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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: Jesus Loves Me!
By lynn gipson


“Gramma Lynn, go to pock?” Two year old Genesee asked. She was staying with her grandmother for the day while her mommy had some much needed time to herself. Genesee knew there was a beautiful playground park full of trees and swing sets two blocks away. Going there was her favorite thing to do when she came to visit.

“It’s pretty cold outside, Genesee, are you sure you want to go today?”


“Okay, let’s just get your coat, gloves, and hat on.” Grandma Lynn sighed.

Grandma Lynn would rather do anything but go to the park in this morning. Her arthritis was acting up and she would much rather stay in the warmth of her home, but Genesee had a certain way with her grandmother.

When both of them were bundled up to the hilt, they started out for the playground. Genesee stopped to look at every little thing with great interest. She spied a rock, a piece of string, a neighborhood cat. Everything caught her attention. She seemed oblivious to the cold. Grandma Lynn herself seriously doubted her decision to come out by the time they got there, but her grand daughter was enjoying herself immensely.

Picking up a brown leaf, Genesee held it out to her and said “Pritty!’ Her grandmother saw nothing pretty about a brown dead leaf but kindly said, “Yes, it is!”

A lone blackbird apparently not invited to fly south along with his friends sat on a limb in a tree, chirping mournfully. Genesee, who loved birds, said, “Look, Gramma Lynn, pritty boid!”

“Pretty bird, Genesee.” Grandma Lynn corrected. She saw nothing particularly pretty about the scraggly looking bird, either.

“Yeth, pritty boid!”

Genesee ran to a swing and sat down, waving for her grandmother to come along with her. Grandma Lynn strapped her in the child’s swing seat and silently wished to go home.

“Puth, Gramma Lynn!”

Grandma Lynn pushed the swing while Genesee, in her own little imperfect words, began singing a song she learned from her mommy called Jesus Loves Me.

“Jesuth love me, thith I know, fortha Bible tell me tho!”

Grandma Lynn found herself remembering the song from her own childhood, and before long they were both singing it at the top of their voices.

Suddenly Grandma Lynn looked around the park and saw the beauty of the brown leaves and the lonely blackbird. She began to feel exhilarated by the cold air. The bare trees and dead grass took on a serene glow as the sun began to peep through the clouds, filtering beams of light through the gray, low hanging limbs.

Grandmother and grand daughter ended up having a wonderful time. They sang, laughed, and played hide and seek behind trees. They crumbled up goldfish crackers for the pitiful blackbird and watched in glee as he flew down to eat. Grandma Lynn became a child again as she began to see the world through the eyes of her grand daughter, and it was beautiful.

After a while Grandma Lynn said it was time for lunch, and Genesee was ready for hot soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

“Bye-bye, pritty boid!” Genesee waved to the blackbird that was now back in the tree and chirping happily.

Grandma Lynn smiled and hugged her precious grand daughter and thought, Yes, Jesus loves me!

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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/02/12
I so enjoyed this story. You did a wonderful job with the dialog of little Genesee.

However you did have a POV shift. When telling a story in third person there is one character who the reader can see, feel and think through. In the beginning it was Genesee as we learned she knew about the park and that it was her favorite thing to do. But then you show us what Grandma thinks about the leaves and the bird. The way to fix that is to describe Grandma's reaction. Perhaps upon seeing the bird, she crinkles her nose or when Genesee points out the bird maybe Grandma shows indifference by not even lifting her eyes to the bird. That'll help with doing more showing instead of telling too because you'll have to describe what the MC sees and hears.

I think you did a great job of bringing the topic into your story. The ending was grand and the message precious. I truly enjoyed this delightful jaunt to the park with the little two-year-old. (Though keeping up with her pace is tiring no matter what! Oh to have that energy. :)) Great job.
Marie Hearty 11/03/12
I can definitely identify with the grandmother here with not wanting to go out in the cold. But granddaughters have a way of bringing out the best in a person. I love how you made everything come to life when they started singing about Jesus. He is truly amazing and does change our world.
Sandra Wells11/03/12
I really enjoyed your piece and I especially loved Genesee. Your use of dialog brought her to life. You allowed us to see one day, through contrasting eyes, those of an arthritis ridden grandmother and also a joy filled toddler. But in singing about the love of Jesus, the two hearts became one, celebrating the absolute beauty within the gloomy day, and the love Jesus has for us.
Beth LaBuff 11/04/12
Your little toddlers had charms that worked magic on her Grandma. :) I was actually enchanted with this description, "The bare trees and dead grass took on a serene glow as the sun began to peep through the clouds, filtering beams of light through the gray, low hanging limbs." I could see that visual.
Margaret Kearley 11/05/12
I really loved this wonderful story. It reminds me of Jesus words about becoming like children with a child's faith and trust. Your story is beautifully written. It is so very true and brings out the strong truth that (like the old hymn says) 'something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen.'
A really great story, delightful to read. Thankyou.
Loren T. Lowery11/06/12
What a sweet story. Loved the timeless message. I did trip up over the flow with POV change, and thought it should have stayed in the 3rd person singular. But overall, great job and grand reminder to all of us of Jesus' love!
Myrna Noyes11/06/12
I enjoyed your sweet story that reminds us to look at the world through a child's eyes for a fresh perspective! The little girl's words and childish lisp were well-done, and I liked the way your story ended on such a positive note! :)
Bea Edwards 11/06/12
Sweet story about perspective. It brings to mind the scripture where Jesus tells us to come as little children. Well done gramma!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/08/12
Congratulations on your HC! I wondered if this piece might be yours. Just now when I reread it, I noticed you made granddaughter two words instead of one--that will help keep your word count down too! :) I still say you did a grand job. (I know--I was going to say great but for some reason grand seemed to fit better. :))
Loren T. Lowery11/08/12
Way to go, Lynn. Nice to see your HC and "grand" job indeed!