Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)
TITLE: Mari's Story
By Laury Hubrich
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Winded, she stopped to rest at a brook, where she took off her shoes and dipped her toes in the icy cold water. She looked down and saw her reflection and whispered, “I’m so lonely, Lord.” She ate her lunch and took a long gulp of her tea, then readied herself for the journey once again.
Up ahead, the sun grew bright. It seared into her eyes, blinding her. She raised her hand to shield herself from the glare but decided to continue to walk. She felt, in her spirit, that she had to get to wherever it was that God had in mind. In her haste to find shade, Mari tripped over a stone. While bent over she saw a tiny flower. It was the most beautiful one she had ever seen.
She pulled it out of the ground and brought it to her nose. Such a sweet smell, it was almost overwhelming. She then looked up and saw a whole field of wildflowers. The smells intoxicated her. She put the delicate flower into her lunch pail and took off running into the colorful array of beauty.
Mari stood in the middle of the field and held her arms out, face to the sky, and sang with all her might, praising the Lord for this wonderful gift. She skipped and twirled and did cart wheels. She felt as though she were ten once again. But then -- something stopped her. Her hand, on the downward movement of the cartwheel, crushed a flower.
She laid, belly on the ground, and peered at the fragile thing. Mari could see, even though the petals stuck to each other, how beautiful the plant was. She pulled it up out of the ground and untwisted its roots, and pulled the petals away from each other. She felt the stickiness of the pollen. It was as though it was crying.
She laid the flower with the other in her pail and away she ran, home to where she was safe from hurting anything else. She found two pots and carefully she buried the roots into the loose soil. She patted it down and peered at them intensely. Such love for these living things baffled her.
The flowers took root and soon grew tall and proud. Every day Mari would water them. She would sing lovely songs to help them grow. She placed compost on them to give them much needed nutrients. But soon she noticed that they stopped growing. Quickly they became much too big for their planters. She knew she should take them back and replant them in the field. They belonged there. Her heart plummeted. She loved these two little plants. They were her only friends in the whole world. How could she give them up? What would she do?
Each day she fretted and fumed against God. Why would He allow her to find these two only to have to let them go again? What purpose was there in that? The two little yellow flowers started to droop. Because of their great love they had for Mari, they struggled along, as best they could, but in the end they just couldn’t do it any longer.
Mari jumped out of bed. This was the day she had decided to take the long walk back to the field. Mari ran to see her ailing friends, to say one long last goodbye. “Good morning, my dears,” she sang. Her eyes widened and began to fill with tears. Both flowers lay, drooped over the small pot. Gasping for space, they had breathed their last breaths. She bent down to take a closer look. She carefully lifted up a leaf and it fell off in her hand and fluttered to the floor.
Stunned, Mari fell to her knees and the tears flowed. The Lord ministered to her heart that day and she finally understood how to be a good friend. She had learned and was now ready for true friendship. A knock sounded at her door…
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