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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Autumn/Fall (08/27/09)

TITLE: Confessions of the Calloused
By Cecile Hurst


Dear Grandma,

Today a huge chunk of skin peeled off my foot! You donít need to worry about it; I asked Mom and she said thatís normal. It makes a lot of sense actually since now its Fall and all the treeís leaves are turning color and falling off. My skin turned color before it fell off too Ė it became really white, and just like the leaves get dry and crackly that patch of skin got hard and kind of powdery when I scratched at it. Dad called it a callous. He has lots of those on his hands and he picked at one to show me it was the same thing as mine. When you use your skin a lot it gets calluses. Dad says the same thing can happen to our hearts if we use our wills too much, and thatís not good. Itís not bad to have skin calluses though Ė those make us tough and keep away pain, but itís bad to have a heart callous because we want to stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I guess you donít have to worry about heart calluses anymore Ė and maybe you donít worry about skin ones either since youíve got a new body. Whatís Autumn look like in heaven?



It was Maggieís idea to write you letters. It feels foolish, but Iíd feel kind of guilty telling her I did and then just leaving the page blank.

Itís Autumn! Almost one year since you passedÖ So much has happened Ė some good, some bad. This morning Maggie came in Ė drama queen as usual Ė and told me she had skin cancer because her skin was peeling off. At times Iíve thought your death had ceased to affect her, and then she comes out and says stuff like that and Iím blown away. Iíd have thought nothing could surprise me now.

Derek had an affair. Mom, Iím so angry! And not so much that he had the affair, but that now his relationship with God is better than ever and Iím just left here to wither. It feels like cancer, this fury in my heart. To be honest Iím torn that God would bless him so quickly, give him grace so adequately Ė and then just seemingly skip over me entirely! Where are my blessings? Iím still here, arenít I? Is it just me, or does God actually favor the fallen?

Iím sorry. I just miss you so much. I miss your wisdom and your love. How do I get over this Mom? I look around at fallen leaves and it dawns on me that I must get rid of the old before the new can come. But as the wind of the Holy Spirit blows against my personal array of leaves I find myself pinching them closer to me because I know the cold, vulnerable emptiness that will come when theyíre gone. Ask Jesus to send Spring early this year.


To Rachel,

Maggie had the wackiest idea this month Ė we write you letters, burn them, and sprinkle the ashes on your grave. Where does she come up with this stuff?

Anyways, I donít know what to write. June and I have had some problems. I really messed up and helped build some calluses on Juneís heart.

You can thank Jesus again for me by the way, for sending my daughter to me earlier today with a question about calluses. It got me to thinking about how Jesus uses his Word and his Spirit to work in our lives. Itís like Juniper when she puts her creams on every night to keep her skin hydrated. I need to moisturize June now Ė and itís harder than it looks.

If youíre allowed to mention things to God Ė mention us.

One week later in the Readerís DigestÖ

The other day my granddaughter asked, ďWhatís Autumn like in heaven?Ē I told her that when the leaves fall in heaven, our Father gathers them and turns them into birds for the youngest soulís enjoyment.

I donít know about you, but during this season my thoughts often turn to change Ė itís a good time of year to shed unneeded baggage. And if youíre someone like my daughter then let me comfort you by saying that you donít need to fear letting go, the cold and bareness that you think is going to come never will for God will turn everything directly into Spring!

Just thought that was worth mentioning, among other things.

- Anonymous

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This article has been read 366 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dorothy Adamek09/05/09
I really liked this one. I wanted to know more about how they sorted out their problems especially June. You drew me in and that's a great quality in writing. I think it was the shortness and sudden impact of 'Derek had an affair.' that did it. It was unexpected and worked like a little bomb!
Gregory Kane09/06/09
Full marks for creativity. A very different approach to the topic