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

TITLE: The King is in Residence Here
By Sharon Kane
03/18/09


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...Love is a flag flying high from the castle of my heart, for the King is in residence here.

The children's voices rose and fell in unison. Cindy closed her eyes, recalling the grandeur of Windsor Castle and the conversation she'd had there just weeks earlier.

“Mummy, will we see the Queen?”

“Not today sweetheart. When the Queen is staying here, the royal standard flies above the castle to show everyone she's here. But see, today the flag pole is empty.”

Now Cindy's heart seemed to skip a beat. Could it be that simple to show that King Jesus was living in her heart? She sang again with renewed gusto: “...So let it fly in the sky, let the whole world know, that the King is in residence here.”

*************************************


The stately Gothic church was packed to capacity long before the service began. The usual babble of conversation was subdued. Feet shuffled briefly when the pall-bearers arrived. Silence reigned over the standing throng as they carried the coffin down the aisle.

“Friends, today we remember a true saint. Eternity alone will tell how many lives Cindy Beresford touched during her time among us.” Reverend Pearson's voice cracked momentarily. “Matthew 13 verse 33 says, 'The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour, and it worked through all the dough.' Cindy lived and breathed God's Kingdom. Today four people will pay tribute to her, telling what Jesus did for them through her.”

A young woman stepped to the front, one hand grasping a toddler's grubby arm, the other wiping her eyes with a mauve handkerchief. “I was a teenage junkie. I lived int' shadows an' avoided 'proper folk' like t' plague. I got carted off to 'ospital to give birf 'cause I was bleedin'. Never bin so scared in me life! When I 'eard t' chaplain was coming to talk to me I thought, 'Creepers, I'm in for a right ticking off now!' Anyways, Cindy told me t' story of 'ow Jesus forgave t' woman caught in adultery. I cried an' cried. No one 'ad ever told me 'bout Jesus before. That day I asked 'im into me 'eart. I never touched drugs since. I kept me daughter, an' next monf I'm getting married. I'm 'appy Cindy's wiv Jesus, but I do jus' wish... that she could of... hung on to see me wedding!” Handkerchiefs fluttered like so many white flags as Trisha returned to her fiancé's embrace.

'Lanky Len' told how he phoned the Samaritans, receiver in one hand and aspirin bottle in the other, because he couldn't cope any longer with the unending mocking about his stammer. “I don't know how C–C–Cindy managed to listen to me all n–n–n–night without nodding o-o–o–off! By morning I had received Jesus and f–f–f–f–found r–real l–l–love and new h–h–hope.”

Next up was Beryl, an elderly lady with tinted hair, bifocals and a sonorous voice. “I met Cindy 25 years ago. I was in hospital, riddled with cancer, and so low I wanted to die. She read to me how Job found God in the midst of his suffering. Then she prayed - quietly mind, no hype - that I'd know God in the midst of my pain. She didn't ask him to heal me, but gradually this warm feeling started spreading all through me and suddenly the pain was gone! She walked so close to Jesus it was like He oozed out of her pores. Thanks to her I'm healed, and headed for glory!” Rapturous applause filled the church as Beryl took her seat.

Christine's friends had long since guessed that she carried a shameful secret. Some gasped, others shed silent tears as she told how Cindy had walked with her the road of recovery from the twin horrors of rape and abortion. “And you know what?” she concluded, “She always told me I would know my healing was complete when I could talk openly about it.” Cheers almost drowned her final words, “I think I just arrived!”

As the pall-bearers carried Cindy out of the church for the last time, her grand-daughter's warbling voice rang over the hushed sanctuary. “Love is a flag flying high from the castle of my heart...”

Gradually others joined her until six hundred voices swelled together, “...So let it fly in the sky, let the whole world know, that the King is in residence here”


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This article has been read 558 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 03/19/09
Lovely—brought tears to my eyes.
Ruth Hayes03/19/09
Beautiful! May I too live in such a way to show that the King is in residence here. Thank you for sharing this.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/20/09
I was touched, too, by your lovely story. You showed all the characters well with their words. Reading this made me want to be sure my flag is flying always to show my King is in residence.
Emily Gibson03/22/09
Great example of how the Kingdom of God works through a believer.
Joanne Sher 03/22/09
Rich symbolism (you oughta check out Jan's class - unless you ARE Jan LOL) and beautifully crafted characterizations. This choked me up. WOnderful.
Teresa Lee Rainey03/24/09
Oh, I love that song! Also truly love this story. Count me among those wiping tears. Your characters were very real and unique. I'll be singing this tune today - "so fly it high in the sky let the whole world know . . . "

Beautiful.
Christina Banks 03/24/09
I remember singing that song as a child (I am sure that it will be stuck in my head all day now!) Thank you for this wonderful story! What a reminder to let God work in us. Who knows how many lives we can touch for the kingdom!
Mona Purvis03/24/09
My favorite of all so far and I've read some very good ones!
This is what it is all about, where the rubber meets the road. Countless thousands have gone before still flying their flag. I had never heard the song, so I'll look it up.
The writing matched the story just right, simple and deep. This is a very special piece and I hope it places high.
Mona
Gerald Shuler 03/24/09
I just have three words: Powerful, Powerful, Powerful.
Sheri Gordon03/24/09
Very good writing--excellent story. You did a great job with the dialect, and I love how the beginning and end tied together.
Jan Ackerson 03/24/09
When my youngest daughter was 3, I heard her singing that chorus thus: When the king is the president there. That's the way I always think of it now.

What a wonderful legacy your character left! I loved this story.
Bryan Ridenour03/24/09
My hope is that my life can touch as many people for Christ as your character did. Great writing!
Carol Slider 03/24/09
This is a lovely illustration of the impact that one Christian life can have upon others. Beautifully written!
Karlene Jacobsen 03/24/09
I liked how you showed Cindy as a child, longing to fly the flag announcing "Jesus lives here"; then skipped forward years to her funeral. Oh, this is incredible. The changed lives springing up from a devoted life.
Connie Dixon03/24/09
This is a cool story. I loved how the song passed down to the 3rd generation just as Cindy's loved passed to the four individuals who testified to her contribution to their salvation. We should all touch lives the way Cindy did. This story impacted me. Great job!
Norma-Anne Hough03/25/09
What5 an awesomme story. Your characters were so good and so realistic.
Full marks.
Yvonne Blake 03/25/09
*tears* oh , you made me cry!

I know and LOVE that song. I pray that when my time to go is here, that I can leave such a legacy.

Thank you!
Eliza Evans 03/26/09
I enjoyed this Sharon.
Great job! Each person's tribute and voice was original and interesting -- it flowed really well and the whole idea was fantastic.
.... but just a few teeny clichés in there, hon. (wink)
Love ya!