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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)

TITLE: The Visit
By
12/11/07


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A wintry wind blew cold and bitter. I stood by the fire, sipping a cup of hot tea, when I heard a knock at the door. I opened it to see an old woman, shivering from the extreme temperature. Snow swirled around her tattered cloak.

I extended my hand to her, “You poor thing. Come in and warm yourself by the fire.”

She accepted my invitation and hobbled to the hearth, while I hurried to the kitchen. Her eyes glistened with appreciation when I returned with a tray of hot tea and some biscuits.

She stood there, a forlorn creature, but something about her stirred my heart. Suddenly I felt compassion of such magnitude, that I was nearly overcome with emotion.

“Please, eat something. And the tea, it will warm you within.”

I watched her shaking hands lift the cup to her lips now beginning to fade from blue to a soft pink. Then, like a starving child, she proceeded to consume all the biscuits and finish her tea.

“You are most kind,” she said, avoiding my eyes. “I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m out in the cold alone, and, well, dressed as I am.”

I squinted and tilted my head. The warmth of the fire seemed to bring out a youthful glow to her complexion, and it changed my first impression of her having been an old woman. “You don’t have to explain,” I offered, “but I admit that I am curious.”

She held her hands to the flame and looked around at my cozy cabin with unmistakable longing. “You have a wonderful home.”

“Are you lost?” I blurted out.

“I think so,” she answered.

The sorrow in her voice pierced my heart. “What happened?” I asked gently, hoping to coax her into telling me her tale.

“I, I was betrothed...to a king, but he left me and I’ve been wandering ever since, trying to find him.”

I couldn’t help but eye her condition, and she must have noticed the skepticism in my glance.

“I know I don’t look like a bride-to-be, but I can prove it.” She set the teacup down on the tray, and from the pocket of her frayed cloak she retrieved a bundle of letters, tied together with a red ribbon.

“We were to be married,” she said as she handed them to me, “but he had to go back to see his father first. When he didn’t return right away, I set out to try and find him.”

I removed the ribbon and unfolded one of the letters. “He says you are his chosen one and that he loves you very much.”

“I guess I’d forgotten he said that.” She pushed back the hood of her cloak to reveal long, softly curled hair.

I blinked at the image of beauty standing before me, and I fumbled to open the next letter. “This one has instructions on what you are to do in his absence and encouragement to be strong until he returns.” As I read it to her, I noticed she had undone the clasp of her cloak.

I read from a few more and then stopped.

“Please continue,” she pleaded.

“Have you never read these letters yourself?” I asked, bewildered.

“I used to, long ago,” she confessed, “but for some time now, I’ve just listened to what others think about them.” She removed the cloak, and we both stared at her once lovely wedding dress.

“There, there’s one last letter,” I stammered. “Shall I read it?”

She walked over to a full-length mirror on the wall, and I watched her turn and look at the condition of her garment. She covered her face with her hands. “No,” her voice quivered, “I need to read it myself.”

I carefully tied the letters together with the ribbon and handed them to her. She donned her cloak and thanked me again for my hospitality.

The cold air left me shivering as she stepped out into the storm. “Where are you going? What will you do?”

She smiled, as though suddenly aware of her surroundings. “I know where I am now,” she said, her eyes bright with excitement. “I don’t live far from here. I’m going to read his letters again and find out what I need do to get ready for his return...starting with my dress.”

She disappeared into a white haze, and I closed the door. “I believe she’s ready, Father,” I whispered.


