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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)

TITLE: Light of Christmas
By Robyn Burke


The giggling told me that my charges still had not fallen asleep. I rolled my eyes as I tiptoed back into the living room. If they stayed in bed I guess giggling wasn’t the end of the world. As long as they fell asleep before their parents got home.

I liked babysitting the nine year old twins. The girls were easy to care for. But the reason I was especially glad to be here this time was that Chad was due home tonight from college for winter break.

Chad is the girls’ older brother. I have known Chad all his life and whether he is aware of it or not, I consider him one of my best friends; I was thrilled at the prospect of seeing him.

I noticed one of the ornaments had fallen off a branch of the Christmas tree and I bent over to scoop it up. The angel figurine was glass blown and as I held it up I saw the colors blazing through it as it caught the reflections of the trees lights.

Lost in thought, studying the tree to determine where to place the angel I didn’t even hear the car. But the squeak of the door in the kitchen caught my attention. Chad. He’d arrived! A moment later he walked around the corner of the kitchen archway. His face lit up when he saw me. “Suzi Q! Mom told me you were going to be babysitting tonight but I wasn’t sure what time I’d get here.”

I felt a surge of warmth at the use of his nickname for me. The hug was fierce and tender.

“Welcome home Chad.”

“Whatcha doing?” he was looking at the ornament in my hand. I shrugged “This fell off; I was just hanging it back up.”

“Can I see?” I passed the angel to him and watched as he turned it over in his hand. He was watching the play of lights just as I had done.

“Prisms are pretty cool aren’t they?” he asked.
I nodded; “Whenever I see a prism I think of God.”

Chad was looking at me curiously.

“Something my grandma taught me… She said we ought to live as if we were prisms, with God as the light. Then, when we let Christ’s light shine through us, we radiate a full spectrum of light to those around us.”

‘Well, Miss Suzi Q…” he hung the ornament on a high branch, “I’d say your life is a prism”

This pleased me immensely.“Thank you.” I said simply.

Chad continued; “I’ve missed your shining light, by the way. College is a lot different than I thought it was going to be. I’m finding it hard to be a light, let alone find other lights.”

Now it was my turn to cock my head in curiosity. “Aren’t there any churches in the University district?”

“Ouch, you don’t pull any punches do you?” He shook his head in amusement. “I admit I have been putting it off. But I’m finding myself asking a lot of questions about my faith and God… look I want to show you something.”

He produced a small leather bound journal from his back pack. I recognized it immediately. “You’ve been using it, I see!”

Chad nodded. “Every time I came up against something that challenged my beliefs I jotted it down like you suggested. I thought I could study out the answers on my own but I haven’t had a whole lot of free time and, well let’s face it, I needed my special mentor to help me through this muddle. So, for every question I haven’t had time to look up answers for I made a special note.”

He opened the journal and turned the page towards me. Next to several entries I saw a little asterisk with the notation: ASK GRANDMA SUZI

“Chad.” I said with a catch in my voice. I guided him to the couch and reached for my worn bible on the stand next to the tree. “Let’s start with the reason for Christmas.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst10/16/08
I liked this story, especially the little twist. I was not expecting the MC to be a grandma! Nicely told!
Lollie Hofer10/16/08
What a wonderful surprise at the end. I wasn't expecting that to happen. My imagination as to what I thought the MC looked like had to make an about face! This was a well-written story. I enjoyed the pace of it also.
Seema Bagai 10/16/08
I liked the twist at the end. Nice job.
Marlene Austin10/19/08
This is a beautiful story. Afraid, for the challenge, it might be scored a little down for not being high "on topic" - but, I loved your clear, selective details - you did an excellent job concealing your MC's identity. :)