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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)

TITLE: The [Endless] Conversation
By David Story
01/08/07


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Nicholas awoke to the ringing from the bell tower, signaling the call to Morning Prayer. He immediately – though slowly and with purpose – went to his knees. The springs on his cot made a creaking sound as his elbows rested on the thin mattress.

The conversation began.

He walked from his sleeping quarters across the courtyard to the kitchen, where he would begin the preparations for the morning meal. The fog was still thick as Nicholas glided across the yard. His robe barely grazed the grass beneath his feet. His feet were bare and cold. His body shivered.

And the conversation continued.

The small kitchen found light only by the sunrays that were just coming up above the horizon, and making their way through the windows. Nicholas breathed a joyful sigh as he walked through one of the rays and made his way to the kitchen utensils that were hanging on hooks suspended from the low-rise ceiling.

And the conversation heightened.

Soon the various foods for the meal were in full preparation mode and the kitchen was alive with wonderful, quiet sounds. There was the clanging of pots and pans, and words were passed as each worker did their part to make sure the meal was ready on time. Nicholas continued with his work.

And the conversation grew.

The meal ready, Nicholas and the rest of the kitchen workers began to serve. Each would take a portion of the foods out to the long wooden tables in the dining area, where the brothers were seated, ready for the partaking of bread. Bowls were passed from person to person, as each tore a piece of bread from the loaves provided. When everyone had a piece of bread in hand, one man stood and began to speak.

And the conversation became one of thanks.

The meal over, and the kitchen once again clean and ready for the preparation of meals to come, Nicholas made the trek back to his quarters. As he walked he enjoyed the morning sun and felt the warmth on his face and shoulders. Mountaintops peered above the halls of the great Monastery.

And the conversation became one of amazement and awe.

Back at his quarters, he once again fell to his knees and assumed the position that for him had begun the day. All sound was blocked out as he became one with his Maker, and the unending prayer continued…

And it was a prayer of love…and gratitude…and humility…and peace.

Pray without ceasing.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)


“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clutter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.” – Brother Lawrence

-----

This story stems from the author’s imagination. It is based, however, on one of the humblest ‘cooks’ in history. For more on the life of Brother Lawrence, and his ability to commune with God on a minute-by-minute basis, be sure to read the Christian Classic – The Practice Of The Presence Of God.


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This article has been read 1141 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/11/07
Wonderful! I love your one-sentence paragraphs describing the conversation.

I think the brackets in the title detract from its loveliness. This is a truly beautiful piece, and I really appreciated the author's note at the end. Very inspiring.
Leigh MacKelvey01/16/07
As Jan and Chrissy said
"lovely". It was also unique. I loved the peaceful tone and feeling of the quietness of a monk's life and his constancyof prayer at every moment of his day. This piece evoked so many feelings and images. Hurry on up and get to Master's level where you belong!
Joanne Sher 01/16/07
This feels like a prayer in its reverence and beauty. I love the repetition - very effective. Also appreciated the author's note!
dub W01/17/07
A unique piece, a very peaceful flow. The brackets in the title are unnecessary and detract from this beautiful piece.
Jen Davis01/17/07
A wonderful entry. I enjoyed how you expanded with each of the conversation paragraphs and that they we set apart from the rest of the story. The scripture resonated beautifully throughout the piece. Very nicely done.
Pat Guy 01/17/07
This is a plesure to read - every word - during this journey of life and uncessing prayer. This is so well written ... this is such good work.
Marilee Alvey01/18/07
Your writing style on this piece was so simple, yet spoke volumes. It's such a cool thing when the writing conveys the mood! It was a point well taken, as well. I could feel the joy he felt, but marvel at him being able not to speak it out. I would just bubble over.....like a pot of oatmeal on a too hot stove! It's a quiet, peaceful joy, though, something that, for me takes a little bit of imagining. However, since you put me right into the story, I could experience it for myself! Thanks for the uplifting story!
Sharlyn Guthrie01/18/07
I am so glad that your beautiful piece did so well! I missed it until today, and it is so well-written and thought-provoking. Congratulations!
Sally Hanan01/18/07
Congratulations on your win! This proves that sometimes the simplicity of God's love and quiet communion with Him speaks volumes.