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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: A Day with Abba
By Marita Thelander


The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

“Good morning, Abba.”

Dot shuffled into the kitchen of her simple, ram-shackled home. She flipped on the burner to heat the tea kettle and dropped a piece of bread into the toaster. In the fridge, Dot felt her way among various containers in search of homemade blackberry jam.

She tilted her head at the sound of the morning bird-choir as they warmed up outside the open kitchen window. Dot leaned across the sink and peered out at the musical members.

“Thank you for alerting me, little friends. I would have missed my morning glory time.” Dot chuckled to the birds on a limb of the cherry tree.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

Dot rubbed her eyes, as if that would help improve her failing vision. She raised her eyebrows high to lift her droopy eyelids.

“Ah, I see the sky is getting lighter.”

The bird-choir began to increase in number while others joined on nearby tree limbs and telephone wires.

“Sing your praises, little friends,” Dot encouraged and waved her arms to direct.

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Dot strained to focus her cloudy eyes. She began to see a change in the color of the sky. “Ooo, purples this morning. Thank you, Jesus, I love the purple ones.”

Her elbows propped on the edge of the sink counter, Dot rested her chin in her hands. The song of the bird-choir increased in a steady crescendo.

At sun-up, the birds dispersed a few at a time. Dot turned her attention to her tea and toast.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Dot held her hand to her chest at the first sign of ‘the flutter’. She stumbled her way to a chair and plopped down. “Ah, Lord, You know all things. My life is Yours. Do with it as You see fit. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Soon the flutter disappeared. Dot felt the sudden need to pray for her grandchildren. She progressed on to a missionary couple, then the old man down the street with cancer.

“I guess you got my attention, Lord.” Dot grunted and pushed out of the overstuffed chair. She returned to her seemingly pointless cleaning in the cluttered little house.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

The cool breeze through the tattered screen door alerted Dot to the time of day. She picked up the large numbered alarm clock and held it nearly to her nose so she could see the time.

“About half hour to go, I suppose.”

Her weathered hand reached for a shawl to wrap around her shoulders. Dot shuffled her feet carefully to the edge of the porch and took the two steps to the ground with caution.

“Hi Miss Dot,” a young boy stopped his bike at her curb. “It’s gonna be a beauty tonight.”

“Do you think so, Tommy?” Dot’s excitement grew.

“I know so,” Tommy prepared to shove off and head home. “It’s already started to glow reds on the buttermilk sky. Enjoy, Miss Dot.”

She steadied the rickety old lawn chair and let her body drop into it. Everyone in the cul-de-sac knew Dot loved to sit on the west side of her house and watch the sunset. The young couple next door even trimmed their trees every year to allow an uninhibited view for their beloved neighbor.

Dot used her thumbs and forefingers to hold her eyes wide open. The years had caused her eyelids to sag and limit her sight. “Ah-h-h…red sky at night, sailor’s delight,” Dot quoted.

Even when she held her eyelids up, she couldn’t see clearly through the cloudy cataracts. This never dampened her enthusiasm.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

After sun-down, Dot fumbled her way up the stairs. She leaned on the porch rail and listened to the cricket-choir for a spell.

Dot rested her hand on her heart and smiled, “Thank you for another day. See you at sun-up. Goodnight, Abba.”

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This article has been read 666 times
Member Comments
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Shirley McClay 04/09/09
Beautifully written. I wanted to sit with Dot and watch the sun rising and setting with her.
Lynda Schultz 04/09/09
Very nice, indeed, and a great lesson. From start to finish, a day with Abba is a day well-spent.
Laury Hubrich 04/09/09
This entry shows how to truly grow old with grace and dignity. Very nice writing.
Connie Dixon04/10/09
I enjoyed the way you wove the 23rd Psalm into this story - giving it spiritual depth and insight. Every day spent with Abba is a great day.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/10/09
The beauty of your MC's soul shines in this well crafted piece.
Carole Robishaw 04/15/09
A lesson on how to live we could all learn from. Very well written, I walked thru her day, wanting to be able to relax and enjoy.
LauraLee Shaw04/16/09
This is beautiful. Masterfully written. I love the way you use description and action to build your characters and plot. Wonderful.
Joshua Janoski04/20/09
Is this the same Dot from some of your other works?

This piece is a good example of how all of us should live - always thanking God and praising Him regardless of our circumstances.

I enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing, Marita. :)