Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)
TITLE: Pure Asylum
By Debra Brand
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Oh, yes! Serenity at last!
Outside in my sun-bleached gazebo, on this crisp, clear summer morning, I enter into solitude with God. The luscious emerald trees sway ever so gently in the fresh breeze. Touched by wispy whites, as if a painter just grazed the canvas with the tip of his brush, the pale sapphire sky refreshes my eyes.
The morning celebration of a feathered friend sends his staccato notes to reverberate on my eardrums. A delicate ivory butterfly pulses his gossamer wings in harmony with the beat in my chest.
On the breeze, a heavenly aroma of wild honeysuckle drifts. Earthy smells of last fall’s leaves, yesterday’s rain and sun-baked soil underlie the sweetness.
Time away. Away from the hustle, bustle and noise. Clamor that lingers in the background muttering, murmuring and whispering desires, failings, hopes, and fears dissipates into a faint purr.
Closing my eyes, I focus on Him. Calling out to my Savior, I worship. Soon, He carries me afar, flying, spinning and soaring, ever upwards into a tranquil oblivion of intimacy.
Strength and comfort fill my hollow soul. Living waters nourish my parched spirit. Love encircles, surrounds and envelopes producing inadequate words to depart from my lips.
Unawares, this earthen vessel extends arms of surrender in supreme adoration and supplication. Tears of joy and praises of salvation…
Glorious Lord, Wonderful Savior thrills my heart…buzz, buzz.
Um…Jesus, Jesus, Lover of my…buzz…buzz…buzz.
A sliver of light exposes one eye. I quickly scan the gazebo while continuing to utter pleasing prayers to my Lord.
Losing focus as my lid closes, I quickly return to my inner sanctuary. Praise God for He is good. His love endures…buzz…buzz…buzz…buzz.
My eyes snap open! I am totally surrounded by black wasps! Unbeknownst to me, I have invaded their territory. I carefully look upwards and there is the gray papery honeycombed nest right in the middle of the copula!
Time stops and I consider my options. There’s only one doorway or it’s over the railing I go. I wait for a break in the swarm.
Beaded sweat breaks out on my forehead. Clammy hands that once held praise upraised, now slowly and carefully descend to my lap. I hope wasps don’t have noses. Fear stinks!
Watching…watching…there it is! I zoom through the doorway, keeping a low profile! Out into the yard I swiftly launch myself onto the porch and burst into the house!
Leaning back against the closed door, I feel my heart pounding against my ribs. Pulsating blood in my ears keeps time with soggy shaking limbs. Silent frantic screams interrupt the subdued rubble in my mind.
“Calm down,” I pray. Gulping for air and checking for stings, I nervously sigh in relief.
I turn back to look outside at the frenzied scene of…
To my amazement, the gazebo retreat had no evidence of the chaos that lingers in me! The wasps lazily drift, buzzing here and there, up and down. A swarm no longer, they attend to their own busyness and seriousness of life.
Aghast, I realize that my attempt of peaceful worship had intruded upon their domain!
My reflection for the day: “One person’s ivory tower could possibly be someone else’s nest!”
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