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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: Shaped by God
By Rachel Burkum


God took a deep breath, enveloped in the rich earthy aroma of His newly formed globe. He ran a finger over the soft fields of waving grass, creating rolling hills and valleys, worthy of paintings and photographs that were to come. The landscape was good. But it lacked one final touch. An addition that would symbolize both joy and pain, both love and sorrow.

With a tender touch, God formed the soft daisy petals, caressing each tiny detail as it was shaped and finished with perfection. It would adorn tables, trimmed and arranged for vases of all sizes. It would decorate walls, painted with great skill to lighten the darkest of rooms. God smiled as He saw Susie clutch her wilting bouquet in her hot chubby hands, and race across the yard to give her mother the gift that would be treasured forever. For love was being shown in the simplest of ways, presented in a tangible light of white and yellow.

For a splash of spring color, God set about molding a uniquely shaped flower. Long and slender, its stem rose high, its crown a vibrant orange to meet the morning sun. With a twinkle of humor in Godís eye, He splashed the lily with dark oblong spots, knowing that it would be named after the large cat He so adored. Waving in the warm spring breezes, the lilies opened toward the heavens, watching the sun make its way across the great expanse of sky.

With great care, God took a bit of purple and rubbed it thoughtfully between His fingers. A violet came to life, its dark hues sharing warmth wherever it was placed. The tiny pedals brought a questioning glance to the little girlís face as she fingered the tiny flower. A smile formed on the lips of her grandmother as she gazed upon a story that had not been told in years. As the past was brought to life, the fragile flower was lifted from the yellowed pages of the book. Each leaf was still perfectly in tact, a symbol of time gone by, captured in delicate beauty.

In a whirlwind of color, flowers dotted the landscape, growing wild and free, or being raised within the fences of prized yards and gardens. Set in arrangements for joyous occasions, they accented the crown of a bride, or the gift of someone whose birthday was to be celebrated. Plucked, clipped, pruned and bent, they were mixed and matched in a flower shop window, beckoning to anyone who passed.

A bouquet of oneís favorite flowers brought on a wave of melancholy as it was placed atop the casket and mixed with tears that fell unchecked. More flowers filled the room, all expressions of grief and love. The sweet scent wafted through the air, in an attempt to sooth those that cried and mourned the loss of a loved one.

God stood back and gazed upon the bright colors that complimented His new sphere. Some were bold and planted in places that people were sure to notice. Some were small and hidden that took fine concentration and stillness to see. But something was still missing. A creation that symbolized the deepest of emotions, a true splendor within a world of turmoil.

God stroked the velvet-smooth pedals, bringing them tightly together in the center, and spreading them outward in a perfectly shaped rose. He watched in anticipation as Dan stood nervously on the porch after ringing the doorbell. The rose behind his back trembled in his hand as he rehearsed his confession of love. The dark red flower would bring his emotions to life in a gesture of giving and eternal respect.

Running a finger down the sturdy stem, God paused as He touched the sharp thorn. He watched in anguish as a whole crown of thorns was pushed onto His own Sonís head, just before the brutal crucifixion on a cross. As the rose withered over time, so the life was removed from Jesusí body. But death would not prevail. Pushing forth from the ground, a new rose bloomed into beauty. So too did Godís Son rise as a Savior to man, bringing new life and new birth to those who believed.

God overlooked the earth and smiled. In a dark and troubled world, His flowers shone brightly.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Aubrey Hall10/10/05
You have a talent for descriptive writing. Very well done!
Amy Verlennich10/10/05
I loved this... especially how you talked about the rose and then the thorns! Was wonderful... I didn't care for the line, "So too did Godís Son rise as a Savior to man, bringing new life and new birth to those who believed" as you seemed to change tense in the story. Good job though. Blessings, Amy
Donnah Cole10/10/05
Well written! You definitely are blessed with descriptive technique! Only one thing I noticed...I believe a flower petal is with a "t" and not a "d." Of course, pedal with a "d" would be like a bike pedal. At least, that's the way it is here in the USA; may be different in other countries. Overall great piece!
Michelle Burkhardt10/11/05
Nice job. I enjoyed the rose as romance and how you described why God developed each flower.
Jan Ackerson 10/11/05
This is a very descriptive account of the creation of flowers, yet it skillfully avoids adjective overload. I was puzzled, though, by the appearance of Susie, and the grandmother, and Dan during the Creation. Of course, God sees through all of Time, but it was confusing--perhaps you could put the "today" uses of flowers in separate paragraphs from their creation. Nicely written, though--thank you.
Jeffrey Snell10/12/05
Spectacular! Enjoyed the perspective and the physical nature you lent to color. You also captured the eternal nature of the Lord very well. Neat work!
Alexandra Wilkin10/13/05
Richly detailed without being overloaded, and I loved how you wove in Gods view of what would be yet to come from our perspective - but already occuring to His. This is beautiful. God bless.
Suzanne R10/13/05
Lovely ... yes, we can almost see God delighting in each different flower He created!
Garnet Miller 10/13/05
Very poignant story. I think God is pleased when we find enjoyment in His creations.
Brandi Roberts10/13/05
A very descriptive entry! Very well done! Thanks for sharing!
Anita Neuman10/13/05
I loved this, Rachel! I quite enjoyed how you wove "future" snippets into God's thoughts during creation - a poignant way to show how He is outside of time. Great job!
Julianne Jones10/13/05
This was extremely well done. I enjoyed the movement back and forth through time (as we know it) and found the second to last paragrpah quite moving. Loved how you brought that message in. Well done.
Cassie Memmer10/13/05
And if He cares so much for flowers, how much more does He care for us? Very gentle and sweet reading. Relaxing too.
J. C. Lamont10/14/05
Excellent word-smithing. I am jealous. I love the flahes back and forth in time, though I think it would've flown a little more smoothly if you had written it, a little girl, a man...instead of using names...but over all, very VERY good piece.
Venice Kichura10/14/05
Simply lovely!
Val Clark10/15/05
A delightful insight into what might have been in the heart of God as he created flowers. I too appreciated the poignancy of God looking forward in time and seeing how his creation is used and abused. Thought the end worked well. Yeggy
Linda Watson Owen10/15/05
An enjoyable and lovely read!