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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Groceries - deadline 8-23-12 10 am NY time (08/16/12)

TITLE: A Cup of Cold Water
By Shanta Richard


Dawn was still sleeping when Tirzah started her days’ chores. It was the time of the Passover Feast. Baking unleavened bread was one of the main cooking jobs. It was a along tedious process compared to baking regular bread, where yeast made the bread soft and fluffy. The flour for unleavened bread had to be kneaded to perfection to make the bread soft and light. Today she had to bake extra bread for her husband, Samlah’s grocery store.

Her shoulders ached and the muscles in her arms protested in pain as she continued to knead the flour. She prayed to Jehovah God for strength to do her best. She asked for His blessings on the bread and those who would share it. To forget her weariness she started to sing God’s praises.

By the time the first cock heralded the dawn, the baking was done and Tirjah had packed the little donkey cart with the groceries for the shop, dried fruit, nuts, jars of olives in brine, goblets of oil, skins of wine and her precious bread wrapped in woolen shawls to keep it warm. Samlah had loaded the other donkey with bundles of fire wood.

“May Jehovah bless you with a good day at the store, my husband,” said Tirzah as Samlah smiled and waved goodbye.

In the early morning’s golden light, Samlah surveyed his little shop. He smiled with satisfaction at the neatly arranged groceries. Gunny sacks of wheat and barley, Goatskins of wine, shelves stacked with containers of dried fruit, nuts, cheese and roasted grain. Baskets of newly baked unleavened bread were displayed on the counter.

Two men entered the shop and Samlah greeted them with a smile,
“Welcome to my shop respected gebers,” he said. “How can I help you?”
The older man stroked his beard and said, “We came to buy groceries for Passover meal.”

By this time the younger man had started to pick up the supplies he needed – dried fruit, nuts, and wine.
“Don’t forget the firewood and oil for the lamps Judas,” the older man called out.
“You don’t have to remind me, Peter, I have been purchasing groceries for so long that I am quite competent at this job.” Judas replied as he tested the freshness of the bread. Samlah watched him and said,
“My wife baked them this morning. She bakes the best bread around here. Here taste a bit,” he said as he handed a sample piece to him.

Judas had to admit that the bread tasted delicious and he took all the remaining loaves. He paid for the purchases and left with Peter to the upper room to prepare for their Master’s Last Supper.

Tirzah did not know that the bread she so lovingly baked was the last meal the Savior would share on earth.
She did not know that the bread she had baked would represent the broken body of the Savior – His ultimate and complete sacrifice in atonement of all human sin.
She did not know that through the centuries her bread would be a remembrance to man of redemption and salvation and the blessed assurance of eternal hope.

The Bible says that the littlest of little tasks done for Him by a humble faithful servant would have its reward. It says that even a cup of cold water offered in His name to a thirsty soul will have its reward. (Matthew. 10:42 –KJV).

And so as I go through my life performing the tedious, menial tiresome and unpleasant jobs I am called to do,I try to remember Tirzah, at the crack of dawn, toiling at the hot oven baking the unleavened bread, singing and praising God not knowing the blessed purpose that bread was destined to serve.

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This article has been read 260 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/24/12
What a beautiful story. This touched my heart...great job with the topic and entry.

Clever and touching.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/26/12
You did a fantastic job of thinking outside the box. This is a clever and interesting story.

I did notice a POV shift. This is something I've been working on in my writing, if not I probably wouldn't have noticed that you started seeing the store through the wife's eyes then later through the husband's.

I really enjoyed the characters. The message gave me goosebumps. This one should do quite well in the rankings. You have a natural talent and this is one of my favorites for sure.
Karen Pourbabaee 08/28/12
This is a very interesting and well written story that has an overall deeper spiritual meaning than the obvious one. I noticed the POV shift also, so you could either have the husband observing the wife's breadmaking or have her go along to observe Peter and Judas at the market herself to be consistent. Great job!
Mildred Sheldon08/29/12
WOW! This is so far my favorite story. I loved how you bought everything to life and made it sound so real. Great job and thanks for sharing. God bless.
C D Swanson 08/31/12
Congrats...God bless