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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)

TITLE: The Birthday Gift
By
03/08/06


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It was Ron’s twelfth birthday. Would anyone remember? His father was sick with lung cancer. All of his mother’s time was filled with caring for him.

As he opened the door to the kitchen, the fragrance of warm cake filled the room with an inviting aroma. She had remembered. His father was in his wheelchair, surrounded by pillars, looking extremely weak and frail.

“Happy birthday son”, his father said handing him a wooden box.

“A gift for me” he asked, taking the box from his father? It was heavy. His mind raced with excitement as he tried to guess what was in the box. Then he noticed. There was a lock on the box and it was closed.

“I won’t be around to see you grow up, Son. I made this box for you. You cannot open it today. You must search to find the key that opens the lock you see here. When you find it, it will open the doors to the Kingdom within you.” His father was exhausted from the long speech. He reached for Ron’s hand and squeezed it tightly. “Happy Birthday. I’m proud to call you my son.”

“Thanks Dad”. Ron replied. Then he dived into the cake his mother had waiting for him.

Two weeks later, his father died. Ron placed the box on a shelf in his room and as he engaged in youthful activities, it was soon forgotten. It set on the shelf and the years passed. The teen years came, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen and soon Ron would be sixteen.

One day, Ron was overcome with depression and felt life was closing in on him. Browsing around in his room, he came across the box and thought of his father. If only he had lived, he could help me now. Ron picked up the box and examined it carefully.
What could be inside the box that made it so heavy? He noticed the lock and recalled his father had said he must find the key? Where would his father have hid the key?

The telephone rang, breaking the thought pattern in his mind and the box with the lock and missing key were forgotten temporarily.

The box begins to haunt him. In the days ahead He remembered his father had said:” when you find the key and unlock the box, you will find the keys to the kingdom within.”

His mother did not go to church. Before his father got sick, they went to church, but her heart had hardened when his father died. She blamed God for his death and all her problems.

One day a friend invited Ron to go to church. He like it and started going on a regular basis. His friends at church talked about praying. It seemed strange to Ron.

Late one night when sleep would not come, Ron’s eyes fell on the wooden box his father had made for him. Where could that key be hidden he thought. He remembered what his friends had said about praying. Ask and you shall receive, someone had said. After deliberating a long time, Ron closed his eyes and prayed: “Lord, show me where my father hid the key?”

He soon drifted off to sleep and the prayer was forgotten. Next day, the thought came to him: “Look in your father’s bible.”

“Mama, did Daddy have a bible?” he asked.

“Yes he did,” she said. “He read it often before he got sick.”

“Could I see it,” Ron asked?
“If I can find it,” she said.

The next evening she handed Ron his father’s bible. Just as he had thought-there was a key in the bible. He went to his room and found the box. The key fit perfectly. When he opened the box he found a bible. It opened to a full-page picture of Jesus in living color. Written in his father’s hand on the picture were several verses. “I am the way-the truth-the life-there is no way but through me. Seek and you shall find—knock and the door will be opened—there was a picture of a door on the opposite page. It had no lock.

Ron mouthed the words – I’m knocking Jesus—open the door.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/14/06
A nice little mini-mystery and treasure hunt--but I'm wondering why the dad would give him a locked-up Bible. Wouldn't he want the son to read the Bible as soon as possible? Very good writing, and right on-topic.
Virginia Gorg03/16/06
Nice mystery, but I expected a letter from his dad (a witness letter perhaps) rather than the Bible itself. The phrase 'years passed' seems like it should have been longer than just four years (12 to 16). An easy read and well done.
Jessica Schmit03/16/06
Great job!
Kurt Youngdale03/17/06
It doesn't make any sense to me either, why would his dad lock up a Bible?