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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Craft (as in handcraft) (02/08/07)

TITLE: Shavings



A golden glow framed the cedar doorposts of a Mediterranean style mansion, where a lone figure stood in the entryway, casting a shadow across the marble tiles of the floor. When he entered, the light followed, permeating the room with soft rays.

The interior of the home exuded the warmth of his handiwork. He ran his hand over each piece of furniture crafted to perfection from exotic rosewood and mahogany, and accented with gold leaf filigree. Botanical prints, done in low relief, framed the arches of the interior doorways. Pale watercolors were brushed over the surface of the designs to make them stand out even more. Terrazzo floors swirled with the hues of a misty sunrise, and gleamed in the light of his presence as he walked through the rooms. Scenes from special moments had been faithfully etched into each tile-a unique reminder of a life graced with love.

Time was not an issue; no expense was spared. There was an elegant simplicity to everything he made, from the recessed bookshelves in the library, to the desk for drawing and writing. Carved wood trim outlined the windows. Exposed timbers highlighted the vaulted ceilings. Every inch of the mansion bore his imprint of excellence. He looked around, pleased with his progress. There was only one more project he needed to finish for the garden courtyard.

The fragrances of frankincense, myrrh, and spices, blended with the air rising from the aromatic shavings on the floor. Like a cloud of incense, it mingled with the carpenter’s sweat and blood, reminding him of another day, another piece of wood. He willed the image away and continued to work, his skilled hands moving deftly over the teak boards on his bench. He shaped them to exact measurement, breathing life into every stroke. Each curl of wood falling to the floor took with it a whispered prayer, and a promise that no one would ever have to go through what he had experienced so very long ago.

He picked up a small box, took out his carving tools, and inscribed a name at the top of the finished arch. When he was done gilding the letters, he hand rubbed the structure to a soft patina, and set it against the wall. He gathered his tools, cleaned his workspace. The shavings went into the deep pockets of his apron.

Outside, the courtyard reflected the elegant theme of the mansion. A teak table and benches graced the terracotta patio. Large stone jars, planted with trees and ornamental grasses, stood in groupings of three around the edge. Beyond them could be heard the lighthearted melody of water splashing into a hidden pool. Fragrant flowers and herbs lined the curved walkway leading to an unfinished entrance, where espaliered fruit trees edged the low garden wall on either side of the opening.

The carpenter positioned the arch in the empty space, sliding the posts into the bases he had prepared earlier. He patted the sides of the structure, and scattered the shavings on the ground beneath. Taking a few steps back, he checked to see if the arch was straight.

“Perfect,” he whispered.

He unrolled the blueprints of my life and looked at the mansion one more time. “It won’t be long…”

“In My Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 KJV

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This article has been read 8989 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/15/07
This is a masterpiece "crafted" by an artist with words! I love the imagery and the wonderful surpise ending
Marilee Alvey02/15/07
You know, as I've watched "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" I've dreamed of my mansion. However, your words really paint a picture here. I really enjoyed this. It sort of makes you eager to get to that place of peace, love and beauty. Thanks for this story.
Betty Castleberry02/16/07
The imagery in this piece is superb. I had no problem visualizing this beautfiul mansion. I love the ending, too. Very well done.
Myrna Noyes02/16/07
Lovely description of a warm and beautiful home! If God builds the house--literally or figuratively--it will stand forever! :) Well done!
Jacquelyn Horne02/18/07
Good piece. Wonderful message.
Joanne Sher 02/18/07
Just beautiful - the description is just perfect. Your details are wonderful - I felt like I was right there. I wonder if this is who I think it is...
Julie Arduini02/18/07
Dazzling descriptions, I long to read more!
william price02/19/07
The descriptions are great, the message moving, the talent, masterful. Only a true artist could have written this. Outstanding. Masters material for sure. God bless.
Joanne Malley02/21/07
Ooooh, Mid, I've got chills! Awesome! Creative and touching. What a vision of our Father and the intricacies he tends to for us! Blessings, Jo
Jan Ackerson 02/21/07
It won't be long... What a wonderful thought!
Beth Muehlhausen02/21/07
Not long into this, I thought, "I WANT TO GO THERE!" But at the time I had no idea you were describing the Ultimate Mansion. Wow.

