Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)
TITLE: Coming Home
By Suzanne Murphy
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“You’re cold,” Ashley giggled as she watched Alex try to find his birthday present; a tool set. She had hidden it two days before in the garage on the shelf next to the rake and shovel. She knew he would never look there because one of his chores was raking the yard. Boy did he hate that job!
“This is the perfect gift for Alex’s 16th birthday,” Ashley thought when she saw it at the local Ace Hardware a few days earlier. The blue zippered bag with tan handles was filled with a tinker’s gold mine of tools. It was destined to become Alex’s most prized possession.
Alex had an amazing talent for repairing things long thought destined for the garbage. His talent was discovered when he was four years old when he took apart, fixed and reassembled a broken handheld radio. After several successful electronic equipment overhauls, he was designated as the “fix-it” guy. Since then he spent all of his free time bringing things back to life for friends and family.
“You’re getting warmer,” Ashley said excitedly as Alex walked toward the lawn mower just before her secret hiding spot.
I stood in the garage doorway, unseen by my children, smiling to myself at the love clearly visible between the two. Watching them, I thought back on the miracle my husband and I witnessed as each child came into the world. After years of trying, we had been told we could never have children and had finally given up all hope of ever having a family of our own when I was given the most precious news.
“I know it must be around here somewhere,” Alex teased his little sister.
Secretly, he had found the gift the day before while looking for a piece of electrical cord to finish the repair of the neighbors’ bedside lamp. He had wanted so badly to jerk it off the shelf and begin using the tools on the several repair projects he currently had going. But, that would ruin the excitement for Ashley. So, he left it in place and suffered with anticipation for the next 24 hours.
“The wait was well worth it to see the smile on her face,” he thought to himself as he glanced at his sister. He walked around the lawn mower and then moved away.
“You’re getting colder,” Ashley teased and Alex turned back toward the shelf.
“Is it this way?” Alex said pointing in the direction of the gift.
“I will never tell,” Ashley laughed as she watched Alex walk in the right direction.
I held my breath as I watched Alex step toward the gift I knew he would love. I could see the excitement radiating from him. My beautiful son’s face would soon be beaming with the present in hand. I was thrilled for him. Then my thoughts drifted again to the miracles God had given me. My mind swirled with thoughts of sacrifice and love. I envisioned Jesus as a young man being a tinker of sorts Himself. He was a tinker of souls; always asking for the broken and repairing their hearts to new freedom never known to them previously. His gift was something He had given not gotten; His life for ours.
“You’re hot. You’re hot!” Ashley yelled interrupting my thoughts.
At her words, tears began streaming down my face. I realized my feelings of being lost and alone, without God’s presence in my life over the last several months, was a prison of my own creation. God was there the entire time. The hot and cold emotions were my own walking away from Him and then returning to Him. At times, I strayed from Him and found other things to fill my time with things like book club or watching television instead of taking time to spend it with God. I had made all of these choices while God silently stood by and waited for me to hear his soft and tender call to come back home.
“You’re red hot! “ Ashley squealed as Alex reached up to take his prize.
“Thank you, Lord, for hearing my thoughts. I hear your answer.” I said softly realizing He was answering me through Ashley.
Just when I thought my nearness to God was at an end, He had found me again in my garage door and led me from the cold of distance from Him to the warmth of his unending love and a new beginning
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