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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: fathers (06/06/05)

TITLE: Of Seventeen and Seven
By Judy Anderson


Of seventeen.......

Oftentimes when she comes home, she utters not a word, heads to her room and shuts the door. Today I watch as she races from the car with her friends. Her face is open with affection and a big, beautiful smile. The look acknowledges a future filled with good times.

And seven.......

"Daddy, daddy!" She races out the door as if she can't wait. My walk from the car into the house is just taking too long. She can't wait to tell me the news; a perfect spelling score, a new friend or maybe she just needs a hug. Her face is open with affection, a big smile and the promise of a future filled with good times.

Of seventeen.......

She hides behind too much make-up, too little clothes and an attitude of having all the answers. She no longer asks questions, no longer believes in my wisdom. She dresses exactly like her friends. I wonder. What does she believe inside?

And seven.......

My wife whispers as I come in the door, "She has been getting ready for hours."

She enters the room. I smile. She is covered from head to toe in her favorite color; pink shoes, pink tights, a pink flowered skirt and shirt, pink headband and purse, along with a large strand of pink beads. She longs for my wisdom and listens as I answer her question.

"How do I look daddy/" she asks with a twirl.

"You look beautiful honey." And she does.

"Thanks for being my date tonight." I say.

She beams from ear to ear. She knows she is beautiful. She knows it inside.

Of seventeen.......

She tells me she is sleeping at Megan's. I long to trust her again. As I drive by later, I see her car is not there. We call and insist she come home immediately. Another lie and another layer thickens between us. She can't meet our eyes.

And seven.......

"I'm sorry daddy. I pulled the loose piece of wallpaper on the wall."

I see the large white spot in the middle of the deep-colored wall. She admits the wrong before we even notice. She just cannot tell a lie. She can't meet our eyes.

Have I lost my little girl?

It occurs to me how Jesus must feel when just one of His flock strays; someone He used to know intimately. The familiar child makes a return visit to a former life, surrenders to temptation or simply neglects the relationship as if it is no longer important.

How He must miss the one who once listened to His voice and looked up with an open heart, a bright smile and honest eyes. The one who told Him everything and now doesn't speak. The one who looked in His eyes and trusted Him to lead the way. The one who stood out in His eyes and now is lost in the crowd.

He understands.

"And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!" Luke 15:6 (NKJV)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Karri Compton06/13/05
Very creative entry - it was bittersweet. Great job and God bless.
Sally Hanan06/13/05
Wistful piece with a superb wrap-up ending.
Pat Guy 06/13/05
A very well written, well done entry that pulled us along by the heart strings of the parenting heart. Good job! I enjoyed this.
Karen Deikun06/13/05
Very good entry. The paralleling worked beautifully.
Shari Armstrong 06/14/05
This has a poetic feel, nicely done. I dread our little girl being that 17!! I pray she always stays as sweet as she is now (and our son too :)
Kyle Chezum06/16/05
I really liked this one. Good job!
Tesiri Moweta06/17/05
Beautiful! We see the heart of the Father. Well written.
dub W06/17/05
Interesting pacing, made for a nice read. Thank you.
Suzanne R06/18/05
What an interesting approach - comparing the seventeen year old and the seven year old from a father's perspective. Well done!
Marilyn Schnepp 11/26/05
Six months ago when this "Of Seventee and Seven" was written, I wasn't aware of faithwriters; thus, pardon my late critique; but searching for something to read...I found your touching, delightful and heartbreakingly true to life story - Thanks! You made my day.