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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Green (10/22/09)

TITLE: Going Green
By Shellie Goff


A hazy vision lies in front of tired eyes squinting, blinking hard in furious attempts to adjust to the blazing, unrelenting light of a new day. This fumbling, tired body wobbles through small, stammering steps moving in the direction of the bathroom sink. Weary, aching fingers wrestle with the knobbed faucet as fresh, brisk running water lands in frigid puddles on my warm face. The shocking cold brings a slight stinging rush and reality is suddenly apparent bringing with it a long list of duties and schedules to be completed and kept.
A new day wrought with the same chores, same faces, same routine, same pleas drawn out of a child’s lips, often insatiable leave me falling forward in perpetual motion praying just to complete the day with some semblance of soundness of mind. Eventually, the day’s end is discovered as my head hits the pillow with a thud. Thus it begins again with the rude awakening, the eyes blinking, the weary hands struggling, and the exhaustion impending.
My spirit begins to cry out, begging for more, wailing to find a broad, spacious place in which to live, a simple exchange for the smallness that my own abilities and limited wisdom have created for it. The sound is initially soft and subtle, easy to ignore amongst the clamoring din of my existence. My distracted ears only entice a louder, siren-like plea----One that is startling and demands to be reckoned with. No longer able to turn the other way and just pretend not to notice. I must listen close and receive every word. The truth flooding my soul, “You need an encounter with the Master Gardner.” Hard to admit, barely scratches the surface of my pride. Those words sting like a lashing with a wet whip. Here I stand my soul in total disrepair because I have been too busy to let the Gardener into my gate.
Truth be known, I do not want to readily welcome His Presence for I am well aware of the tools of His trade. My mind’s eye beholds the ghastly sight of branches of selfish ambition falling hard after a sudden slice executed by a skilled, masterful hand. Shame tumbles from my heart as my reality becomes increasingly apparent. There will not be just a branch here and there but many strewn about, an open show of worthless pursuits and wasted time.
As these visions boldly present themselves, the choice is obvious. Either remain stuck in the quicksand of self pity and self doubt or muster every bit of strength and latch on tightly to the lifeline that is being offered. With much fear and trembling, I reluctantly unlatch the gate and slowly usher Him in. My Master Gardener knowingly strolls about equipped with the tools I fear most.
But something is different than I have imagined. He gently holds me close in a warm embrace that fills my heart with confidence in Him and what He is about to do.
He whispers in my ears with deep tones of love and mercy. He sings over me with His song of deliverance. With my heart melted down to a sopping puddle, He wins my love, respect, and trust.
To my astonishment, He does not wildly sling the sheers with sweeping spontaneity. Instead, His approach is deliberate and careful; snipping here and trimming there, shaping and sculpting the inner workings of who I am into a beautiful, lush retreat. A safe, open space in which my tiny, cramped Spirit can finally unfold into a glorious, colorful expression. Free to leap and twirl and dance without fear of stumbling.
In the wake of my newly transformed life, little green buds of growth are springing forth in the place of those dead, dry branches of self-creation. New gifts, talents, and passions, all nourished and watered by the hands of My Gardner, pave the way for pursuits now fulfilling like a refreshing cup of cold water that drench and refresh both the giver and the one to whom they are given. Gone are the days of simply trying to survive one day to the next composing a life of meager and miserly experiences taking all I can while giving nothing in return. I received the gifts of joy overflowing, generosity beyond measure, and authenticity never before realized. Now I can confidently proclaim that I am going green in His Presence where I LIVE, and MOVE, and have MY BEING.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laura Manley11/01/09
It is obvious you put a great deal of thought into this story. It would be much easier to read if you would double space between paragraphs. Also, there is so much description in your story that it distracted me.
Marie Fink11/02/09
Many words and no space between paragraphs were perfect for this piece because of the feeling of drowning I got as I began reading. And it is what we do when our focus is off kilter like the person's in your story. Funny, when God gets our attention and we refocus our efforts, we can do the same things with renewed outlooks and Glory to Him and it's all different and better. Good work.