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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Huh? (01/21/10)

TITLE: Did Jesus Just Insult Me?
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom



I went to bed feeling worthless. I’ve had many days where I just didn’t understand why God created such a loser like me. I felt like a lost little girl, who can never do anything right. I lay in bed crying out, “Oh God, I’m worthless. I feel so alone and scared. Please help me.”

That night I dreamed about my mother. It was like she was right there inside my head. I looked at her and asked, “What are you doing here, poking around my dreams?” Panic filled me as a thought came crashing through my subconscious. “Does that mean there is no heaven?”

My mom smiled lovingly at me, patted my head, and said, “Jesus promised He would always be by your side and it’s just like He said. There is a Heaven and so much more.”

“But I feel so alone and scared, like a little 5 year-old getting ready to cross a busy street with no one’s hand to hold.” My mom kissed my head and was gone.

Suddenly I was awakened by a glorious light. It made the darkness melt away. As I looked around in awe, I heard a powerful voice, telling me that I was alone- a little girl lost by my own choice.

When my eyes adjusted to the light I noticed I was no longer alone. I saw a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend. Then Jesus spoke to me, He held my hand and said, “All you will ever need is within your reach. I gave you everything when I planted your seed. I am the Gardener. I’m here all the time to help My plants grow and keep them in line.”

I looked at Jesus with wonder and asked, “What kind of plant am I?” I wanted to be something beautiful, like a rose. I could see myself as a strong and useful tree, even something mysterious, perhaps an elusive plant deep in the sea.

But my mouth flew open with a “Huh? No way!” when Jesus told me I was a mere weed.

Jesus chuckled lovingly at the look on my face. He gently told me, “You were planted for a special reason in a very particular place. When humans try to think like God, they almost always get it wrong. I made you a dandelion because it is beautiful and strong. I knew you would face trials and troubles. There were to be many difficult tasks, so like the dandelion, I gave you perseverance and versatility. I wanted you to be able to last a long time.”

Then the others in the room spoke one by one. The mother in me said, “Remember when your children picked the first flower of the year? It was always a dandelion in their hands that brought a smile to your face and tears to your eyes.”

The sister in me reminded me of the white fluff that blew our wishes to heaven with a little spit and a mighty puff.

My friend persona softly said, “We loved picking dandelions in the back yard. We would talk and dance for hours.”

“Don’t forget the dandelion chain,” chided the part of me that is a wife. “You’d hook the flowers together and dream of the future love of your life.”

Even my little girl lost had something she wished to say, “If you ever need to know if you like butter, just rub a dandelion under your chin.”

Jesus squeezed my hand and said. “I made you strong and tough, just like the feisty dandelion. You are capable of all kinds of wonderful things. Some see a dandelion as a beautiful and useful flower; others see just a troubling weed. It is up to you to choice what you want to be. I will help you. You just need to follow My lead. You need to have faith and learn how to trust. I am always by your side. I am your rock. I am Jesus.”

Wow! At first I felt insulted. I couldn’t believe Jesus thought I was a weed, now I realize that I am blessed instead of cursed. I know now, if I ever feel lost and alone again I just need to look and find inside of me the mother, the wife, the friend, and the sister, but most of all my Savior, Jesus, who set me free.

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This article has been read 989 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kristi Peifer01/28/10
Your title really caught my eye!

I really enjoyed the different personas you used. There were some very touching moments there.

I did notice the use of the word "choice" instead of "choose", but that's easily fixed.

Nice piece!
Maria Kana Santos01/28/10
We do have a merciful, kind and loving Saviour and Lord. The high cost of His obedience to the Father, unto death on the cross, draws us to His daily mercies and kindness.
Thank you for your writing.
Blessings of more stories to tell for His glory and honour!
Marita Vandertogt01/30/10
Very good message - and very well told. And like the others, it was the title that drew me in. Good job.
Jan Ackerson 02/01/10
This is very creative and full of hope.
Sarah Elisabeth 02/01/10
This was a blessing to read...He has a perfect plan for each of us! I needed that reminder today
Celeste Ammirata02/01/10
Great title. Wonderful story. The power of the love of Jesus, and our choice in how we see ourselves came shining through in this well written story.
Beth LaBuff 02/01/10
Beautiful message and very creative story. You took me where I did not expect to go!
Joan Campbell02/01/10
This is SO lovely! What struck me the most is the idea that we don't always understand God's ways, which are so above our own.

It's creative & meaningful and, yes, the title is a fantastic 'draw'.

