Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Green (10/22/09)
TITLE: An Allergic Reaction
By Shilo Goodson
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I looked over at my husband, Thomas. He shrugged as though to say that he didn’t know what was happening. Before I could ask about the “peasant,” Steven pulled his hands out from behind his back. What greeted me was a mix of a few different very green weeds, mostly dandelions. As Steven proudly held them out for me, I knew that he thought he had picked me the most beautiful flowers in the world. Unfortunately, as I looked at the weeds, I could only think of one thing, my husband’s allergies. If it grows in the ground and it’s at all green, my husband’s probably allergic to it.
“Mommy, aren’t they bootiful,” Steven exclaimed excitedly.
I wondered how best to handle this situation. I didn’t want to hurt my son’s feelings, but at the same time, keeping the weeds in the house for very long was going to result in a coughing and sneezing husband. It was probably also going to result in a cranky husband, because he always seems to be at least a little cranky when his allergies act up. Thomas wouldn’t enjoy it, and I wouldn’t enjoy being around him if he got like that.
“Honey, why don’t you have your sister get you a cup, and you can put them outside where the neighbors can enjoy them too,” I suggested, looking over at my husband, who looked as though he was already starting to feel the itch of the weeds.
Steven ran out of the room screaming his sister, Monica’s name. I figured if I could get the weeds out of the house, Thomas might be alright for a while. After all, he did have to encounter grass and weeds on a regular basis whenever he went outside, and his allergies generally only really bothered him in the spring and fall.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I really thought about the weeds Steven had picked for me. When I woke up, I could see the rash on Thomas’ arms. The rash didn’t look too bad, and a quick glance at the nightstand told me the reason behind it. Apparently Steven hadn’t completely listened to my direction. He got the weeds in a cup part of it right, but instead of putting them outside, he had placed them on the stand only about a foot away from my husband’s head. I was surprised I hadn’t noticed them when we had gone to bed the night before.
I got out of bed and grabbed the cup of weeds. I hoped that my son would forget that he had given them to me. The weeds were going to have go outside in the trash. Looking at my husband, I remembered a devotional I had heard a few years back. The person had talked about how we often avoid things that will result in an allergic reaction. If our child is allergic to milk, we don’t give the child a big glass of milk with dinner. If we have had an allergic reaction to a bee sting, we won’t go and jump on a beehive just to see how many times we can get stung. The person talked about how we should view sin as that allergy. Instead of continually doing that same thing, we should avoid sin and even feel that allergic reaction when we encounter it in our lives.
The person who had given that devotional, had suggested that when we encounter the guilt that comes from knowing we are doing the wrong thing, we leave the situation and even find our own antihistamine for that sin. The person had suggested that we do this through prayer, reading the Bible, and serving others. As I threw the weeds into the outside garbage can, I thought about my own life. I wasn’t on a horrible path. I went to church. I tried to be kind to those around me. I taught my children to share and use good manner I realized, though, that my relationship with God had slipped a little lately, and I made a commitment to improve and repair that relationship. As a start, I offered a silent prayer of thanks for the reminder.
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