This is a well-crafted (no pun) piece, embellished with bold imagery and deep with meaning. I loved it!
Pat Guy 02/21/07
I had a feeling ...! This gave me chills! It sounds like the kind of mansion I want - maybe we will be neighbors. Awesome writing - a feast for the eyes
Loren T. Lowery02/21/07
Soothing is the word that comes to mind when reading your work. Beautiful! Head on up to the front of the class.
Patty Wysong02/21/07
Wow! Living with a carpenter and woodworker this really made me drool--for heaven!! Makes me want to go there even more! It'll be incredible...
Joanne Malley02/22/07
Many congrats on this first place win!! This story touched me sooooo much - just the vision of the Lord's hands crafting something so special for me. Something as little as Him placing the shavings in his pocket made me feel that even the scraps of my life are important to Him. Wonderful, touching and such a comforting story. Thank you. Jo
Sara Harricharan 02/22/07
Congrats! This is a beautiful piece, glad I had the chance to experience it. ^_^
Helen Paynter02/22/07
many congratulations, Mid. THis is an absolutely beautiful piece - a well deserved win.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/22/07
Mid, I am so proud of you. I thought this was the best from the very first! May God truly bless your awesome writing gift!
william price02/22/07
COuldn't be happier for you, Mid. Excellent job. Look forward to reading your level four entries:)
God bless.
Myrna Noyes02/23/07
CONGRATULATIIONS! This wonderful piece truly deserved to win! :)
Rachel Rudd 02/23/07
Congratulations on your win!
This piece was excellent. I got chills reading it as well (or Holy Ghost bumps as my father calls them). What an awesome image you painted of the detail the Lord goes through to prepare a place for us. His love does shine through it all. Thank you for writing this!
Venice Kichura02/23/07
WOW! Mid, this is sooo masterfully written! You truly deserve your win! Awesome job!
Bonnie Way02/23/07
WOW, awesome story! I loved your descriptions, the hint at something more, but I also liked how you left it to the reader to figure it out, until the last line. Amazing! Congratulations on your well-deserved win.
joe hodson02/23/07
What an incredible piece! Great writing! Great idea!
Maxx .07/01/07
Congrats! Most excellent! Woo-hoo! :-) Welcome to the BoB club!
Teri Wilson07/01/07
Mid, Congratulations on a beautiful piece and a fantastic win! I'm so happy for you. Love and blessings, Teri
Joanne Malley07/01/07
I'm SO happy for you! You took God's gift of writing and used it for His glory -- big time!! What an awesome win! This is truly inspired work from our Carpenter's heart and soul delivered straight to your pen. I couldn't be happier for you!! This is truly beautiful on all levels. A piece to be enjoyed...a piece that has power beyond its words. Love, Jo
Pat Guy 07/01/07
Congratulations Miss Mid on such a deserving and truly inspired piece.

Verna Cole Mitchell 07/01/07
From God's heart to your heart to our hearts, thank you for sharing this masterpiece, truly the Best of the Best!
Sharlyn Guthrie07/01/07
Congratulations, Mid! I'm so very happy that this is the winning piece... a wonderful represenatative of what faithwriters is all about.
Joanne Sher 07/01/07
You, my dear friend, are to be commended for allowing God to write this through you. Wonderful, and SO deserving. Amazing, my friend.
Catrina Bradley 07/01/07
Oh, Mid, I am in Awe! Just beautiful - the thought of Jesus, slaving, sweating blood, building my mansion, critical and careful of each detail. And such a beautiful mansion! Congrats - so well deserved.!
Amy Michelle Wiley 07/01/07
Congrats!!!! Lovely story--beautiful.
Suzanne R07/02/07
This reads like art in words, and poetry in prose.

Congratulations, Mid!!!!
Venice Kichura07/02/07
Congratulations, Mid!!!
I'm so happy for you. You really deservice as this is a masterpiece in words!
Vickie Thomas07/02/07
Congratulations on a job well done. Vickie
Beverly Jeanne Raffaele07/03/07
Oh my, what a well written and poignant piece. Absolutely wonderful. It is filled with vivid imagery and portrays Jesus as the loving God, carpenter of our lives and Savior that he is. Wow! I have read this author before and her work is always outstanding.

