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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: The Carpenter
By Jean Thornberry



It had been months since I last exercised, leaving me with feelings of guilt when I found myself standing in front of two large wooden doors with a frame made of the purest gold. A white sign hung on the door that had the words “The Carpenter’s House” painted in crimson red. “Here I am” I thought to myself as I gingerly reached for the solid gold doorknob. Dare I enter in? Yes. I am here by appointment. A quiet confidence arose in my spirit that overcame my fear of the transformation that was scheduled to take place behind those doors. Before I could open the door, I heard a warm, tender voice say, “Welcome! Come on in. I was expecting you.” It took a moment for me to realize that the door had been opened from the inside and I was standing face to face with the Carpenter Himself. His loving gaze penetrated the deepest part of me and put a big smile on my face. To my surprise, He was smiling back and motioning me to enter.

All fear melted away as I stepped through the threshold. Falling on my knees, I cried out to Him: “Forgive me for not taking care of Your temple. I am without excuse for not exercising and eating right. I present my body to you, Lord. Make it everything You created it to be. I’m all Yours.” “That’s what I’ve been waiting for, My dear child.” He spoke to me with eyes watered with sheer delight. “Your sacrifice is acceptable to me. I gladly accept your offering. I will build My temple in you and it will shine from the inside out with My glory. Your body will now reflect Who lives in you. First your body must be broken so I can build you up strong. It will hurt, but you are in My loving hands. Are you ready to be broken?” “Yes, Lord.” I replied, full of joy at the thought of reflecting His glory. He answered, “I am pleased with your decision. You will be blessed for obeying Me. Come, we start now.”

Immediately He scooped me in His loving arms and gently placed me on His altar. My heart and body were bound to the altar with the cords of His love. I was now prepared to be crafted into His masterpiece. A variety of tools lay before Him, ready for His skillful hands to use on me. My eyes caught a glimpse of a sharp saw, rough pieces of sandpaper, and a glossy varnish. He would use each one before He was through. Before He began construction, He reminded me that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He dwells in me, so I need to take care of it. His house should be the very best it can be! I humbly agreed. “I am ready, Lord. Do Your work and restore Your temple.” After I had said this to Him, He reached for the saw and held it over my body. He was ready.

Seeing the sharp blades ready to cut through my flesh, I became frightened. “Do not fear, child.” Full of compassion, the Lord then explained to me that I was like a piece of wood with which He builds his house (the temple of the Holy Spirit- my body). First He saws me, then He sands me down, and lastly He finishes me (applies a wood sealer, varnish, etc) so I shine. Since I have let my body go, I am in the sawing stage! It hurts to be sawed, but He will bring me through. My body will hurt less and less the more I exercise (that is His sanding), and lastly little pain, only maintenance (the finish). He tells me it is far better to be sanded and finished than it is to experience sawing, so once He brings me through the process to keep my body in shape. Then it will only require touch-ups! I will be healthier and more able to enjoy Him and all of His many blessings. Peace overtakes me as the saw does its work.
We all have an appointment at the Carpenter’s house. Come and give your body to Him everyday. Don’t wait for Him to saw you in shape!

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/10/08
Strong analogy, and I like the allegorical tone of this.

Your long paragraphs--particularly the 2nd one--should be broken into smaller segments. The second one should be divided into individual paragraphs for each speaker.

I'll admit to being a bit squeamish when the marrator was about to be sawed, but you handled that well.
James Clem 01/10/08
Jan just said what I was going to, especially with the paragraphing. This is good writing, a little weak staying on the topic I think, cause I don't quite see the proverb, but that might just be me. A good story.
LaNaye Perkins01/10/08
Very good message and story. Also very timely as this is the start of a new year and so many of us are trying to restore our temple to a healthy state. Well done.
Holly Westefeld01/11/08
Nicely done. While a balanced spiritual diet, and spiritual exercise may seem onerous, it is so much more effective and satisfying than binging on, and dieting from, worldliness.
Yvonne Blake 01/15/08
Interesting allegory!
My father works with wood, so I enjoyed the mention of the different tools. I think the words in parentheses were probably self-explained or implied, so thus not necessary.
Good job...keep writing.
Lee Ann Rubsam01/24/08
As far as mechanics, each time a new person is speaking dialogue, you will want to have a new paragraph.

As in some of the other comments, I thought it was a little hard to find the "stitch in time saves nine," although it is implied somewhat.

I think you have a lovely writing style, which reminded me of Hannah Hurnard's "Hinds Feet in High Places." I see that you have a deep spirituality as well.

I would suggest trying your hand at devotional writing, once you have worked more on the technical aspects. Devotionals are an avenue to share the things God is showing you through short teachings. It's a great way to bless the Body of Christ.