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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Writing a Letter (handwritten correspondence) (10/21/10)

TITLE: A Timely Message
By Therese Witkus


The arched window glowed with morning sunlight flowing through to illumine the elegant inner room. On the polished desktop, a leather-bound ledger book lay open to a page of lines holding neatly penned items ending in a column of numbers. A smile crept across the face of the gentleman writing there as he closed the book, setting it on the table nearby. Reaching among the books remaining on the desk he withdrew one of deep scarlet engraved in gilt letters. Now, to the Requests and the pure pleasure that cheered him brightly.

Others may be quick to hear the arrogant tone of demand, the whimsical nonsensical plea or the lament of the indolent within those words. To his mind, each stemmed from a heart’s need seeking relief from untold pressures and an assurance of self-worth. He began reading the pages one by one, thoughtfully, with great interest.

He smiled and nodded at some, sighed wearily at a few, laughed joyously at many and suddenly felt his heartstrings played upon and his eyes darted across the page a time or two more. He loved the touch from one of his own and she had set his heart rejoicing.

He leaned into the chair humming a tune, pondering the most pleasurable reply imaginable. A moment or several passed and he pulled a sheet of writing paper from the stack, centering the leaf on the desk. Pen and ink then, would surely be the path to tread on this occasion. The beautifully formed words flowed freely and easily, filling that page and yet another, as he hummed and sang quietly to himself. The perfect delivery mode fitting into place delighted him beyond measure and he spoke the plan into being.


Her smile shone on every person she met moving through her day. Only on closing the door behind her, home and alone, did the smile fade just that little bit before her step lightened again.

She moved about the small kitchen warming soup and cutting bread. A life of calling, to serve God by serving others should feel natural and fulfilling. With each new mission the scenes, the causes and the people changed, and the energy lifting her spirit was a thrill that she lived to feel.

She mused about the last mission with more questions than answers and the way some element began creating a tension with the world that had been a place of joy. Her search led to a spiritual awakening, a trust that serving others less directly still served God and allowed a personal freedom in that called life bringing the fullness of joy to new heights. Clearing the dishes, she prayed further about having a burning desire and limited resources to begin such a life and placing the matter in God’s hands, holding faith that his answer would be in time.

She shivered with the chill as she slipped beneath the quilts, relaxing as her own warmth prevailed and she slept soundly. Dreams lingered on her mind while still lying in bed and she could just grasp the vague sleep memory of her beloved father speaking to her. Her eye was drawn to his photograph placed on the old steamer trunk but she sat up to look again when it seemed to be missing. Odd that the frame had fallen flat without being noticed. He had sent it to her first overseas mission shortly before he died.

Holding the photograph in her hands the backing seemed askew. As she went about adjusting the back, a paper was just showing at the edge. She sat stunned and awed reading the letter that had been behind the frame for all these years.
“My dear, dear daughter… “ it began and went on for two pages telling of his love for her and pride in her. He told of his sorrow that her mother had died in her infancy, and that he had loved watching over her. The greater shock came at the end of the second page giving directions to obtain the legacy he had provided for her.

Her new life of service did in fact, bring her fullness of joy. She knew and lived the truth, “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.” 1

1 Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

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This article has been read 534 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/30/10
Matthew 7:7 is one of my favorite verses. I liked how you described the love between the two. Nicely done b
Jan Ackerson 10/31/10
Some beautiful phrases, very good writing.

I couldn't decide if this was allegory or realistic fiction--it seemed at times to be both, which was a little bit confusing.

Your story is rich in atmosphere and love.
Scarlett Farr11/01/10
very nice story. That verse was the subject of my bible study yesterday so what a great story to supplement my study! Thank you!
Mildred Sheldon11/02/10
I enjoyed this very much. Gods timing is always perfect. Never too early or too late, but right on time. Thanks for sharing.
Nancy Sullivan 11/04/10
Your settings in this story are beautifully described and you show the special relaltionship between the two characters so well.
Makes me want to "hide" love notes to my children :)