Beverly J Raffaele
Mariane Holbrook 07/04/07
I am in awe. I am speechless. I am humbled. I am... (quick, somebody, give me some more words. I'm too dumbstruck to think of any more!) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!
Helen Paynter07/04/07
Many, many congratulations, Mid. Well deserved indeed.
Rhonda Leverett07/05/07
I found Shavings to be extremely well done and it touched my heart at the very end. A memorable winner.
hazel moodley07/09/07
Absolutely Beautiful.Well Done.Be blessed as you remain a blessing in Christ.God bless you.
terri tiffany07/10/07
Congratulations Mid! I checked today to see who the winner was - this was beautiful!! Good writing and great descriotion with a perfect ending!!!! Happy for you!
Dee Yoder 07/11/07
Mid, I can't believe it took me so long to get to read your beautiful story! It's full of wonderful descriptions. Congratulations and thank you for sharing this lovely vision of heaven!
Janice Fitzpatrick07/12/07
This is awesome. I love your descriptions and comparisons to our lives. This is prescious and I truly was moved beyone words. Thank you for the uplifting words as they encouraged me and gave me an extra reminder of how much the Lord loves each of us and considers every part of our lives important. Sorry I didn't see this before but when I was scrolling down the page and saw this I had to read it. What a blessing! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Janice:0)
Anthony Tophoney07/16/07
Wow! There are some pieces of writing that make me feel I'm not worthy to put pen to paper; this is undoubtedly one of them. Definitely the best of the B.O.B. winners to date! Congratulations!
Sita Henderson07/23/07
Wow...how beautiful...and captivating language...how could anyone not look forward to their eternal heritage after reading the exquisite lodgings prepared by the Master's Hand? Thank you.
Clark Gunion07/31/07
Sapna Nanda08/01/07
Ecellent. The language is beautiful and the thought has encouraged me personaly.
Thank you.
Mary Frances Moore08/01/07
Your article is awesome. Just awesome. I forwarded it to my husband and my sister.
Just before my dad died eight years ago, the doctor told him that Jesus was building a house for him in Heaven and that he'd be going there in a few days. Dad died two weeks later.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful gift of writing.
Brenda Welc08/03/07
What a gift you have to share with the rest of the world. Congratulations and keep writing for Him, His blessings will continue to uplift you.
Sandra Fernando08/09/07
Mid, what an absolutely delightful story. How well you control the piece, building the sense of a mastercraftsman, a perfectionist who has the confidence of his ability. The pace is as measured as his precise, focused approach. You hold out on the allusion to the Lord till half way through! That just adds such punch! This is a lovely, lovely piece of prose. Thanks for sharing it!

Sandra Fernando
Samantha Peters08/18/07
Nice theme, but a little dis-connected. Need the flow of a story to be complete not just an explanation of a title to be used.
Chad Hudson08/27/07
Nice job. I can almost hear God saying, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Welcome Home." Congratulations!
Cheryl D. Robins08/29/07
I felt the light, smelt the wood and spices and the cool tiles under my feet. Wow, what an experience and what an awesome picture of the hope I have in Him. Well done!
Margaret Watson09/07/07
I was about half way through before I guessed an dthen when I dd I was able to relate back the the beginning - light coming in.Brilliant.
Caroline Taylor09/21/07
Superbly written ...superb! -CT
Lisa Kearney10/02/07
wonderful work - something we all should remember.
I love your last line. PERFECT!
Jack Taylor 10/09/07
I celebrate your honor and the hope that your story sends to all of us who are still in process. The good work he began is a work he promises to complete. I look forward to reading more of your captured life images. Congratulations.
Leila Swanson10/16/07
I really loved your article! I could visulize being there with the carpenter, I could even smell the different scents! It was an excellent article!
Elizabeth Ingersoll10/18/07
All I can say is, "Wow!"
Crystal Dueck10/28/07
What needs saying has already been said... WOW. That is so beautiful, and I can't wait to move into that mansion!
Domingo Jr. Capias11/22/07
Wow! What a wonderful piece of work. You've touched my heart.
Very beautifully written. I liked how you used such descriptive words to lead up to the ending.
Nicole Harkonen11/28/07
Beautifully written. Your words and your hands have been blessed.
Clarissa West11/30/07
Absolutely wonderful article! Loved it!
David F. Palmieri Sr.12/05/07
You have taken one art form and created a second work of art. As a woodworker and a writer, I felt the "pain" and "labor of love," both in the carving and in the writing...All I expected was a warm, one room cabin. My expectations have now changed forever. Thank You and "well deserved" congratulations...
LISA KOGEL12/05/07
Simply beautiful!
Beverly Jeanne Raffaele12/10/07
Mid I love this so much luvy...It is so heartfelt and well written. Just amazing!
Michelle Sabrosky12/19/07
This was an absolutely beautiful picture of the care and preparation Christ takes in our eternal home!
anne loren molato12/27/07
wow!... your story was really great!!
Deanna Gjovik12/29/07
Fantastic! Congratulations on your big win, and thank you for sharing your gift!! This was a great story and it brought a lump to my throat! :o)
Julie Kiecker01/02/08
This was absolutely beautifully written. You certainly deserved first place. The imagery was exquisite and how you mingled senses together was so cool. A true artistic technique. You need to write PROFESSIONALLY! Or, if your trying, something will certainly break through soon.
Diane Bush01/09/08
I read you Shavings submission. It started with vivid imaging of the mansion itself and concluded with a powerful message that took me by suprise, sent tears to my eyes and set my heart immediately into praise mode. I had to walk outside and submit to a praise moment to my Creator, the Lover of my soul. I have printed this out and will keep it in my teasured notebook that I keep. Thank you for a powerful reminder of the One I choose daily as my Master Carpenter.
Linda Campbell01/14/08
Hi, I am a new member to faithwriters and have recently read your article, Shavings. As I was reading it my heart was infused with such a feeling of God's deep love - and a feeling of being special and cherished that He would prepare for me in such a way. Everything He has created is done with such love and care.... You painted a very lovely picture in my mind....
Thank you - your writing blessed me!
Kay McElroy01/17/08
Mid, I am new to faith writers. When I read Shavings I was speechless. It is comforting beyond words.You are truly a gifted writer of description. May you continue in your gift for His glory.
Lyn Churchyard01/21/08
Awesome! Simply awesome!
Everest Alexander 01/24/08
Hi Mid,

