Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Beautiful (11/07/05)
TITLE: In The Eye of The Beholder
By Denise Stanford
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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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