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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Beautiful (11/07/05)

TITLE: Beautiful (i)
By Yvonne Osborne


What a year this has been so far! “Mummy’s little soldier,” our youngest, disappeared one night and woke up with a voice in his boots and trousers that produced six inches of leg protruding below the hems. He rides the roller coaster of A-Level finals; people to see, places to go, driving lessons, rugby matches; alternate black eyes, torn shorts, muddy kit. No wonder the washing machine died. Neither boy nor man, he drags remnants of both eras around him fighting to gain control, yet never quite closing the door and opening the new. How long does it take to reach “Officer” status? Never mind, I will gratefully freeze on the touch-lines. I am his mother.

Elderly and ailing parents seem to have endless appointments, the rides in my car being the highlight of their week. They relate endless stories of my childhood and theirs. Deafness creates interesting crossed conversations so that part of one story may merge with another. I know them all anyway. I have become skilled at juggling six conversations at volume ten, on eight different subjects, between three people, in public. The little time that I have left with them makes me realise how much I do not know of who they are. What were their dreams? Where did they go in the sacrifice of their lives to let me live mine? I did not amount to much, no great career or position, just hubby, home and kids. It’s amazing what they can find to boast about though. Their lives now hang in a fragile web of physical frailty and mental confusion. They are almost children again. I am their daughter. I am their parent.

Hubby, who “does not know” whether God is real or not discovered that he is not immortal. His middle name is “Strength” and his surname “Independent.” The term “malignant” entered his life. Following surgery, his days were hung about with fear so deep he merely functioned on the surface and stared into the unknown, grasping like a drowning man to the knowledge that prayers were being said world-wide for him. Days turned into weeks. The sword of “malignancy” fell into the sweet fragrance of “all clear.” He wept like child. I continue to pray for his soul. I am his wife.

Small in stature, big in voice, my daughter now enters her tenth year of physical pain and subsequent depression. After attending a half night of prayer at church she was driving home in the early hours. A man drove into her at high speed and walked free, leaving her lying on the road. The arm of Mercy kept her from death and permanent injury. The Grace of God continues to lift her voice in song toward Him. He gave me a vision of the halls of heaven. The glory of God shone down through the great pillars and her voice lifted up in praise above the hosts. From the depths of my helplessness to make all things well for her I thank God for her, the light of my life, as we stand in the glory of His beautiful love.

November found hubby and I transported into the hills of the North with two of our life long friends. Hills, dales, pastures, woods and meadows linked with miles of dry stone walls. Colours of Autumn showered about us in red, orange, gold, bronze and russet over ageing boughs. Waterfalls flowed flawlessly from eternal rocks, their misting pools like a bridal gown. My Creator and I were in full communion.

In an effort to skirt a deep and unexpected ford I was pulled and pushed unceremoniously over a dry stone wall that I would once have taken in my stride and sprawled face down on a mud bank. Soft winds and showers had long turned to tempest. There was no turning back. Clinging and edging along a farm gate, third rung from the top, like a banana in a gale, to avoid the torrents below, a wall of water rose up and over me in the wake of a sheep truck that hit it’s “go for it button.” My waterproofs failed their final test.

Obeying the Psalmist I lifted up my eyes to the hills, their peaks shrouded in rolling mist and over the shouts of laughter I heard on the wind, “Some day you will walk with Me on higher hills, beautiful woman on a beautiful gate.”

How I praise God for a beautiful life!

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Member Comments
Member Date
dub W11/19/05
Yeah, this is a stylistic thing of symbolic maturation; we wrote a lot of this in the 60's to make emphasis on rebellion, I am not sure it works today, but nice to see someone revisit the syle.
Yvonne Osborne 11/19/05
My article is about the beauty of life - my life - and cites examples of how I think God makes my life beautiful.

Your comment suggests a subtext that I had not intended, but thank you for reading it. God Bless you.
Diane L. Harris12/18/05
Yvonne, how I praise God for your beautifully crafted writing, which makes so tangible the idea of living in praise.