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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)

TITLE: An Ordinary Day
By Elaine Taylor
11/29/06


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He was gone. Mary closed her eyes and then slowly opened them again. The doorway to the barn was empty; the man had vanished. Man? Angel? She hurried outside, but there was no one in the yard but the chickens still awaiting the meal she carried in her apron. The sun and sky looked the same. The dusty grass and trees were no different. There was the house and she could hear her mother singing inside as she made the bread for the evening meal. Mary scattered feed to the hungry fowl and
then climbed into her favorite tree; the one that towered above their roof. Her mother would scold her if she found out that Mary was up in the tree. It wasn't ladylike. Mary loved that tree. She would stand in the uppermost branches and sway whenever the wind would blow. It was almost like flying! This was her hiding place that she didn't have to share with any one. Where she could think and dream in private.

She had been dreaming a lot about Joseph; her betrothed. He had the biggest brown eyes and the nicest smile. Whenever she saw him, she would get butterflies in her stomach. Now, something else fluttered inside. Did it really happen? Did an angel appear and actually tell her those things? She had gotten up as usual, said her prayers, ate breakfast and began her daily chores. She always fed the chickens after she brought up the water from the well. She had gone into the barn to fetch the cracked wheat when she sensed a presence behind her. It frightened her immensely to discover a stranger standing in the doorway. What he said was even more frightening. Then...peace came. Mary could not explain it. The leaves rustled gently around her as she thought about the words she heard...”blessed are you among women”...”favor with God”...”conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son”...”Jesus!”
She had been troubled at first. Confused. Yet, she submitted to the will of God.

Elizabeth! The stranger knew all about Cousin Elizabeth being pregnant. Mary thoughtfully chewed her bottom lip. Rumors had been circulating that an angel had spoken to Cousin Zacharias. He and Elizabeth had been childless for years. Now they were expecting their first baby. What did the angel say? ”For with God nothing will be impossible.” Mary decided that she would pay a little visit to Elizabeth. Maybe she would have some answers. Being away would also help Mary decide what to do and how to do it. What would her parents think? How could she explain all of this to Joseph? Was it all a dream?

She carefully climbed out of the tree. Her mother was still singing inside the house. The sun was still shining in the sky. The chickens had finished eating and were busy scratching in the dirt. Everything looked the same. Everything sounded the same. In her heart, Mary knew, everything was different.


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Lynda Schultz 12/04/06
This is very well done. Very little is actually told us in scripture about Mary. I love the "face" and the "voice" you've given her.