Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Craft (as in handcraft) (02/08/07)
TITLE: Boys dont do sewing!
By Gregory Kane
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âNan, Iâm bored. Thereâs nothing to do here.â
âI know, dear. Itâs very sad.â
âIâm serious, Nan,â shouted Peter, her ten-year-old grandson. âThereâs nothing to do in this stupid house. You havenât even got cable. I told Dad he should have let me bring my PlayStation!â
Winnie smiled to herself but she still didnât look up. Her tapestry was coming along well and she hoped to finish it before the end of the week. Peter was only visiting for four days, but he seemed to have the attention span of a horsefly doped to the eyeballs with food additives and colorants. His grandfather had already abdicated all responsibility and taken himself off fishing. Winnie had hoped Peter might like to go along, but the boyâs only response had been âBorrrriinnng!â
âYou could always come and help me with my needlepoint.â Winnie didnât really have any expectation that Peter would agree, so she wasnât surprised by his immediate reaction.
âNan, that is plain stupid!â
This was said in such a whiney voice that the old woman glanced up from her craft project. Her grandson was standing with his legs askew, hands on his hips, mouth open, tonsils quivering, and such a look on his face that you could imagine he had just been offered curried caterpillars in mayonnaise for breakfast.
âWhatâs the problem, Peter dear,â she asked all innocently.
âNeedlecraft is for girls,â he insisted, coating each word with as much disgust and incredulity as he could muster.
âOh, I didnât know that. I didnât realise that God was a girl...â
âWhat do you mean?â
âHavenât you heard, dear? The Bible is full of sewing, knitting, woodcraft, all that sort of thing.â
Peter looked puzzled. He stared suspiciously at his grandmother. Then he walked over to an empty chair and sat down. âGo on,â he said. âThis is a joke, isnât it? No, let me guess, David didnât kill Goliath with a sling, he used a crochet hook!â
Winnie set down her needlepoint and grinned at the young man opposite her. Peterâs father, her son, was a church minister, and she knew that Peter liked showing off his Bible knowledge.
âWell now, where shall I begin?â she mused. âI suppose that Bezalel would be a good place to start.â
âWhere?â asked Peter.
âNot where, but who. Bezalel appears in the book of Exodus when he helped Moses make the Tabernacle.â
âThat was the holy tent, wasnât it, Nan?â chipped in Peter, keen to prove that he really did know his Bible.
âThatâs right. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit gave him special abilities so that he could work with wood, metal and precious stones.â
âBut thatâs hardly needlepoint!â
âTrue enough,â Winnie agreed. âBut the same passage says that his assistant Oholiab had skill in embroidery and weaving. And they were both men.â
Peter thought about this for a moment. Then he launched his counter-attack: âYes, Nan, but that doesnât mean that God does girly stuff like tapestry.â
Winnie lifted up one hand and began to count on her fingers. âThe Psalmist says that âyou knit me together in my motherâs wombâ so God must knit. Isaiah says that âI have engraved you on the palms of my handsâ so God must do engraving. Isaiah also says âWe are the clay, you are the potterâ so clearly God is into potteryâŚâ
Peter pulled a face. âYeah, sure. And I suppose youâll say that God sews because the farmer went out to sow his seed?â
âI would, dear, but your Bible knowledge is better than your spelling. But youâre quite right: the Bible does say in Ecclesiastes that there is âa time to rend, and a time to sewâ.
Peter looked at his grandmother with wary respect. âYou sure do know your Bible. I suppose thatâs why Dadâs so good.â
âPractice, my boy, practice. Now what about helping me with my needlepoint?â
âNo way, Nan,â he replied. âIâm off to find a tree to climb.â
Peter was halfway towards the door when he stopped and turned. âI donât suppose thereâs anything in the Bible about God playing computer games, is there?â
Winnie thrust her chest forward, put her hands on her hips, and exclaimed in her best whiney voice âPeter, that is plain stupid!â
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