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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Vines (11/21/05)

TITLE: The Example
By Paul Potenza



She wrapped herself around every one of her children. They fed off of her from the moment they were conceived. Physically, that’s a normal thing. But there’s more. So much more.

Throughout their lives she fed them with food for the body and food for the mind and spirit. She made sure that they were nourished with pablum and spiritual milk when they were babies. As they grew older, they got their fair share of oatmeal and the bread of life. And as they grew into adulthood, they were given steak and the strong meat of the Word.

And this favor was not only for them. All who came in contact with her got to feed off of her seemingly endless supply of nourishment. I married her daughter, and from the moment I met her, she never stopped feeding me. Thanksgivings and Christmases at her house would leave me full in body and humble with what she had to teach me. She always delighted in the fact that I would bring my Bible to read from, although my father in law was somewhat impatient to “get done with the readin’ and start with the eatin’.”

Last Christmas was her final reading with us. I brought my Bible and was proud when her youngest son volunteered to read to her. He read to her from Luke 2 about the birth of Jesus.

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judae, unto the city of David which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

It’s the one time that I can remember seeing a “Vine” cry.

She went to God a little while later but a funny thing has happened since. She still continues to feed us.

One morning, not too long after she passed, my wife was up before dawn and was on the back porch. She saw a star that she had never seen before. It deepened her faith. I, myself, saw a vapor trail in the sky in the shape of a cross, with ducks flying across it. And I prayed. In our garden is a plant that is NOT supposed to grow in our soil. We took it from her funeral. It grows to this day.

Today, I read how Jesus claimed that He is the vine and we are the branches and I understood how that works.

All it took was a life’s example.

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This article has been read 577 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nina Phillips11/29/05
This was really such a beautiful memoir and dedication. Makes me cry..God bless ya, littlelight
Janice Stotz12/01/05
That was beautifully written! Thank-you for sharing! It warmed my heart!
Phyllis Stokes 12/02/05
This may not be the kind of critique you had in mind, or maybe it was.Overall your entry was easy to read, and held my attention. There was a good flow.But most importantly, your entry touched my heart and encouraged me to remember that my life is a example- whether good or bad-still and example. Thanks for sharing.
Karen Heslink12/03/05
It takes a well written piece to give me goose bumps. Yours did just that. Thank you for sharing that story with all of us. Touching your readers' hearts is every writer's dream. And as my granddaughter (who is only 2) always says, "You did it!)
Marilyn Schnepp 01/15/06
Absolutely beautiful! Such a lovely way to describe a person, and such a wonderful lesson to learn. Your writing is perfection - you need to move up a peg or two; loved this piece and it touched my heart. That's the goal of every writer - and you succeeded. Thank you
Edy T Johnson 09/29/06
You really have a gift for writing beautiful tributes. And, we are blessed to be able to read about these people who have touched your life.