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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Beautiful (11/07/05)

TITLE: In The Eye of The Beholder
By Denise Stanford


I could see her clearly. A young girl dressed in rags, dirty and afraid. Her tiny frame bore the evidence of a difficult journey, scuffed knees and scabbed elbows showed through a torn robe. There were bruises and scars: she sniffed as if she'd recently cried.

Faltering for a moment she seemed unsure and turned her grimy face to the ground feebly hugging her self for comfort. She then continued her journey towards the throne of The Most High.

Having arrived at His knee her shoulders began to shake, clearly she was now sobbing though her bedraggled hair hid her face from us. Her tears dropped to the crystal floor and her body fell with them.

Using the corner of her ragged dress she mopped her nose and chin. I did not hear what He said, but His gentle voice caused an immediate change in her.

Though still timid she stood and looked up into His eyes with astonishment. The moment was electric, we all felt it.

Cautiously she held out a hand and opened it to release a balled up rag. The Most High leaned forward attentively. He asked a question and she replied, in rapid staccato words punctuated with sobs and sniffs.

“I’m sorry,” she said ashamed of the meagre offering. The torn cloth appeared to have stitching on it.

She explained, "I tried to unpick it and do better," she turned the crude embroidery in trembling hands, “There I pricked my finger and bled on it, and I had some trouble with this bit, it got a bit sweaty,” she paused as if to remember the other stains, “they were tears... some are mine but some belong to others...I fell over a few times and dropped it in the dirt: I tried to clean it but just made it worse.”

She took a huge shuddering sigh and glanced cautiously at His face, what she saw there held her gaze totally.

Holding wide His arms the child suddenly fell into His depth. A brilliance of warmth surrounded them both and infected us who witnessed this delight.

At last He held her away from Him to look at her and His face shone with the same radiance.

The child’s hair now glistened falling to her shoulders like a curtain of black volcanic glass. Washed clean she was dressed in a robe of brilliant white and upon her head a coronet of gold. He placed a kiss upon her forehead the evidence of it remained for all to see.

The Most High took the handiwork she offered Him and with a second glance we could see the blood drops had become rubies, the tear stains glittered like diamonds, the sweat had become delicate pearls.

The stitches she had tried to unpick were once more revealed and together all of the stitches become an intricate pattern of meandering golden threads interlacing each other.

The ragged and frayed edging had become a fringe of silken strands that fell between the fingers of His large and loving hands.

The dirt was changed into a blinding white; all evidence of each fall gone. He turned her to the gathering. Angels watched in wonder as He spoke her name with Love.

The silence broke; the harmony of angelic voices sang out, applause thundered like the seas.

As she was received into The Redeemed I saw Him lift the cloth and gaze at it a tear escaping His eye. He raised the cloth and kissed it, then placed it on a table at His elbow. Many treasures rested there among them an alabaster jar and a lock of perfumed hair.

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This article has been read 757 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rachel Burkum11/14/05
What a neat picture you drew. Your description was great - I could feel myself there. Nicely done.
Val Clark11/17/05
A beautiful, sensitive, layered story. To me it speaks of childlike faith, shy and tentative yet also bold, knowing we are undeserving yet still wanting and receiving total acceptance. Yeggy
Jillian Hill11/17/05
This was very good. Thank you for sharing.
Anita Neuman11/17/05
I love the image of the embroidery. You've woven this tale with great skill!
Jeffrey Snell11/17/05
A touching perspective. Thank you for writing this.
Garnet Miller 11/17/05
I like it! The description was great. I could feel the shame as the young girl presented her gift that she felt was unworthy. Good job:)
Cassie Memmer11/17/05
A wonderful rendition of God's perspective. And that's the only one that counts. Good writing!
Julianne Jones11/18/05
Beautiful! I loved the way you told this story and the message you conveyed. Well done! An excellent piece for your first time in Level 2.
Shari Armstrong 11/19/05
I've got chills - this was so beautiful! Wonderful!!!
dub W11/19/05
Wow, why are you writing at this level, for that matter at any level, this is beyond the scope of a challenge. Thank you, I truly enjoyed reading this work.
Marilyn Schnepp 11/19/05
I type this through my tears...it's beautiful! It was one of the best, but I agree that you DO need to work on the typo's, they blotched an otherwise terrific story!
Karen Ward11/22/05
Denise, Beautiful. I too shed a tear and my heart was there with the girl the whole time. Really well done!
Suzanne R11/23/05
I just LOVE the transformation of the girl and the handiwork from the beginning to the end of the piece. It is so touching. I love your analogies. Like her hair being of black volcanic glass. This is EXCELLENT!
Marilyn Schnepp 12/10/05
It is imperative that I make a second Review, (for personal reasons) to this Author. Fantastic! Supurb! and beautifully written! Tops in my book!