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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: When God Joined Hands With Clorox
By Mariane Holbrook


It happened in the springtime when the days were at their best.
The earth just seemed to come alive and all was heaven-blessed.
The crocuses with all their might pushed through the swollen sod;
These harbingers of spring brought “Wake-Up” messages from God.

On such a day as this my sister, Norma, sighed aloud,
“If I could have a green spring dress, I know I’d be so proud.”
My mother overheard her and felt sadness in her heart.
This was the Great Depression; where would she even start?

My dad worked on a railroad, ‘twas a hot, unpleasant place.
To feed his seven children took both stamina and grace.
They’d lost their house and all they owned when things were at their worst
But through it all their faith held firm for they put Jesus first.

So Norma’s words rang o’er and o’er in Mother’s head that day.
Not knowing what else she should do, Mom started in to pray.
“If I could find some fabric, I could use some bleach and dye.
I’d make a dress much finer than a dress that I could buy.”

When Norma was at school one day, Mom hung the laundry out.
She washed more clothes than anyone, of that there was no doubt.
A kindly neighbor spotted her and walked to greet her there.
“I have a dress for you; it’s one I can no longer wear.”

Mother thanked her warmly, held the dress up for review.
Though it was brown and not spring green, my mom’s excitement grew.
When finally the neighbor left, Mom hurried back inside.
Once more it was confirmed to her: Jehovah would provide!

She mixed a cup of Clorox with some water in the sink,
Immersed the dress and prayed to God it somehow wouldn’t shrink.
She didn’t have the nickel she would need to buy the dye;
She only knew God promised that our needs He would supply.

And as she watch the color leave the dress, she was surprised.
For something changed the fabric right before her very eyes.
In all the years she’d sewed, this was a sight she’d never seen:
The bleach had turned the brown dress to a soft and lovely green.

No need to look for pennies now to buy the green Rit Dye.
My mother raised her arms to heaven and thanked her God on High.
She made a dress for Norma, far more lovely than she’d dreamed.
My sister was so pleased she ran all through the house and screamed.

The dress became a witness to God’s never-failing care
When in the Great Depression God brought hope from raw despair.
My sister wore the dress with pride and thanked her Lord above
For such a demonstration of His special kind of love.

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This article has been read 938 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/30/09
This beautiful narrative poem shows so well a mother's love and God's grace. I love the pictures that raced through my mind with the telling of the story.
Lynda Schultz 07/30/09
Love the title—and the poem that followed.
Joy Faire Stewart07/30/09
I was so enthralled with the story, I quickly read through, then when back and read again to savor each stanza. Love it!
Deborah Engle 07/30/09
What a well-done poem and a wonderful story to boot.
Charla Diehl 07/31/09
The title drew me in and I'm so glad it did. This poetic story is filled with perfection in rhyme, meter, message, imagery and entertainment. With God, nothing is impossible!
Connie Dixon08/01/09
Loved the easy flow to this poem and God's answer to a small (really) prayer. Gotta send this to my mom, Norma - who came from a family of 7 kids and lived during the depression on a farm in North Dakota. Good job!
Gregory Kane08/03/09
Nicely told with a catchy title. Mind you, I had to go back to the start to remember what it all had to do with Spring. But a good story of faith and providence.
Dee Yoder 08/03/09
God is in the details! He loves to give His children gifts that are special--just to them. Beautiful reminder of His love for us!
Tallylah Monroe08/03/09
Heartwarming story.
Betty Castleberry08/03/09
I love this touching story, and best of all, you told it in rhyme.

It reminds me a little bit of Dolly Partons' "Coat of Many Colors."

God does provide, doesn't He?

Two thumbs up.
Edy T Johnson 08/03/09
Dear Friend, (Even before reading the Dolly Parton comment above, I was thinking what a neat ballad this would be, set to music. Hmmmm. Maybe you should send it to Dolly!) The message of your poem is simply wonderful. Isn't that just like our precious heavenly Father, delighting to give us the desires of our hearts!
Mona Purvis08/03/09
Heartwarming tale , told with just the right sweetness. Love it.
Jackie Wilson08/04/09
It was pure pleasure to read your story. Even better knowing it was true. Just wonderful!
Eliza Evans 08/04/09
YAY for praying moms! :)

I love the way you wrote this. Heartwarming and Inspiring. Wonderful.

I too can hear it set to music. It reminded me of "Coalminer's Daughter" by Loretta Lynn. :)

Ada Nett08/04/09
Sweet story/poem of a mama's heart and God's provision.Enjoyed reading it.
Lyn Churchyard08/04/09
Nice, easy rhythm. Great story. Love the title too. No surprise that the brown dress turned green, I mean, after all, the Father invented colours, didn't He :-)
Pamela Kliewer08/04/09
I love this! How wonderfully God provides for us. The rhythm of this poem is just right.

One small typo: And as she watched the color leave the dress, she was surprised.
Bryan Ridenour08/04/09
Wonderful poetic tale of God's provision. It's so neat how God not only provides our needs but many times throws in our wants...just because He can! Nicely done!
Helen Dowd08/04/09
This story poem brought tears to my eyes. It was rather reminiscent of those times of old when our mothers went to work and created things out of "nothing." I can remember the dress I wore my first day of school. Mom made it from a printed flour sack. Your poem is marvellous. You are a talented poet...Helen
Chely Roach08/04/09
I am in awe of your talent...what a beautiful story told with such perfectly chosen words. Loved it!
Diana Dart 08/05/09
Gorgeous! A heartwarming story that's as fun to read as it is inspiring.
Loren T. Lowery08/05/09
This read like a ballad and I thoroughly enjoyed the story it told! Wonderfully written.
Sara Harricharan 08/05/09
Gave me goosebumps reading this wonderful tale of God's provisions. I loved it, it's excellently done and I'm so glad it had a happy ending.
Joanne Malley08/06/09
Very creative, good meter and rhyme as well. Congrats on your win and on being able to create many stanzas that still do the poetry justice.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/09
Congratulations! So thrilled for you to shine on EC again with this beautiful poem, dear special Friend!