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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)

TITLE: Ohhh... In the Sweet By and By
By Maria Kana Santos


A calm radiance of wonder and joy lit the face of MaryEllen. Like the first ray of the rising sun dawning its full light on a snowy mountain peak.

Glorious silver hair cascaded over her right shoulder, down to her chest. She drew breath in and let out a gratifying smile that beamed all over her face. A long breath of relief exhaled gently from her lips.

I watched her radiant face, keen on every word she said. I wanted to know more. MaryEllen’s thoughts flowed from her lips. I knew they were from the depths of her soul.

The saffron glow of the sunset sky graced us with shifting gleams dancing on azure hyacinths and purple roses. She pulled close the woollen wraps that hung over her slender shoulders. I walked with her on the green grass, and then back to the patio.

We sat there a while to enjoy the last rays of the setting sun.

MaryEllen felt the waft of gentle breeze on her face. Gazing pass the hills, she whispered, “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him...” She spoke of life ahead in her twilight years.


After supper, the flames in the fireside danced as it warmed us in the homey kitchen.

Her feeble hand clasped the black pen. A chuckle escaped as MaryEllen said, “My writing days are over.”

She handed the pen and writing journal back to me and said, “But memories of past joy and sorrow still cling close to the warmth of my beating heart.” Her kind brown eyes met mine. I knew she still ministered to friends in her letter-writing.

I’d neglected many friendships. If they were hers, MaryEllen would have bridged them with Jesus’ kindness.

“I wondered about the Day when I would meet Jesus in the clouds,” Mary Ellen said. Her eyes twinkled. “Looks like it will be at the ‘River Jordan’ at the end of my journey. It won’t be far now.”

I strayed like a lamb that needed shepherding. I knew the pain. Later, joy of God’s chastening led me back.

“His mercies enfold the universe. A tapestry of handiwork of the kindness of God veils over the roughs of life.”

I agreed, “Yes, while I journeyed alone, the climbs to those ragged-edged rocks moved me to scorn going any further.”

I watched, read, and soaked in MaryEllen’s life-journey. I hoped that my twilight years be read like hers.

“GOD has been my every circumstance,” she said.

I commented about the crowns that graced her head. How patience perfected her. MaryEllen rejoiced over many of them on her head from the King. She pleaded with deep yearnings in her soul for her children that they walked in step with the Master. Battles became fiercer as they grew older. The narrower the road, the closer MaryEllen drew in to the presence of God.

“Lydia, my dear friend, echoed the mother-heart in me,” MaryEllen pondered. “The steeper most climbs got, and crosses heavier, she clung closer. She helped me walk alongside me with the Lord Jesus.”

Ohhh..., yes, Lydia.

Self was my dreaded enemy. I let it foster home in my heart. I sulked and brooded like King Ahab.

“Prayer fortifies the soul. It brings me closer to the heart of God. Praying for friends and family helped me to hunger and thirst more for the precious Word.”

MaryEllen often said to me, “Fierce battles against the enemy of our soul weary so. But there’s always never a time to squander, pray harder.”

I’d travelled some distance, later realized that I’d been in the pilgrimage alone. I lugged with my crosses-- became heavy load for my frame.

Ohhh...patience of this saint...

MaryEllen had confronted many issues of sin and failings in life. Like a strong tower-- stood tall after she’d knelt for God’s forgiveness and grace. She embodied an example of unfailing obedience to the Word; and meekly lived by the comfort it gave. Sometimes discouragements cast grief deeply in her soul. But she moved on, unwavering in the journey, knowing the King led the way.

Face shadowed with lines of care. Hair once darker than the deepening night; now white as clouds in a bright noonday spring. Eyes once glowed as light of flames; now as faint embers smouldering among the ashes.

But her life resembled the shaping of the Artist’s Hand portrayed the Saviour’s face.


MaryEllen, eighty–four, my mother, awaits the Day.

Ohhh... The dawning of sweet tomorrow.

...I understand.

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This article has been read 397 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lyn Churchyard02/11/10
Oh my, I can barely type through my tears. This touch the deepest recesses of my heart. How blessed you are to have such a mother.
Verna Mull 02/13/10
what a beautifull and sweet, and convicting story. How wonderful to have a mother like that. I too, had a mother like that, but she has gone on to be with Jesus. What a job to think of seeing her again someday!
Verna Mull 02/13/10
Sorry for that typo in my comment! Of course, I meant JOY!
Jan Ackerson 02/16/10
This is very lyrical writing.

I was confused for quite a while about the relationship between the narrator and MaryEllen. Maybe if that were established earlier?

How blessed you were to have her in your life!
AnneRene' Capp03/19/10
Hello my kindred sister...this is eloquently beautiful in every respect. God has truly blessed you with the ability to convey His deep love within us and for us. What a blessing to be the daughter of such a heart for God, mother.