Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Autumn/Fall (08/27/09)
TITLE: Climbing to Fall
By Jason Elliotson
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He stood quietly. He could hear wind in the trees and gently rustling leaves. Water lapped almost imperceptibly just inches from his feet. He gazed out onto the smooth sheet of glass that stretched out before him. Like a mirror, the water reflected the opposite shore, a brilliant mosaic of red and orange and yellow splashed together like the laughter of many children. Rising above the trees, craggy snow-capped peaks stood silently, stoic and sombre, guarding the little mountain lake and framing the picture with majesty. Faint wisps of white were sprayed sporadically very high in the bright blue sky, and the first of the early morning sun chased away the last of the mist clinging stubbornly to the water below.
He saw a small flock of ducks coming in against the spectacular backdrop, their stiff, rapid wing beats moving them in low and fast. Somewhere on the lake he heard the steady but brief splash as they touched down for a brief break in their flight to escape the coming snows. He heard their funny nasal calls and looks toward the sound. The lake dimpled as a gust of wind raced across its surface, whirling and swirling, thoroughly enjoying the beauty and energy of such a morning. Movement and sound drew his attention to the shoreline on his right. A muskrat scurried along the water’s edge, making its way toward him, unaware of his presence. He shifted his weight and the little animal stopped, peering up at him for a moment before slipping into the water and beneath the surface. On the opposite shore, three does appeared for a drink, and the raft of ducks slowly paddled into view.
He marvelled at the scene as he always did. The peace had begun to settle into his soul. He waited. The meeting had begun and soon HE would speak, the Painter of this picture, the Sculptor of the Scene, the One who called the meeting. As this thought came to him, the young man marvelled more. What praise there should be among men for one who paints with wind and water, leaves and light, temperature and time! What praise there should be among men for one who sculpts with glaciers and granite, waves and weather! What praise there should be among men for the artist who has grace and truth on his palette and infinity as his canvas!
Suddenly, a strong wind blew through the treetops. He looked out over the water. The trees rained down the colours of fall all around, like fire falling from heaven. As the last leaves came to the ground, everything fell silent. The ducks stopped quacking. The deer bounded back into the forest. Even the wind stopped. Everything was still. Then softly, inaudibly, something like a blanket of knowing fell over the young man, ‘I’m glad you came!’ HE was speaking! The young man’s eyes filled with happy tears at the familiar voice. He fell to the ground and pulled the Book from his jacket.
Over the next three days, the young man would learn to see and hear his Creator in a deeper way. This was how these meetings went. HE would show him more of HIMSELF, and he would then see more of himself. The young man would come away a little more broken by the magnificence of the One he came to meet. He would come away a little more lowly, a little more gracious, a little more gentle, a little more courageous, a little bolder, a little meeker, a little more like Jesus. Meeting with HIM never left him the same.
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