Well done!
Chely Roach02/01/10
A well written, inspired message. Lovely.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz02/01/10
This was a wonderful story that covers so much of us as women. Very thought provoking and well done.
Ruth Brown02/02/10
Sweet story. I've read that every part of a dandelion is edible. That little stubborn weed may one day feed the world. Blessings to you.
Loren T. Lowery02/03/10
Loved this storyline and the way you told it. The creative angle was inspired - an inspirational as well. Great job!
Carol Slider 02/03/10
Thanks for this lovely message. Dandelions are beautiful, too. Good job.
Kate Oliver Webb 02/03/10
Very comforting and warm piece. Amazing, isn't it, how God's love expresses itself through us in creative writing? Thank you for letting God use you.
Lollie Hofer02/04/10
I'll never look at a dandelion the same way after I've read your story. Oh Lord, please make me a dandelion. You have a wonderful gift of expressing yourself. Well done!
Renee Polson02/04/10
so sweet! I am a weed lover... usually daisy's and honeysuckle, but Im adding dandilions to the list now! Thanks
Joshua Smith02/04/10
Hey, your the first person to comment on my article, so I felt compelled to read something you wrote. I like your article. It's cool. Your writing flows nicely. And, thanks again for your comments.
Patricia Blomeley-Maddigan02/06/10
Sometimes understanding Jesus requires us to be creative and open to what we hear! I truly enjoyed your story and the message of being a dandelion. I was reminded of a meditation on The Vine and the Branches. What kind of branch would we be? I was not a branch - the vision that came forth for me, was that I was sitting on a branch. Not active, but rather being supported by Jesus at a particularly rough time in my life - and it was the perfect vision; upon which I still draw. Did your story come from a life experience?
Carol Penhorwood 02/10/10
An inspirational God encounter that will bless millions! This should get wide coverage, do try for publication on this one, please! Bless you!
Marilyn Schnepp 03/05/10
Loved this piece, from the Title to the end - absolutely refreshing, delightful and a very good point to be learned. One tiny typo Choice instead of choose...but a great piece of work. This story made my day! Thanks to you, God Bless you.
Gregory Kane03/09/10

You've asked for serious red ink, so here goes. Your story is good and carries a strong message. Part of the problem in critiquing it is that you dreamed it and therefore probably don't feel able to change it. Yet dreams are by definition incoherent and they make much less sense to other people. In terms of being an entry for the challenge or submission for publication, it needs some serious editing.
Your title is catchy but too strong for your actual subject matter as it raises an unmet expectation in the reader. Somewhat like "why am I so weedy?" might have worked better.
You need to excise the entire section on your mother's spirit appearing to you. It doesn't add much if anything to your theme. It also distracts the reader from the image of yourself as a mother later on in the story.
The expression "I gave you perseverance and versatility" sounds unnatural. Better to write something like "When I forged you through fires of affliction, you didn't admit defeat. Instead you learned to keep on going; you discovered how to innovate and find novel solutions."
I really like what you have done with the various personas. If anything I would give them a bit more space to express themselves further.
Strictly speaking, the analogy "I am your rock" doesn't work when you're talking about a weed. Rocks are more like the enemy to small plants. It would have been better to use another Biblical image, to refer to Jesus as perhaps the gardener or the sower or the owner of the field.
Your ending is good and complements the despair of your opening paragraph.
Seema Bagai 08/09/10
Cute story. I liked the analogy in this piece. It does need a better title, though. Good work.
George Parler 08/09/10
The title definitely made me curious. Wonderful message. Very nice.
Theresa Santy 08/13/10
I loved the symbolism of the dandilion.

I think sometimes the power of such an event becomes difused in our retelling of it and I'm beginning to think that's a little bit on purpose.

If everyone could know, and feel, and understand everyone else's 'mountaintop moments' there would be little use for the word 'faith'.

We've all heard the story of the parting sea, but do we have any idea of what it was really like to be there, running accross while the waters were parted? If we did, could we ever have cause to doubt our faith?

Amy Michelle Wiley 09/26/10
Beautiful. This reminds me of what He told me to my "Why" questions after being diagnosed. He's always faithful to see us through, even if it isn't the life we planned for ourselves.
Benjamin Graber06/29/11
I like this one! Dandelions may be ugly to some eyes, but my child-like heart has always liked them. Now I like picking them for my daughter to enjoy! :-)
Dannie Hawley 03/04/12
I loved this article -- all of it, including the title! I think it is exactly the question that goes with the topic and which was answered in your piece. My Swiss colleague's father sent her a package of Dandelion seeds so that we could plant them in the mission grounds in Africa. He wanted to be sure she had the traditional Dandelion salad for Easter. Costly treat in a restaurant in Europe. Nicely written.