Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)
TITLE: A Heart In Search of Home.
By Alexandra Wilkin
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Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there lived a little girl. She had very long, thick brown hair and large brown eyes. She was quiet by inclination and spent much of her time reading a great many books for she loved to read. She wrote stories of her own too. Sometimes she would show her stories to her Mother, and sometimes they made her Mother laugh and sometimes cry. Often her Mother would be too busy to read them, for the little girl had a younger brother and sister. Her brother was a very unhappy boy who hid in his room, and her sister had been sick since she was born.
The little girls Father and Mother were not happy with each other, and every weekend they shouted at each other so much that one of them would go away for a day or for a month, and then come back again, and everyone would pretend that nothing had happened; this was because the Mother and Father did not like each other anymore. Deep in her heart, the little girl felt very sad for her parents, because she believed that a Mother and Father should love each other, and the little girl wanted to learn about love more than anything else in the world. But though the home she lived in was filled with much sadness and anger, she tried very hard to love everyone as much as she could, and always hoped that if she loved them all enough, their anger and sadness would go away and they would all be happy again.
What the little girl looked forward to most was the two weeks in summer that the whole family would go and visit her Nana, Granddad, and Great-Nana. Nana and Great-Nana were her most favourite ladies, after her Mother, in the whole world. They would sing lovely hymns together in the kitchen as they cooked the lunches and the suppers, and the little girl loved to hear her Nana sing. Her Nana had a beautiful voice, sweet and strong. One evening she curled up on her Nana's lap and told her Nana that it was a voice to carry a heart to heaven. Her Great-Nana would plait her long brown hair and stroke her cheek, and make a big fuss of everyone with kisses and cuddles. She had little sayings that made everyone laugh, and think too. The little girl loved the summer even more than Christmas; she felt less alone in love when she was with her Nannies.
As the little girl grew up, it sometimes got much harder not be angry too. At night as she lay in her bed the little girl, now a young woman, dreamed of a home where everyone who lived in it felt loved and wanted, a place that was safe, where dreams could live and fears could be shut safely outside. She worried that such a place existed only in the books she loved to read, and only in the dreams she carried in her heart. Time went on and as she went out into the world, she met people whose fear, hate, anger and paranoia were carried like thick dark cloaks about them. Yet her love grew ever brighter and stronger, her conviction that love would drive away that fear grew ever deeper. But so did her sense of loneliness, for many that she met thought her naive.
Sometimes she fell into anger too and she struggled against it, for the feeling to her was like a sickness that burned as a fever and grew bile in the stomach like a virus. Then one day she picked up the Bible that her Nana's had given to her, and she read:
'God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.'
'God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them... There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.' (1John 4: 9-10, 16,18*)
The little girl had finally found her home.
*NRSV 1995, Anglicized Edition.
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