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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Checkout (06/09/11)

TITLE: The Pages Within
By Bonnie Bowden


The Pages Within

The Book sat on the metal library shelf waiting for its chance to be taken home and read. It knew it couldn’t compete with the graphic designs and artwork on most of the other book jackets. In fact, the spine of its black, leather cover held only three simple words engraved in gold--The Holy Bible. It noticed that most people these days were just too busy to make more than a cursory glance as they walked by.

The Book turned just in time to see the title, Ten Easy Ways to Weigh Less by Eating Whey, being snatched off the shelf. It’s back hurt a little just from thinking about all the things humans did to fill the physical and spiritual voids in their lives. It thought about the verse in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (NIV). It hoped that people would one day see that fads and gimmicks never worked. As Matthew 4:4 pointed out, “… Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (KJV).


“Isn’t Kane Slaynard just to die for?” giggled the one teen.

“I hope The Vampire Stakes His Heart comes out with a sequel,” squealed the other teen. “Cause that boy is so cat and romantic!”

The Book had no idea what “cat” meant, but it thought about one of the greatest love stories printed within its pages—Ruth and Boaz.

Ruth and Naomi attended three funerals before going to Naomi’s birthplace, Bethlehem. Ruth had promised before she left “…for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16 KJV). Her trust and love for God gave her an inner strength and beauty that shone through her actions.

The two of them were just poor widows and foreigners when they got there. The owner of the field, Boaz, allowed Ruth to glean the extra grain for food for both herself and Naomi. He was gentle and considerate of Ruth and asked the workers to purposely pull out some grain from the bundles for her to harvest. In Ruth 2:10 she asks, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?

Naomi can’t stop herself from becoming a matchmaker. It turns out that Boaz is a rich relative of her dead husband’s, so he would be free to marry Ruth as a kinsman-redeemer and protector. Naomi instructs Ruth to put on perfume and her nicest dress and wait until Boaz has eaten and drunk before going to him on the threshing floor.

After Boaz is asleep, Ruth tiptoed in, uncovered his feet, and lay down. By this very action she was asking Boaz to become her husband and protect her. He must have been very startled to wake up and discover a woman at his feet. “Who are you?” he asked. She answered, “I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative” (Ruth 3:9). By spreading his cloak over her, he would signify his willingness to marry her. His response was immediate. “May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter. … And now my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence” (Ruth 3:10, 11).


“Ahh-chew,” the Book sneezed. The dust around itself was really building. Hours had become days and days had become weeks and still nobody had found it on the shelf. The Book understood that it could not comprehend God’s plans. ”My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 55:89a). Still the cracks on its cover were beginning to show the impatience it felt.

Then all of the sudden the Book saw the young man before it. There could be no doubt in its mind, that this was the intended receiver. The young man needed a brace to keep his spine straight. Like the Book, he exhibited a simple appearance and strength. Quietly, he picked up the Book and took it to the Circulation Desk.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/20/11
The idea of an anthropomorphized Bible is clever.

You switched tenses (past to present) a few times--a bit confusing. And I almost feel as if the re-telling of the story of Ruth didn't quite belong there. Maybe having the Bible overhear more conversations like that of the girls? That was very well-done and interesting.

I was also very intrigued by the boy with the back brace at the end, and would like to get to know him better.
Phee Paradise 06/20/11
I loved your ending. For me, it brought back the beginning and satisfied the longing of the book. But I agree with Jan about the story of Ruth and Boaz being too long. I'd love to have heard another juxtaposition of library patron and Bible story. Oh, and I loved the title of the first book!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/23/11
First you did a great job in thinking outside of the box. I really enjoyed your POV. You also have a delightful but subtle sense of humor.

I noticed you used the wrong its in the beginning. Those can be hard for some people to remember, perhaps a proof reader would help or letting the piece set overnight then proofing it with fresh eyes.

You did a great job pairing up the modern stories with a Biblical message. I really enjoyed this.

Congratulations for placing 10th in level one!
Belinda Borradaile06/24/11
Lovely story! Thank you for always commenting on others entries, it is so helpful and lovely to get someones criticism or compliment:)