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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: Angel Lace
By Jim McWhinnie


Even now, in the mellow autumn of life, I keep returning to those sunshine summer days of my boyhood on the farm. I like to bring it all back to life - that Tom Sawyer who still romps barefoot within me, those farm fields that were the extent of my world back then, those black-tar barns that were the enchanted castles in my life. Yet most of all, I especially like to bring to life my Grandma. To all others, she was known as Grandmother. But to me and only me, she was Grandma.

Her voice sounded like light-hearted brook water making its way through the maple woods. Her touch was like kittenís fur rubbing upon the cheek of oneís soul. Her smile was like Godís gentle grace embracing you, even tickling you. I loved her and I still love her, for she loved me and she still loves me. Yes, we loved each other but even more than that, we loved being with each other.

We would often wander together through the wide-open pasture that stretched out beyond the barn. We would go searching for a delicate, white flower she called Angel Lace. The rest of the world seems to call it Babyís Breath. And that name is fitting enough, but I still hold a liking to Grandmaís preference.

She once told me that Angel Lace would sometimes appear here and there in the morning dew. You never knew where it might appear. It simply appeared.

Where did it come from? According to Grandma. It seemed that sometimes during the moonlight, angels would come down to earth and dance among the fields. The angels were so beautiful that the earth would be reluctant to have them leave. And so as the angels rose up with the first light of dawn, the fields would reach up and snatch a bit of the lace from the angelís skirts to remember them by.

Oh with all my biblical scholarship and theological sophistication, I realize that this story of Angel Lace is but the fancy of mountain legend, yet I cannot help but remember the story of Jacobís Ladder. Yes, the old gospel song does claim that we are the ones who are climbing up that ladder rung by rung to heavenís higher realms, yet the Biblical account is something quite the contrary. In the story, the ones who dance up and down the ladder are the heavenly angels, not we earthbound mortals.

Again and again, this seems to be the direction of God and human souls, up and down and down and up. God comes down to meet us here and we go up to meet Him there. We go searching for Him up there on the mountains and God comes searching for us down here in the valleys. Our praise rises up and Godís grace showers down. I am not always sure if we are going up to heaven or heaven is coming down to us.

But in this mellow autumn of my life, I am thankful that every now and then I still find myself in those places where angels have come down to play. And I have the Angel Lace to prove it.


ďJacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.Ē - Genesis 28:10-12 NIV

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This article has been read 747 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/09/09
This is just beautiful writing. Gorgeous.

If I'd suggest any small thing, it'd be to avoid the "you"s in the second paragraph. Staying in first person makes it much more intimate.

I loved this from the title to the last word.
sky fern04/09/09
Perfect!! Whoever you are! Great metaphoric use! Wow!!
Beckie Stewart04/09/09
Enjoyed the ways in which you shared the way the ups and downs of us with our relationship with the Lord.
Norma-Anne Hough04/09/09
Really loved this awesome piece of writing. Well done.
Bukola Jimoh04/09/09
Very beautiful. You are an artist.
Deborah Ann Belka04/09/09
This is absolutely inspiring and I, even though my gender is off, was a boy on a farm, with grandma, and her angel lace for a minute or two. Thank You for sharing words from the heart.
Marsha Sue Pitman04/11/09
What a truly lovely piece! You are a master of word painting!
Betty Castleberry04/11/09
Lovely. The rest of my thoughts have already been posted by others. Well done.
Mary McLeary04/13/09
Very inspirational. Thank you.
Mona Purvis04/14/09
This is the style of writing that speaks to me, takes me to another time and place and treats me gently making me reluctant to leave. This piece blessed my soul. Smooth and rich...oh so rich.
Myrna Noyes04/14/09
Lovely, inspirational piece with vivid descriptions! I enjoyed it very much! Thank you! :)
Sonya Leigh04/16/09
In your short time here at Faith Writers, you have become one of my FAVORITE writers. Congratulations, Jim! Now, you move up again. Blessings to you.
Eliza Evans 04/16/09
You have a beautiful voice, Jim. Keep using it and blessing others.

YAY you! :)