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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)

TITLE: A Stitch Toward Heaven
By dub W


Hannah sat by the cabin window; her needle poised above a small swatch of cloth. The early Spring air chilled her cheek, but being in the light was worth a slight discomfort, besides, I see England from here.

“Your gaze is lost Hannah, you’ve been staring out that window for nearly an hour.”

“Oh, Mrs. McGrew.” Hanna turned her head quickly toward her matron. Mrs. McGrew had been her guardian ever since her birth. Hannah’s mother had gone to the Lord shortly after the family arrived at the colony and later her father was conscripted to return to England.

"Hannah, did you hear me?"

“Yes, ma'am, it's just that I imagine I can see England from here, and Father is boarding a ship as we speak.”

“Thank God for imagination child.” Mrs. McGrew approached Hannah’s side. And what is it you are sewing today?”

“I’m afraid my needle has scarcely pierced the surface of this piece. My heart simply is not cooperating. I long for his return.”

“You told me you were making a gift for Brother Richard, is that not sill your intent?”

“Aye, it is, and it was generous of Mr. Mason to find the sailcloth for me to pull thread, but I am weak in spirit these days.”

Mrs. McGrew settled onto a bench. “The spirit is not the trouble. You are simply conflicted by what you know and what you wish. Even our Lord says that you cannot serve two masters.”

“But, can’t I dream of father returning?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t think it a sin, but if you serve the dream above all else, a dream which you cannot ever effect the outcome, then you are serving a disloyal master.”

Hannah squirmed on her stool. “I think I understand.”

“Look,” Mrs. McGrew pointed to the sailcloth, “you have started something that Brother Richard will use in the church. Now, which master will you serve?”

“You are right, Mrs. McGrew.” Hannah tucked her head. “Will God forgive me?”

“Oh, child,” Mrs. McGrew chuckled, “God is forgiving us every minute, all we who believe and are in service to our faith. I know that you are blessed, for you are here today.”

Hannah knew too well of the daily burials in the colony. Most of the children did not make it past birth. She was lucky or blessed, as Mrs. McGrew indicated. “I had better continue while there is light.”

Mrs. McGrew left Hannah sewing by the window. The daily process went on until the first flowers bloomed along the hedge row.

“Daydreaming again Hannah?” Mrs. McGrew caught her charge gazing out the window.

“Oh, no ma’am, I am seeking inspiration from God, so I can finish the cloth.”

“Seeking inspiration?”

“See the tiny flowers, how they reach for the heavens?’

“Why yes, I believe I do.”

“That is what I tied to capture; reaching to heaven to show how to serve the master.”

Mrs. McGrew smiled, “I think you actually listened to me last month.”

Hannah drew back from the window and held up the cloth. Every stitch was sewn perfectly and the image of a hand reaching toward heaven was sewn into the cloth.

“Oh child,” Mrs. McGrew drew a deep breath. “Surely, you have captured the servant’s wish. With this, Brother Richard and the Church will be pleased.”

“I pray only for the Lord’s forgiveness for trying to serve two masters.”

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This article has been read 1112 times
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Sara Harricharan 03/01/07
This is pretty good! You painted a very interesting character through Hannah. I enjoyed the dialouge between her and Mrs. Mcgrew. Very interesting name and a true message woven through her. ^_^
Bonnie Way03/02/07
Good story. I liked the hints of history and the colony here - you didn't overpower us with it, but it was enough to give the setting. Neat image at the end as well.
Jacquelyn Horne03/04/07
Enjoyable, interesting read. Good pov.
Sharlyn Guthrie03/04/07
Great dialogue, and a fine message, too!
Joanne Sher 03/06/07
LOVE both of your characters' voices. It felt so authentic, so "right for the timeperiod." A few grammar/spelling issues, but nothing major.
Marilee Alvey03/06/07
I, also, found this to be authentic for the time period. It is also quite interesting to think about daydreaming as serving one of two masters and that we should go with the one in which we can affect change. Fresh insight, here.
Jan Ackerson 03/06/07
What a charming little slice of life! Intriguing characterizations--I really liked Hannah.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/06/07
I fell in love with little Hannah who so wanted to please the Master. I have been conflicted before, too. I like how she was shown kindness with firmness. Good dialogue!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/06/07
It's Verna again! I forgot to comment on what a great title that is, as well as a good idea in the story.
Betty Castleberry03/06/07
This is very original. I could picture Hannah, and the dialogue was right on. Well done.
James Clem 03/06/07
I enjoy historical fiction. Nicely done.
Allison Egley 03/06/07
I enjoyed this. It helps show just how easy it can be to serve two (or more!) masters. Great job.
Rita Garcia03/06/07
You grab my attention, held and left me wanting to read more from Hannah and Mrs. McGrew.
I found two errors, I am sure were left to see if anyone notice, Hanna instead of Hannah and sill instead of still.

Thanks for a great read!
Tiffany Secula03/06/07
Absolutely amazing! A truly great read!!
Patty Wysong03/07/07
The historical setting was great. Your dialog, and its wording, combined well with it without being dificult to read. I liked it!
Elizabeth Bussey03/07/07
In spite of minor spelling errors, this piece spoke to me on a personal level and I thank you for it. The enemy can use situations over which we have no control to keep our focus distracted from the Lord's work. A confirmation I needed to hear.
Donna Powers 03/07/07
Very well written. I liked the authentic-sounding dialog and the characters were well described. A good story, too! Thanks for sharing this.
Julie Arduini03/07/07
Great dialogue, definitely felt the time period as I read, and the last line just pierced me. Excellent.
Michelle Burkhardt03/07/07
A stitch and a hand toward heaven. A great lesson that even something simple as daydreaming can distract from God. Nice story.
Joanney Uthe03/08/07
I really enjoyed this story and the characters. The spelling errors didn't distract as much as the missing quotation mark. I needed the message in your story -- Thanks alot. ;-) Great job.