I've been away from FW for a while but I'm back and what an AWESOME welcome back it is! "Shavings" is a masterpiece! A truly inspired work of art! Keep up the good work. Congrats!

P.S. I agree that the Shavings in the Apron's pocket is the jewel of the whole piece. Well done!
Lynn Jacky 01/28/08
Hi: I am a beginner too and had to read this wonderful story. Thank you for giving me something to aspire to.
Cynthia Griffith01/29/08
Beautiful piece! It gave me goose bumps! I am sure it will remain in my mind for a long, long time.
Kay Ramos02/06/08
This article was written so beautifully that it left me completely awestruck. You used just enough words (powerful words) to leave the reader completely satisfied and your story was so descriptive that I could envision every last detail in my mind as if I were watching a movie or witnessing it in person. This was by far one of the most breathtaking articles I have ever had the pleasure of reading and it makes Heaven seem that much more intriguing. Congrats Mid!

Michelle Lewis02/11/08
Fabulously done!! As the images were described, I could see every detail as though I was there. This is truly annointed.
Mike Mattice02/26/08
Pat Boone03/01/08
Um...what they said.
Dawn Garcia03/07/08
I had to find this after reading your Best of the Best award.

Congratulations! And it is everything everyone has said. Absolutely beautiful . . . I'm still choked up . . .
Clive McLaren03/13/08
A beautiful description of the Carpenter at work. Having just written a poem about Easter, your theme resonates with my thoughts at the moment.

A deserving win, well done.

An interesting thought has just come to mind;linking His trade with His Fathers interest in real estate!
In the world, top quality artisans build for the wealthy and the famous.The best homes go to the 'best' people.
In God's housing development, only those who are poor in spirit and those humble enough to recognise Jesus as their Saviour,will live in the idyllic homes,God has planned and Jesus has built. Thanks Clive
Pam Haynes03/14/08
"To tears I say!" Yes, this moving account truly puts all things in perspective.
Congratulations and May God continue to use your gift for His glory!
Joseph Whitlock04/02/08
Very Nice!
Flerida Dela Pena04/04/08
it was beautiful.. it made me imagine how God is preparing that place for us.. just like what you said.. it'll gonna be perfect..
Kim Clendenin04/15/08
Wow, I figured it out half way through, but it is just the way (format) in which your wrote it is what makes it a masterpiece. Very creative, very good writting.
jill canter05/05/08
Praise the Lord for my salvation and His love. The image you have painted is beautiful.
Dave Wagner05/18/08
If I squint just right and tilt my head a bit, I can *almost* tweak it to mean that you're saying He's is crafting each of our lives into a wonderful place for Himself to live, and not merely that He is building a nice residence for us to live in once we get to Heaven - a thought that seems to be quite appealing to some, but unfortunately is a bit theologically suspect. But, hey, if wanting to go to the spirit realm to live in a mansion makes you happy, go for it. Somewhat substantial theological misgivings aside, I did enjoy the way the piece itself was crafted. Very warm and comfortable. Well written, and well worth reading.
Matt Guddat05/04/14
Nice. Apparently that verse was a Jewish tradition for young men to say to their bride before they get married, Jesus used it with his disciples to foreshadow his death etc. In Jewish culture (and still many other cultures today) the husband would build a 'mansion', an adjoining room/building to his fathers home. Cool eh! Bless ya
Carol Hind07/17/14
Wow! What a beautiful evocative story. You tell it so well and have a captivating, highly visual style. I especially enjoyed your description of the beautiful courtyard garden. I love twists in the tale and your ending certainly took me by surprise and delivered a pleasing sense of satisfaction. Excellent! Thank you so much.