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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)

TITLE: Just The Right Words
By Kelli Hunt


Dear Grandad,

Look at me, all these years later and I still remain “your little girl” who loved to settle in the crook of your arm while you worked your daily crossword! There was comfort and peace at your side. Our minds were snuggled as closely as our bodies as we searched together for just the right words to complete the puzzle. You could have managed just fine without me, but you included me and, as a result, created in me a love for you, and for finding just the right words.

Later when I moved away from you, we stayed connected through letters. You were a seasoned writer, and I so enjoyed the poems you shared with me. One of my favorites was:

For You A Rose

“I have for you a pretty posy,
Pretty Thing;
Still wet with dew, a red, red rosy, Pretty Thing;
‘Twill match the color in your cheeks,
And of my love it truly speaks,
My Pretty, Pretty Thing!”

You would then encourage me to respond with a poem of my own. Do you remember this one?


“Oh, Autumn is so colorful,
With leaves of brown and red
But soon the pretty colored leaves
Will fall because they’re dead.”

Your wise response in your return letter: “I switched the colors so you won’t have to use ‘dead’ to rhyme with red. Dead sounds so final, as though it might be the end. Why don’t you try one about Spring, the time of wakening after a winter’s nap. Huh?”

Your suggested revision:

“Oh, Autumn is so colorful,
With leaves of red and brown;
And soon the pretty colored leaves
Will all come tumbling down.”

Yes! So much better! You were just what I needed as an eleven year old aspiring writer - a sharp, loving mentor who was honest about my poor word choices. I never felt condemned by you, just gently instructed. Your words went straight to my heart and motivated me to improve.

Grandad, I miss you every day since you left. (I won't use the word 'died'). As I remember our relationship, it makes me happy to see parallels to the my relationship with God. He, too, wants me to pull up close beside Him and spend quality time. In His presence I am settled and safe. He invites me to think and reason as together we attempt to solve the puzzles of my life! How wonderful!

And yes, I get letters! The Bible is a treasure trove of His writings, which he graciously shares with me. Like this one:

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” NIV

He invites me to respond, and I do, with my life. My life becomes a poem. Grandad, sometimes I’ve chosen the just the right words, but so often I have chosen the wrong ones. At those times God edits and makes comments. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NIV

God’s corrections are sharp and wise. They go straight to my heart and motivate me to erase wrong words and work until I find the right ones!

I remember picking out a present for your birthday one year. I saw it sitting on the store shelf and had to have it. Do you remember that yellow wooden plaque painted with the words “God couldn’t be everywhere, so He created grandfathers.”? At fourteen, my theology might not have been the best, but I knew it then and I still know it now, those were just the right words.

Love always, “your little girl”

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This article has been read 295 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 03/15/13
This spoke to me with all the right colors. Very original.
Judith Gayle Smith03/15/13
Loving, beautiful.
C D Swanson 03/17/13
This was clever, I really enjoyed it. Thanks.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/13
This is beautiful. I could feel the love just ooze off the page--in a good way. I also liked the comparison to a good editor. It's easy to say good job, but if one isn't willing to hear constructive critiques, it gets too easy to believe that everything is perfect already and no need to edit or proofreader. Whether in writing or life we need a loving editor to point out our week spots.

The only advice I might share with you, is save your exclamation points for dialog and let your words do your exclaiming for you. Try to avoid passive verbs like was. For example you might want to consider rewording one sentence in the beginning to something like: When I cuddled by your side, I felt comforted and a sense of peace washed over me.(That's just an example to show you what I mean.)

I think you have an incredible gift with words. I almost felt like I was peeking in your secret diary, yet still felt honored that someone would share such intimate thoughts with me. I hope you keep writing and listening to God nudge your words out, you have a special gift and only you can tell your stories.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/22/13
Congratulations on ranking 9th in level one!
Janet Kelly03/23/13
Very, very sweet. I really enjoyed this. Good job.