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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Era (02/03/11)

TITLE: Can You Imagine
By Kathy Stevens


Millie is sitting with her long time friend, Elsie, in the hospital in the wee hours of the night. She has been told that her dearest friend may not have long to live. She sits close to her bed, holding her hand. For a day or so, she has been slipping in and out of consciousness. Her sweet face is pale and drawn – certainly not the picture of health Millie is accustomed to.

This little hand that she has held so many times in her life has become wrinkled and worn. It has raised a family of seven children. She has seen it hoeing and pulling weeds in her own vegetable garden all the while she was helping her beloved husband in the fields. Work was not foreign to Elsie.

The welfare of her family was her priority in life and she knew everyone had to pull their own weight. That would not be hard for her strong frame, but she was always doing more than she should or that was expected of her. In her spare time, she could be found down the road attending to a sick neighbor. In hard times, her solace was her beloved Lord and Savior, Jesus. He was with her with every step she took. He saw her pain and heard her prayers. He saw too, the love and mercy in her heart for others.

The doctor has told Elsie’s family that it will not be long now, for her. Gazing into the beautiful green-blue eyes that have never changed, Millie tries to comfort her friend.

“Can you imagine a period of time, an era, in which total and complete peace reigns? Can you take it a step further and imagine that you are there, present, with all of your friends and family while an incomprehensible love washes over you? There is no darkness, only a most magnificent light. There are colors and images that hold your attention everywhere you turn and the most wonderful joy you could ever imagine begins to pour out of every cell of your body.”

Elsie’s eyes seem to smile. She whispers, “Oh, Millie, I know there is really such a time, a place where this will all be ours. Tell me more.”

“You look at your body and it is clothed in a luminescent white robe that shimmers with colors running through it and you are young and beautiful again.

“Taking in the landscape, you see the most exquisite flowers you can ever imagine. You cannot take a step without stepping on one, but they are not crushed – they come up through your foot – there is no death there.

“Remember where we read about the trees and the rocks that clap their hands? And the music – is superb. Everything in that place has a composition of praise pouring from it while worshiping the Jehovah God. They cannot help it. It is a place of praise and adoration. It is a place of love.

“Millie, I know there angels there because . . . because I . . . I think I see one. See . . . see the light in the corner? He has been standing there for a while now. Has he come for me? If he has, I want to go with him. He is a most splendid and beautiful creature. Oh, Millie, come with me – it will be glorious there.”

Tears now begin to course down Millie’s face. “Oh, Elsie, I do so want to come, but I must wait a little longer. I will keep the prayer vigil for both our families to be in that wonderful place with us.”

Millie holds to Elsie trying to keep her a little longer. She looks up to see into those beautiful, loving eyes. They have now become larger and her face has a glow that shines as Millie has never seen it. She raises her hand as if to grasp the hand of one beckoning to her. The heart monitor stops, her hand falls, her eyes close and she is gone -- stepping into the next era of her existance.

Millie drops her head onto Elsie’s chest, her heart feeling the pain of losing a friend, but also rejoicing, knowing there will be a time when she will see her again.

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This article has been read 411 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Leola Ogle 02/10/11
Beautifully written! Love both the MC's. Thanks for sharing!
Nancy Sullivan 02/10/11
In a word: "Wow". The heavenly era that will never end and you describe it beautifully. Great writing all around.
Norma-Anne Hough02/10/11
truly moving and very well written. Very believable and your characters are very realistic.
Enjoyable read.
Kaye Swain02/10/11
Very sweet and touching.
Mary Toll02/10/11
I love how you have woven the past, present, and future 'era's' with your poignant story of a 'living' friendship.
Through your carefully chosen words, I am excited to share heaven with my own friends. Well done!!!
Brenda Rice 02/10/11
So beautiful, so touching and very well written. Thanks for this wonderful entry.
Fern Brown02/11/11
Great story - I simply cannot imagine the beauty of Heaven, but you did a great job of making it very real! I love hearing about my eternal home with my wonderful Lord.
Mildred Sheldon02/11/11
Your story was so tender and full of love. I enjoyed this very much. Thank you and God bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/12/11
This is beautiful. It reminds me of the vision Grandma saw just before she died. Nicely done,
diana kay02/15/11
great story, i could imagine the scene in my minds eye. I felt it started a little slow and i got a little muddled at some point as to which of the ladies you were describing but the writing unfolded nicely into the wonderful dialogue.I love the picture you painted of heaven.
Bryan Rudolph02/16/11
Let me see . . . the dictionary (I’m quite sure) states that a good story, well told, is something like . . . no . . . most definitely like the one entitled “Can You Imagine” by an author of whom readers need to see more . . . no . . . much more. This story was such a pleasure for me to read . . . thank you, for the delight. Bring more on, will you?
Bonnie Bowden 02/16/11
These characters share such wonderful moments in your story.
I believe in the angels standing right beside us, to escort us into Heaven. My aunt saw and heard them singing three days before she died.