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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Touch (the sense of touch) (08/05/10)

TITLE: Lessons From A Birthday Card
By Emily Owen


The morning sunlight poured through my bedroom window, waking me gently. I opened my eyes and stretched as I remembered – today is my birthday!

I got out of bed and made for the door, stopping abruptly as I caught sight of myself in the mirror. Was the person I saw in the glass really me? When did I start looking old? I reached up a hand to touch my face in disbelief……then the voice of reason kicked in – I don’t look bad for someone who’s 65!

After washing and dressing, I went downstairs and saw a pile of envelopes waiting for me on the doormat. How lovely, I thought, remembering how blessed I am to have such good friends.

I poured myself a coffee and settled down to open the cards. It always amazes me to see just how many different types of cards there are. Humorous, artistic, cute, witty….and I hardly ever receive two the same!

This year, the card from an old school friend particularly caught my eye. There was no picture on the front, just some words; ‘It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years!’

I chuckled as I read it but the chuckle died on my lips as I really began to think about the words. The life in my years….I mulled it over. How healthy is the life in my years?

I cast my mind back to when I’d taken stock of myself in the mirror. I’d looked ok on the outside but what about on the inside? The inside is where life really happens.

I began to search deep within myself. I have friends, I help others, I’m a good neighbor, I volunteer once a week at the local hospital. I am making a good job of my life.

I search deeper still….until I hit a brick wall. And that wall is my brother, who I haven’t seen for over 20 years.
Because of what he did.
And because I won’t forgive him, why should I?
And then I realize, hanging onto the bitterness is stopping me from really living. And I can’t even remember why I’m bitter.

Hang on a minute, I’m not living life to the full, a life really that counts, for a reason that’s not even important enough to remember?!

But the bitterness is still there. I can feel it but I don’t want it anymore. Please God, help me, I whisper. Help me to let go and truly live. And then I feel His presence as He reaches down to touch my heart.

Suddenly I feel full of joy. Why didn’t I let Him do this sooner?

I pick up the phone and dial my brother’s number.

This is one birthday I won’t forget!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Cindy Barclay08/13/10
I enjoyed your story. Birthdays are a great time to reflect and I really liked that action followed reflection. Good job.
Charla Diehl 08/16/10
I really enjoyed this entry and the message to all its readers. Forgiveness is so healing for all involved.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/16/10
This is a great message. You managed to relate to the reader in many ways. I avoid the mirror as much as possible. I also know there have been some grudges held on my part. It was amazing how light one can feel if Jesus is allowed to carry the heavy burden.
Joyce Morse08/18/10
I loved the tone of this story. You kept the story very simple but made it profound at the same time. We all have things in our past that we'd like to change and you showed that it's never too late.