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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Home for Christmas (11/20/08)

TITLE: One Silent, Wintry Night
By Teresa Lee Rainey


Twas on a silent, wintry night,
He walked upon a hill.
While whispering winds whirled all around,
He journeyed onward still.

Jonathan had gone searching for the pregnant heifer just after lunch. His search had lead him to a hillside overlooking the little farmhouse he shared with his precious wife of fifty-three years, Elizabeth. There was no greater gift, after God’s own Son, than to see her smiling face each morning.

Below, a wonder to behold.
He breathed a blessed breath.
Soft lights of home held safe his love,
His dear Elizabeth.

They had shared a quiet Christmas Eve meal together. The Good Lord had graced them with three precious girls, but they were grown now with families of their own to tend to. He knew winter was not a time to travel and trusted that his Heavenly Father was watching over the girls and their families on this blessed night.

Cruel clouds above drew darkness nigh.
He felt first flakes of snow.
Forsaken fears stole ever near
His feeble footsteps slow.

Snow clouds were quickly gathering overhead and there were still no signs of the wayward heifer. Jonathan reluctantly gave up his search as a single snowflake grazed his cheek. Age had taken any hurry from his steps and he had wandered quite far from home. Concern gripped his heart with the knowledge that Elizabeth would be expecting him soon.

Harsh winds whipped hard amidst the hills.
His lamp, with shadows cast,
Beheld fresh depths of wintry snow.
His path had faded fast.

Darkness came quickly as Jonathan struggled to focus on the downward path which would lead him home. He was thankful for what little light his trusted lamp cast, but that same light illuminated the fact that his path had disappeared beneath an increasing layer of snow. Fear threatened to consume his thoughts with the helplessness of his situation.

While chilly tears traced weathered tracks,
He cried to Christ on high.
Though sorrow would soon seize his bride,
He was prepared to die.

In spite of his fears, Jonathan kept pressing forward. With each step, he prayed for strength to continue. The thought of Elizabeth finding his frozen body on Christmas morning blurred his vision more than the falling snow. He knew he had given his life to the Good Lord long ago, but leaving Elizabeth in this manner was not his intention.

Yet candle light held kindled hope.
His heart so swiftly leapt.
In love’s caress soon he’d recall,
Christ guided every step.

As weariness threatened to overtake him, Jonathan beheld a glorious sight. In the distance, a single candle burned brightly from the front window of his home. His precious bride would not be widowed tonight.

Jonathan wept with joy as he realized how his Heavenly Father had guided him home for Christmas.

Twas on a silent, wintry night,
He walked upon a hill.
Christ was his Savior and his guide.
He journeys with Him still.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart11/28/08
Great job of weaving the poem within the story. For me, the lighted candle was a reminder that our Savior is the "light" to follow. Beautiful!
c clemons11/30/08
Good stuff here, I really liked it, was hoping it would turn out well.
Jan Ackerson 12/01/08
Okay, this is my absolute favorite so far this week, and belongs in Masters, to be sure! I LOVE the poem--great use of alliteration--and it was very effective to alternate between prose and poetry. Awesome, awesome entry.
Diana Dart 12/01/08
Awesome, awesome writing. So suspenseful and almost musical with the poem intertwined. Creative use of the topic and just a great piece of writing.
Sharon Kane12/02/08
This has to be one of the cleverest pieces of writing I have read on FW. Excellent!
George Parler 12/03/08
Masterfully and beautifully written. Loved the braided poem and story. Well done.
Pamela Kliewer12/03/08
This is absolutely wonderful! I love the cadence of this piece. Such heartfelt love for his beloved wife as Jonathan seeks his home in the snow... I'm so glad it had a happy ending.
Leah Nichols 12/03/08
Very well done! Definitely a tear-jerker!
Marlene Austin12/04/08
You've shown your writing mastery with 3 styles in 1 with this piece - enjoyable as interspersed prose and poetry; enjoyed reading just the "poem" story; also, enjoyed reading the paragraphed prose alone. Each is complete within itself and beautiful when mixed. Excellent writing. :)
Yvette Roelofse12/04/08
Oh, this is so beautiful. I love the interweaving of poem and prose, and it's so seamlessly done. Just lovely!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge12/04/08
Creative, masterful, awesome...Congratulations on a very desired win! Blessings, Angel
Beth LaBuff 12/04/08
Your poetry is amazing in this wonderful story. Congrats on your EC!
Jan Ackerson 12/07/08
Teresa, I loved this one so much that I'm going to feature it in the Front Page showcase for the week of Dec. 29. Look for it on the Faith Writers home page, and congratulations!
Karlene Jacobsen12/10/08
I don't know where to begin. THis is so lovely.
Congratulations on 1st place. It's well deserved.
Beth LaBuff 12/24/08
Teresa, it's good to see this highlighted on the homepage! Congrats!
Connie Dixon12/26/08
I don't know how I missed this one, it's beautiful...very touching - amazing use of poetry and prose, wonderfully woven together. Congratulations!