afford to lavish on each. It was now the sixth week since the abundant pre-season rains had lulled him, and others besides, into a heartfelt hope and led to a hive of activity on the village outskirts. This year there would be an abundant crop. But that hope had proved as deceptive as it was heartfelt. The rains had come, made their promise, collected their tribute and vanished as quickly and as mysteriously as they had come, leaving a parched earth crying out in silence for its deliverance. Of the dozens of seeds Obolah had planted, scarcely half had brought forth shoots and of those there remained but a handful.

As he contemplated what remained of his work the anger on the chief’s face etched its way into his mind. “Reckless!” The word was almost as terrible as the anger on his face. “Reckless, reckless!” Again and again it came, as steady as the beating drums of the village players. Yet, at first, nobody had talked of recklessness. It was perfectly normal for those who tried to scrape a living out of the parched land to take their water from the village well. How else were they to nurse those tender, fragile shoots into maturity? But as the well started to dry out, attitudes soon changed leading to the venomous confrontation of that morning. “Reckless!” The word pounded its way through Obolah’s very being with every beat of his heart.

Reckless? Obolah felt God would never be reckless. He who was so perfect, so just, so fair; he who provided for all in good measure, but nonetheless in measure. Surely God would not waste any of his goodness?

Obolah straightened his breaking back. This was the last time he would be able to pour out his love on his few remaining shoots. After the village meeting nobody would now dare to draw water for such wasteful purposes. Without fresh rains they would resist for a while and wither and die. He crouched to the ground. Anger and despair welled up within him. A tear formed itself in the corner of his left eye and dropped miserably to the parched but ever grateful earth. If only more were forthcoming, he might just be able to stave off the inevitable.

Obolah thought of Jesus crying over Jerusalem. And that wasn’t the only time. He had cried at Lazarus’ tomb. And the Father had wept bitterly over a headstrong and disobedient Israel. Even God’s servant Paul had shed tears on more than one occasion.

Could God be reckless after all? He would have to talk to his pastor about that. Indeed, as he thought it over, one occasion after another came to his mind when God had poured out his love, his kindness, his care, his goodness upon an often undeserving people: lavishly, recklessly. Obolah could scarcely believe the thoughts going through his mind. God really was reckless, or so it seemed to him now. Pouring out one’s love on an unresponsive people, was that not waste?

“So what happens when God runs dry?” And the moment that thought had formed itself into words, Obolah realised its futility. How could God run dry? God could afford to be reckless, dangerously so; there was in reality no danger. God could give and go on giving and never run dry. That’s why they had placed the little wooden cross in the middle of the terrain his church used as their meeting place – a reminder that God was still giving.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/06/07
Wonderful writing, and a unique concept. Thank you for this glimpse into another culture, and the spiritual applications that can be found in the most mundane of things.
Jacquelyn Horne05/08/07
Nice thought and told with a wonderful story.
Joanne Sher 05/09/07
Excellent writing, and so vivid. I was right there with you. Wonderful lesson as well.