Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Craft (as in handcraft) (02/08/07)
TITLE: The Story-Weaver's Apprentice
By Cristy Zinn
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How long had he coveted that title? Perhaps since he had first heard it spoken, or when he had seen his first Story-Weaving as a boy. He had always pictured himself at the wheel, weaving and telling the stories of God and now he was to be the apprentice!
As Lex stood on the threshold of the Story-Weaver’s cottage he turned one last time to see the village in the distance. Its chimney’s sent out their curls of autumn smoke, its houses nestled between reddened leaves of towering oaks. It would be a long time before he went back but when he did, it would be he who would entertain the crowds with stories.
He held his hand up to knock but backed away quickly as the door opened before his fist hit.
“I was wondering how long it would take you.” A weathered face poked out of the dusk inside and motioned for him to enter, “Come on, you can’t be standing out there all day now.”
He ushered Lex in, slammed the door shut behind him and stood against it grinning eerily, “What’s it like? I’ve forgotten, it’s been so long.” He rambled.
“What?” Lex asked, trying to be polite but distinctly disappointed that someone with such a title seemed, at first glance, to be slightly mad.
“Being in the village, with the people. You know, what’s it like, living among them?” he asked, his eyebrows lifted in hopefulness.
Lex smiled, “they are good people. They long to see more and more of the Story-Weavings. There have been so few of late…”
His eyes darkened for a moment, “Yes. Naturally.” He said interrupting.
He moved suddenly to grab hold of Lex’s arm. “Come let me show you your room and then the Tapestries.”
“Thank-you Story-Weaver. I am grateful to be your apprentice, I hope to learn…”
“Oh forgive me!” the old man interrupted again, “I am Ezra. Only Ezra. Call me none of those silly titles the villagers give me.” He waved his hand dismissively and pulled Lex around like an old friend showing off a new dwelling.
Hours later as they sat together before a simple meal, Lex found himself gazing around the cottage at the many tapestries that adorned the walls. He had seen some of them in the Weavings but never thought he would find himself eating dinner before them.
“It is not the tapestries that are significant, Lex.” Ezra said catching the young man in an awe-filled stare, “The stories are the important part – people never seem to grasp that. They see the beauty rather than hear it.”
Lex frowned, “what do you mean?”
“The tapestries are beautiful but they are only an aid to the story itself, to bring the story to life. Often people look to deeply at the picture to hear the story and miss the point.” He smiled mischievously, “which one is your favourite?”
Lex pointed immediately to the tapestry that hung just above Ezra’s head.
“Ah, The Good King.” He said approvingly, “now tell me boy, what was the point of the story?”
Lex smiled confidently, “That wise Kings make just decisions.”
“No.” Ezra said simply, “I suppose in its most simple terms you may be right but at the core of the story there is a deeper message. Look at the picture again. See how the King is pulling him out of the ravine even though he sees his own stolen gold cup in the man’s satchel?” He gazed up at the tapestry again, “Its about Grace, Lex. Pardon for the unpardonable… a gift of life where it is not deserved.”
“I never saw that.” Lex said softly, searching the other tapestries with new eyes.
“You need to see it now because it is those messages that we hope to express when we weave the tapestries for the people. We want to share with them the stories God gave us and hope that they hear the meaning in them and not just see the pictures.” Ezra sighed heavily, “I am too old for such things, the world is changing and I cannot keep up. People are tired of my ways but they know they have a need for the stories none the less. Perhaps you can find a way to help them hear, Lex.”
Lex stared at the tapestries, “Tell me more of the messages, Ezra. Tell me all of them – I want to hear what messages God wants me to take to the people.”
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