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This article has been read 887 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon12/13/07
Oh wow. This gave me both tears and goosebumps. The words you choose are absolutely beautiful. You put me right in the scene, and I actually "hear" the voices. Wonderful writing.
Loren T. Lowery12/13/07
When I first started reading this, it reminded me of a lady who lives next door to us. But, the further I read, your analogy stunned me - beautiful piece of writing.
Catherine Pollock12/13/07
This was a beautifully written piece, and the analogy just takes my breath away!
william price12/13/07
Magnificent! The concept, the execution, the pace,, the beauty, the anointing, the on-targetness, And what a great Holy Spirit inspired idea. I loved the simplicity of the title as well, it gave proper direction. Masterful. God bless.
Peter Stone12/13/07
Beautiful analogy of the Church preparing for the return of the King.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/13/07
Your descriptions are awesome. This is simply a stunning analogy--the bride of Christ made visible. Masterful writing, to be sure.
Joanne Sher 12/15/07
What an absolutely magical story. Just beautiful in its imagery and characterization and description and EVERYHING. You absolutely blessed me with this one. Masterful.
Jan Ross12/16/07
This is astoundingly beautiful – what a portrayal of the Church! I felt like I was peering into a sacred moment in the landscape of time when the bride lost sight of her purpose and her mission—her Beloved. Then, suddenly, she remembers and refocuses. This is incredible! Awesome doesn’t describe it!
Dianne Janak12/16/07
this leaves me speechless.. took my breath away also... how creative and beautiful this is.. such a great take on the topic... MASTERPIECE
Emily Gibson12/18/07
This is one of the most exceptional stories I've read on Faithwriters. Incredibly well done!
Temple Miller12/18/07
Beautiful, beautiful parable.
LaNaye Perkins12/18/07
This is very beautiful, and very inspiring. Your writing is fantastic my friend.
Betty Castleberry12/18/07
Excellent work. I love the parable, love the writing, love the imagery. I just love it all. This gave me a strange feeling, and I mean that in a good way. I felt as if I was watching it on a screen. Very well done, my friend.
Jan Ackerson 12/18/07
Gorgeous, Mid--simply a masterpiece.
Laury Hubrich 12/18/07
Wow! I love analogies and this one is wonderful! Thank you so much for giving me yet another example to learn from!
Laury
Allison Egley 12/18/07
Oh, this was lovely. I loved the unique presentation. Great job for your last :( entry.
Deborah Engle 12/18/07
Beautiful writing!
Karen Wilber 12/18/07
Beautiful analogy - quite an unusual way to introduce us to the church as the bride. You have such a creative and fresh way of looking at familiar themes of scripture.
Sharlyn Guthrie12/18/07
This analogy had a mysterious quality about it, that really intrigued me and kept me "looking around the next corner." Excellent, top-notch writing!
Catrina Bradley 12/18/07
Stunning work Mid. I'm speechless! :) Love, Cat
Yvonne Blake 12/19/07
Beautiful! It almost has a fairy-tale style!
I liked how you made her young and alive as she heard
the message of the "letters".

Wonderful!
Sara Harricharan 12/19/07
This is such a beautiful piece! It is my new favorite of yours. ^_^ I liked how she wasn't an old woman after all and the letters and the dress. I felt as if it were me that let her in and offered a bit of tea and biscuits. LOVED the ending! Awesome writing! ^_^
Paula Titus 12/19/07
Clearly anointed, creative beyond measure, and filled with truth. Thank you for this stunning piece.
Janice Cartwright12/19/07
This touched me so I think I'd rather be silent than spoil it with inadequate words.
LauraLee Shaw12/20/07
Anointed. I am so moved by this piece. Straight from the creative mind of God to your pen. Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with us.
Laury Hubrich 12/20/07
Mid, what a way to go out -- in triumph once again! Sorry I'm just now getting to know you. Rats! Please don't be a stranger!
Laury
Loren T. Lowery12/20/07
I honestly hope this was not your last entry, even for a while, I will miss your warm thought provoking work. Take care and God bless and congratulations on this wonderful piece. And, yes, this is a wonderful part of the world (PNW) and don't forget you share a part of it as well. Loren
Sheri Gordon12/20/07
Congratulations on your EC. I am so glad this placed -- this was my favorite piece this week. Absolutely beautiful.
Dee Yoder 12/21/07
Beautiful, Mid. Wonderful analogy and a mystical quality; true to life, yet dream-like. Congratulations on the EC!
Catrina Bradley 12/21/07
This piece blessed me so! Layers of meanings - I sank into your writing. Inspired for sure. Congratulations!!!
Janice Fitzpatrick01/03/08
Oh Mid...this is beyond my written expressions, simply beautiful and truly given by the Holy Spirit. God bless you. Thank you. This is prescious. Janice