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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)

TITLE: Living Water
By Jeffrey Snell


A flock of scarlet maple leaves played like little children across the warm trail before me.
My steps found well-traveled the sandy grooves curving into cool woods ahead. Spotty
marshes led to the congregation of hardwoods, loamy scent wafting. Without a reason, I
paused. Beneath peaceful silence murmurs rose of life invisible to me, equally soothing
to the quiet I had perceived moments before. My vision then joined my ears in harmony,
drawn to a single inquisitive dragonfly circling. Tall grasses wavered on either side, a
dance troupe without need for breath, in chorus with branches above and the red-winged
blackbirds beyond my sight, adding their rapid-fire penny whistles.

As my walk resumed, the garden of notes blended, counterpoints falling into place, and
abruptly I sensed a dense melody form. My head turned constantly, seemingly of its own
volition, new detail noticed with each footfall. And, paired with praise for God's
astonishingly intricate hand, the Spirit nudged inside my heart: There's more. The sense
of something momentuous, an insight of aged truth barely veiled by the flesh, coated my
thoughts. Creation's tune continued but in background now, like a complex figure
deferring in anticipation of a fresh motif.

Swaying in a gust, the maples watched as I turned the bend to woods deeper still. He
encouraged me again to search deeper, offering untouchable treasure. Something about
the woods, the sounds, the path... my path. Threatening to slide into a familiar and futile
disillusioned ditch my thoughts approached ground I had dug, gouged, scoured for clarity
frequently in the past. Things were not Right, not as they should be, not as He intended.
He lived in me; I knew that well, confident in my eternal destiny. Heaven waited. Oh!

Past the bend, I stiffened. It was coming, like a terrifying deep quake of soul, this new
thing. The Spirit took a breath, preparing to speak, and my body trembled. I could not
stop it and did not truly wish to.

Do you believe me?

Bewildered. Hurt, Peter on the shore, I did not understand. "Of course I believe in you,
Lord!" I prayed. "You know--"

Do you believe me? I am the Good One who has justified you.

For a moment, I could not speak, nor pray. The quake intensified turning my
defensiveness to fear. "Yes, I believe. Thank you, Lord. I know I have nothing good in

I have justified you. I am glorifying you. I am making you holy.

My confusion returned. I pressed on, the song playing quietly outside us. "Yes," I
prayed, "I understand, Lord, I look forward to--"

You are a saint. I can not live with sin, but I live in you, in your heart. I have good work for you to do. Release your shame.

Frustrated now, pretense of patience evaporated like vapors from the marsh, and I sighed
in reply. He saw me... saw me clearly from... from inside my heart. The trembling
began moving aside for something else.

Briefly I wondered if I was imagining this. No. I had been looking forward to Heaven for holiness, but what about all the days until then? That can't be what He's saying, can it? That my heart, where He lives, is new?

I have done a good work in you and continue it. Your heart of deceit is removed forever.
Your new heart is mine and is good. Do not deny what I have done!

In moments, irresistable clarifying waterfalls of understanding burst down and crushed the lies I had
believed for so long. That I, a believer, could not be fooled, that I knew all of the Truth, that Heaven was the entirety of His will and blessing for His family, all dissipated like the scales from Paul's eyes. I had believed my heart was still full of deceit and so settled for "getting better" in lieu of the transformation He had wrought through Jesus, unwittingly clinging to my old self! What had poured from my life was closer to what lay in the marsh with occasional fresh splashes, rather than living water. Now... now I could walk, no run down the path He paved for me in trust without shame! I realized I was laughing tears and dancing freedom before Him, like the grasses on the trail. The orchestra along the path surged into crescendo, and this new melody of His joy led them all as it streamed brightly from my heart.

No longer shall you listen to
The desperate lie of halfway;
Heaven is your treasure true,
But eternal life has broken through
And now, from the saint's heart you'll pray
Light, love, power and truth
To all I've chosen to send your way

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This article has been read 816 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Cynthia Green08/31/06
This immediately struck me as beautiful lyrical prose with the "a flock of scarlet leaves" image. This is a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing.
Donna Powers 09/03/06
I could see the scene so vividly. You have a very good gift for description.
Allison Egley 09/05/06
I liked this. My favorite line was "I had believed my heart was still full of deceit and so settled for "getting better" in lieu of the transformation He had wrought through Jesus, unwittingly clinging to my old self!" because I think it is true in my life. Thanks for the reminder that "getting better" isn't always good enough.
Jan Ackerson 09/05/06
Lyrical writing, very nice.
Joanne Sher 09/06/06
So, so VERY powerful. Your language is amazing and so very visual, and what an AMAZING message expertly told. There isn't anything about this I DON'T LOVE!
Rebecca Livermore09/06/06
You have a gift for description. Keep exercising it, and watch it blossom!
terri tiffany09/06/06
What I like - what descriptive words! What a good ending. I enjoyed the journey with him.
What I might change - I know it was probably intended on purpose to read that way, but I found line two difficult - that is should be turned around some...but then I continued to read and noticed you did that with many of your sentences perhaps to make it almost like a poem but not...? Again, going only as a reader, nothing more.:)