Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sightseeing (08/08/05)
TITLE: Through Her Eyes
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Aaron’s grandfather grinned proudly, both at the question asked and the one who had asked it. “Don’t you ever get tired of hearing this same old story?” he inquired, knowing full well what his grandson’s response would be.
“No way!” Aaron smiled broadly. “I love hearing your stories. One day, I want to go on adventures like you.” Even at his tender age, Aaron’s heritage was important to him.
“Well, all right,” the old man chuckled, “ I guess you talked me into it.”
Aaron settled into his chair for the familiar, comforting tale.
“She was so beautiful…” he began, “your grandmother. Every boy in school wanted to be her beau. But she picked me, as different as I was. She made me feel really…important, you know?” he explained as he leaned in closer to emphasize his point. “She had such a gentle way, you could just sense the love of God within her.”
“I remember,” Aaron reminisced. His grandmother had died only a few years earlier.
“Anyway, after we were married, we traveled all over this great country, visited forty-two states together. We sure did! We planned to see them all until…” The elderly man’s face fell briefly, but then he continued, “I spoke in churches and schools, and anywhere they’d listen. I told people about the Lord and how He’d made me special. They listened to me because they knew that if God had been able to use me, He could use them, too.”
“And Gran?” Aaron prompted.
“Your grandmother was always there right beside me, supporting me. She was the best travel companion. God never failed to take care of us on our adventures for Him. We felt so blessed to be able to do a little sightseeing along the way.”
“What’d you see, Papa?”
“We visited every spot we could, in the time we had. North, south, east and west. We experienced the hospitality of small towns, and the excitement of big cities. National parks, snow-capped mountains, all the Great Lakes and the oceans, too. We’ve listened to the waves crashing in the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico. That old motor home has seen the sights, I tell you.” The tired voice crackled as the old man lovingly described the details of each destination.
“What about when my Daddy was born?” Aaron asked, leading the story along.
“Well, when the kids were small we stayed home more often. But every time we could, we’d set out again, kids and all. We always had such fun. Your Gran always took that camera of hers, so we’d remember every trip.”
Aaron knew the pictures well. Pictures of a happy family, visiting places he someday wanted to go. The boy looked at his grandfather with sudden compassion, remembering the sadness he must have felt after his beloved wife had died.
“When the kids were grown we traveled some more,” the grandfather continued,” We spread the Word, and saw the sights along the way. Aaron, I’ve been a blessed man to serve the Lord and see all I’ve seen in my eighty-five years.” The voice slowed as the story came to an end.
“But, Papa, how could you possibly have seen all those things?” Aaron asked passionately. Although he knew the familiar answer, he had never fully understood it. Still, he felt security in the repetition of the words.
The old man stood up, using his cane to find his way to where his grandson sat. As he affectionately touched the face of his greatest admirer, he answered, “Even though I was blind, God allowed me to see the beauty of the world… through your grandmother’s eyes. She saw things so clearly that she was able to help me to see them, too.”
Aaron and his grandfather sat closely, savoring the companionship they shared, peacefully content. “And it won’t be long,” the grandfather concluded with an unmistakable spark, “until your grandmother and I see the beauty of eternity. Only then, for the first time … we will truly see it, together.”
Aaron pursed his lips thoughtfully as he let the final bittersweet words sink in. Then his face slowly broke into a smile filled with a sense of deep satisfaction, because he knew in his heart that his grandfather was right.
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