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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Thump (05/30/13)

TITLE: Life's Blessings
By Pamela Reed


Brown haired, blue eyed, and pink cheeked James entered our world as a baby boy. As with every child who enters this world, he is given a beautiful glass jar to keep track of blessings. Each blessing is represented as a grain of sand.

Each day as he moved on through life a blessing symbol went “tink” as it hit the bottom of the beautiful glass jar. Tink, tink, tink could be heard if you listened closely enough. The jar was slowly and constantly being filled one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Many times James was not even aware that a blessing was being bestowed upon him as it was done stealthily. God snuck it in because of his great love. James wasn’t always looking for His intervention and it sometimes went unnoticed, but that did not stop his Heavenly Father’s hand. The blessings continued, noticed or not noticed.

There were very special times in James life when the blessings were so huge that many grains of “sand” hit at the same time with a thump. For instance, when James met the woman of his dreams and married Naomi. That was a huge day of blessings and many grains were added to his jar all at once. Another huge blessing day was the day he returned to her from the war overseas. Health had followed him home and his wife and family signed with relief as they thanked God for answered prayers of safety.

Two children were added to James and Naomi’s life, first a girl and then a boy. Again a multi-grain day of blessings occurred and those thumps were quietly heard. As time went by, grandchildren and then great-grandchildren were added as the family grew and grew.

But this was not a sedentary life where they just watched their family grow. No, they needed to set a standard of values which could be seen and emulated by their offspring. They decided to get involved in their community and world to make it a better place. James played Santa Claus just before Christmas as he and Naomi delivered bicycles to underprivileged children in their city. James was involved with giving grants to our nation’s youth to finish their college educations. The group inspired the youth to strive to achieve their best and give their gift of education back to make their nation stronger.

When James hit the ripe old age of 95, it was his time to leave this world and join the others who had come and gone before him. It was time to pour out the sands of blessings from his jar. As the grains hit the ground and spread out before him, a gorgeous beach appeared. He felt the welcoming warmth of the sand as he stretched out upon it. He fell asleep with joy in his heart.

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This article has been read 263 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judith Gayle Smith06/10/13
Beautiful . . .
Beth LaBuff 06/11/13
Creative, descriptive, and inspiring. I enjoyed this. Thank you.
Brenda Rice 06/11/13
Very nice. Thanks for sharing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/11/13
Wow, this is beautiful. I love the idea of the jar being filled with blessings.You nailed the topic in a fresh and creative way.

The only red ink I would offer to make this great piece even better would be to tighten some of the sentences. For example, often the word very can weigh a sentence down and actually have the opposite effect. Very special doesn't feel as sincere to my ears as just the word special. I might tighten that sentence up like this: During special times in James' life, the huge blessings clumped together so that many grains of sand simultaneously hit the jar with a thump.
I know that may not be perfect, but I hope it shows what I'm trying to say.

There are many awesome aspects of this story. Your opening piqued my interest immediately and I was eager to read. I thought the idea is brilliant and creative. I can easily picture the MC scooping her son into her lap and telling him the story of his blessings jar. It is a wonderful idea to show kids how blessed they truly are,especially in this age of instant gratification. This is a wonderful idea that many parents could adapt. I could almost hear the sand hitting the jar as he journeyed through life. Your description of the ending gave me goose bumps. This is definitely one of my favorites.
C D Swanson 06/13/13
Awww, this touched my heart and made it smile. This piece was both poignant and powerful, the message not overly blatant, but enough to reach one's heart.
Thank you for this.

God bless~