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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)

TITLE: My Garden
By Joanne Sher


Looking at the wispy white clouds against the sky, I am reminded of my garden of long ago. As I glance out over the horizon, I smile, recalling the lush, colorful foliage, the beautiful and diverse animals, and, yes, the deep blue of the firmament. Clouds were scarce, but the peppering of them in assorted places made the blue seem that much brighter, that much deeper. The loveliness and peace of that place was nearly unrivaled.

It was perfect.

I sigh, focusing on what is before me here rather than my recollections. The ground beneath my feet is a reddish-brown and feels rough, a complete contrast to the lush green carpet of the floor of my garden. The plants here are sparse, and many have thorns.

I approach a small patch of poppies. I inhale the scent (it is quite lovely), but it is the petals that grab my attention. Though their edges are generally smooth, I notice irregularly-shaped holes in each one, made, no doubt, by a hungry insect or two. They are still beautiful, but not perfect.

I run my tongue over my front teeth and look up again. In the distance, I see another cloud, larger and darker than the others. Clearly a rain cloud. It appears to be heading this way. Soon, the sky will darken, the red-brown dirt beneath my feet will turn to mud, and these beautiful, but imperfect, flowers will be weighed down by the falling rain.

Yet, I remind myself, the rain will also bring refreshment to the people, a touch color to some of this drab land, and continued life to all who need it.

I grin and look, not toward the sky, but down the path I am walking on: the road to the temple, just within my sight.

Yes, it will get worse before it gets better. Much worse, in fact. But, it will get better. Better, even, than My garden.

Of this I am certain. For that is why I have come. That is why My Father sent me.


The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Romans 8:19-21 NIV

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This article has been read 1067 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 03/20/09
Every time we have tremors here, or there is some kind of natural disaster, or storm, I think about the creation groaning in anticipation of the redemption of all things—the culmination of the Kingdom-building.

Yes, it will get better. Praise the Lord!

Lovely descriptions.
james bluhm03/22/09
Really powerful. Sometimes it is easy to lose heart. This is a great reminder. . .Thanks.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/24/09
You have a beautiful message of hope here that lightens my heart. Your descriptions put me right there in the garden with you.
Dee Yoder 03/24/09
What a wonderful day that will be when all is set right and the Garden blooms the way it was meant to be at last!
Jan Ackerson 03/24/09
Awesome! Superb POV, and I didn't see it coming. Love it!
Sheri Gordon03/24/09
Oh wow, the ending was quite a surprise. Excellent writing, as always. :)
Marty Wellington 03/24/09
Beautiful descriptions drew me into the scene. And, a surprise ending. We readers love that. Quite a surprising POV. Nicely done.
Bryan Ridenour03/24/09
Wonderfully written with a surprise ending. Nice work!
Chely Roach03/24/09
This was incredible...I loved the symbolism of the poppies and the rain. Just perfect. Beautiful...
Diana Dart 03/24/09
Ditto the excellent choice of POV, it takes courage but you pulled it off very, very well. Loved the bravery, commitment and HOPE the MC had in this piece.
Linda Germain 03/24/09
WOW! A prize winner in my book!
Mona Purvis03/24/09
Where would we be without that Blessed Hope? Yes, things can get tough, but we know the One who controls it all. Loved this entry.
Gerald Shuler 03/24/09
My wife is a master gardener, so I was expecting a comparison of garden things with kingdom things. You took it to a whole higher level with the surprise POV. Great entry.
Catrina Bradley 03/24/09
You had me fooled as to who your MC was. I read through a 2nd time after knowing and saw even more I liked - running His tongue over His front teeth for example. I wonder if it felt strange for Him to have teeth? Really good job, and of course spot-on topic. :)
Rachel Rudd 03/25/09
This is just beautiful! What a wonderful portrayal of God's desire for creation...and His future plan!
Jeffrey Snell03/25/09
I enjoyed reading this piece. The simple imagery you used was very effective. I can often let circumstances or my limited desires obscure the clarity God offers. Thanks!
Rick Higginson 03/26/09
I was expecting the POV to be post-fall Adam, but you nicely pulled me farther down in history. As to how it could be expanded, you could easily take the theme further with looking at trees along the road, birds in the sky, etc., all before revealing the identity of the narrator.

Very effective perspective, and nice imagery.
Joshua Janoski04/21/09
A beautiful way to illustrate the suffering one must endure in order to ultimately reach the kingdom where suffering is no more. I loved this piece! So glad I am able to get caught up on some of your writings that I missed, Joanne.
Beautifully written. Well done!
Mary Alice Bowles09/25/09
Praise God for all this encouragement this morning. Your writing talent is a God Send..So wonderful!