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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)

TITLE: The Carpenter
By Joanney Uthe


Tommy watched as the strange creatures tried jumping from one cliff to the other, falling to their deaths in the abyss. He thought of the expression “grass is always greener on the other side,” but realized that in this case it was true. The creatures needed the food and safety provided on the other cliff; the love and protection of the Carpenter.

“I don’t understand. Why are they over there if all they need is over here?” Tommy looked at the hopeless situation. “Did they use up the stuff they need on that cliff? Is that why they need to come over here?”

The Carpenter shook his head with a sad sigh. “There didn’t used to be this divide between us. We used to walk together, talking and enjoying each other’s fellowship. But they chose differently.” The tears in His eyes clouded His voice.

“I … I don’t understand.”

“When I first made two of these wonderful, amazing creatures, we would walk in the garden together. They lived in Paradise. But they chose to disobey Me. They blamed it on each other, on the Enemy; they even blamed Me. Nonetheless, they chose to walk away from what we had.

“This abyss, the walls of these cliffs, is the result of their walking away. I have tried continuously to draw them back, to show them how much I love them, but they continue to walk away, to widen the gap.”

Tommy sat silently, watching the failed attempts to cross the span between the creatures and the Carpenter. They were an ingenious bunch, using every conceivable means to cross. Some tried to long jump, others pole vaulted to their death, hoping to make it to the other cliff. Some worked together to build a bridge, but they had no way to secure it to the other side of the cliff. Others built flying machines that flew partway across before running out of fuel. Turning to the Carpenter, Tommy pointed to a group further away from the cliff. “What about them? They seem to be worse off than the rest. Why aren’t they trying?”

Love filled the Carpenter’s eyes as He explained that those creatures were the ones who didn’t believe there was anything on this side of the cliff. “I have given them all the evidence they need, provided all that they have, and yet they refuse to believe. They continue to walk away, making the chasm bigger.”

Tommy marveled at Carpenter’s compassion for these creatures, yet He left them alone on the other cliff. As if hearing the young boy’s unspoken question, the Carpenter answered.

“I became one of them, and tried to bring them back. Only a few followed. As a result, I have left a bridge between the two cliffs. Most do not see the bridge. Others think it a silly, worthless crutch. They would rather continue to try things their own way.”

The Carpenter took Tommy’s hand, leading him to the edge of the cliff. A small distance from where the creatures were jumping, a humungous log, bigger than the trunk of a Redwood tree, bridged the two cliffs. All of the creatures on the other cliff would have fit on the bridge at the same time. The middle of the bridge had another log sticking up from it and extending deep into the abyss. Staring at the bridge, Tommy realized he was looking at a cross.

Turning his questioning eyes to his companion, Tommy noticed for the first time the scars on the Carpenter’s hands, and was shown the one on His side. Falling to his knees, Tommy wept at the Carpenter’s feet. When he looked back at the lost creatures still trying to cross the chasm on their own, Tommy realized that they were not strange creatures after all. They were people just like him. A vivid memory came to Tommy’s mind as he recognized when he had heard about and crossed the bridge.

“Go,” the Carpenter commanded. “Go and tell the others. Show them the bridge I’ve left for them. They only need to see it and cross it.”

“But… I ….I don’t know how.”

“I am with you always.” The Carpenter’s voice soothed Tommy as he noticed that there were others trying to show the people the bridge. He would join them, as the Carpenter had commanded him.

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This article has been read 713 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sunny Loomis 08/07/08
Unique POV. I like the descriptions. Thanks.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/11/08
Your allegory has a wonderful message. I'm glad your mc got it.
Ellen Dodson08/11/08
This is sort of an allegory. THis is the budding of a brilliant allegory, but I think it needs more development. You chose "Carpenter" as Jesus's title but how does that fit into your allegory? Who exactly are the creatures? Animals or people? That is very vague. The neat thing about allegories is that you could use animals to illustrate the fault of people. Could the Carpenter (or forester, or someone who works with animals) have built a wonderful perfect place for the creatures? Yet they try to exist without him. You draw some great parallels to how they try to use every way but Him to the "greener grass." THis is a beautiful bud of a story, but, I think, it needs more development.
Shirley McClay 08/11/08
Thought provoking... I like your imagery of them straying farther or trying to find their own way across. I thought at first they were sheep and He was a shepherd... not sure where the carpenter theme comes in but I liked your story regardless.
Joshua Janoski08/12/08
Lots of allegories relating to the cross this week, but this one is one of my favorites that I have read. I thought it was very well written and described the state of our world today. I appreciate you sharing this.
Patricia Turner08/12/08
You wrote this so well I can easily visualize the scene. I love little Tommy's questions and of course the Carpenter's answers. A great retelling of the greatest story ever told!
Joanne Sher 08/13/08
This is WONDERFUL, Joanney. Lovely parable and imagery, with an excellent message. Wow.
Mariane Holbrook 08/13/08
What wonderful imagery, Joanney! I love Tommy and I love the way this story flowed so evenly. A truly lovely piece. I hope you place high on this one, dearheart.
Beckie Stewart08/13/08
Great presentation of the gospel and the bridge extended to us from a Loving Father.
william price08/13/08
I agree with Lisa above me here. The opening hooked me. You're good. Very good. God bless.
Betty Castleberry08/13/08
Wonderful. I REALLY liked this, and loved the symbolism. You did a super job.
LauraLee Shaw08/14/08
Your imagery is outstanding, and so many of your descriptions are vivid and powerful. Well done.