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

TITLE: Desert Rose


Her first breath of life, her cry to the world to announce her arrival, was not met with comfort. Instead she was carried away to a cold winter, placed on a stranger’s doorstep and abandoned. A vulnerable seed tossed to the wind.

From orphanage to foster home to street shelter, she grew up in a harsh world. Yet, Sophia remained steadfast. Refusing to earn money from stealing and prostitution, she worked her hands raw as the cleaner at a restaurant. From a young age she learned to take care of herself, growing up in soil, hard and unforgiving all around her.

One day while cleaning the chairs and tables at the restaurant she came across a worn Bible. The pages were torn and the cover had long since fallen away, yet the words remained. Teaching herself to read from the watermarked voice of God, Sophia grew into an avid scholar, feasting on truth. A bud planting her roots in earth that went far deeper than her young soul could realize.

Sophia’s hard work at the restaurant did not go unnoticed, and her dedication to serving was recognised when her manager asked her to work as a waitress instead. The pay was better, the hours more manageable, and it gave her more time to study her favourite book. At the young age of thirteen Sophia was serving tables, every now and again sharing her excitement about God. It wasn’t long before she had lead many customers to the Lord. The sun shone down on her and the rain watered her hungry spirit. Growing up towards the sun, she rose.

Within a few months, she was promoted to floor manager at the restaurant. When her boss mentioned that he wanted to sell the property, her heart started beating faster than the words she wanted to speak. She smiled all over, from the tips of her toes to the hair on her head. This is what she had been saving every single penny she earned for; this is what God had promised her, this is where her destiny lay. She signed the contract when she was just fifteen years old. Her petals started opening and her heart was set free.

Sophia started feeding the hungry who could not afford food. For those that could, she provided the tastiest meals in town. The restaurant became the most popular around, customers knowing that she offered the best atmosphere, the best food…and there was just something about that girl. With maturity way beyond her years, Sophia began a legacy in that small restaurant. Hundreds came to know God through her humility and generous heart. Her name may not be remembered, her career is not sought after, and the only book she has read in her life is the Bible. But Sophia is a pearl in the hands of God. His pride and joy, the lost seed that found its roots in the toughest of conditions. The young girl who grew and opened up to His love and shared it with the world. A baby tossed away, yet a woman rich in God. A strong and steadfast desert rose.

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This article has been read 661 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shelley Snyder10/10/05
I loved this! I love how you compare Sophia's blossoming in life with a flower. Great job!
Melanie Kerr 10/10/05
An uplifting story. Is she a real person? It makes me think of all the opportunities I have had in life and whether I have turned out to be a rose - or a thorn bush.
Donnah Cole10/10/05
A refreshing story! Well written!
Gabrielle Morgan10/10/05
This story had an undeniable profound quality about it. Sophia's humble beginnings, strong character, her thirst for the truth, her growth in the spirit, her charity, her leadership through example and all her actions strongly rooted in the spirit of God. An exemplary work. I thought it was an excellent piece of literature. Thanks for writing.
Jan Ackerson 10/12/05
This is nice! I can easily see it expanded into novel form.
Garnet Miller 10/12/05
I like it! So many face adversity and do not turn it to a positive for their good. This story is a hope for those who have only known hopelessness!
Deborah Porter 10/17/05
Michele, I just wanted to pop in and let you know that you did very well with this entry, ranking in 6th Place in the Level 2 list - so you were just a breath away from receiving a Level award. You also ranked 35th overall - out of a total of 145 entries, so that deserves a pat on the back!

The story was definitely inspirational, but I think the believability factor was what kept it from ranking higher. If it was a true story, then Wow! If if was fiction, then the age that the main character bought the diner was very hard to believe. When a story does have this big question mark hanging over it, it does make it hard for the reader to really judge whether they accept what is being said or not. So if you are writing a true story, then it would probably be worth making a note of that at the end as an Author's foot note. If it's fiction, then make a note of that as well, and keep an eye out for things where the reader may be being asked to believe more than they are prepared to believe (if that makes sense).

But overall, very good work Michele, and I know that I'll be looking forward to reading more by you in the future.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)