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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Purple (11/05/09)

TITLE: The Queen
By Robyn Burke


Iris loves purple. I suppose it has something to do with being named after a flower that is, well -- purple! She belongs to the Red Hat Society and takes great pleasure in wearing her contrasting red and purple hat. We often call her “Queen Iris”; she does carry herself like royalty! Especially when she wears that hat allowing the large purple plume to bob gaily as she struts.

Iris is my honorary 'mom'. She is also my prayer warrior. I met her through church about ten years ago, immediately drawn by her sweet sociable self. She has endeared herself to me over time as she has met with me in prayer, sharing heartaches and joys and listened to my own tales of woe from time to time.

She is barely 5’2 but she is over six feet tall when she stands in the Word. If there was ever a woman who lived out Ephesians 6, it’s my Iris! She knows all about the armor of God. I have seen her wearing the belt of truth, in a lovely shade of amethyst,and the lavender shoes of peace that have walked many a passage of scripture. The helmet of salvation sits in mauve -elous (marvelous) grandeur on her wave of snowy white hair!

Iris loves angels. She collects them, she believes in them, and quite honestly, I think she sees them as well. She loves to give out little ‘pocket angels’ to her friends, just as a way of reminding them God is always near.

She is a very intuitive soul. Many is the time I have asked her for prayer on a specific issue only to see her get this look of awe on her face as she realizes this is why she has been burdened to pray for me before I ever spoke. She is tenderhearted; broken by the things that break the heart of God. She is an encourager; I have a sweet little purple (!) teddy bear, complete with angels wings that she presented me with awhile back. She gave it to me because she was unable to attend a special prayer time I was having in my home, but she wanted me to know she would be praying, nonetheless.

Then there is the fitness queen Iris! This feisty-once-upon-a-time-red-head was the charter member when a Curves Fitness Center opened in our town. Midway into her seventies, she also holds the record for the most workouts (well over one thousand in the five years she has been attending). On one wall in the club are cutouts of tennis shoes, which represent workouts by the hundreds. Iris’s tennis shoe is… you guessed it—purple!

We cannot forget Iris, the artist. She dabbles in watercolors and oils and loves to sketch flowers; Iris's are her favorites. In addition, you just know, the green-thumbed Iris has plenty of those gorgeous flowers blooming in her summer gardens every year.

Iris has certainly faced her share of heartaches. Every family has them and she is no stranger to the dysfunction our families can put us through. However, she faces them with prayer and praise, never flinching in her unwavering faith. She is an inspiration.

She recently experienced a natural catastrophe in her own back yard— a middle of the night hillside mud slide that came within inches of destroying their home. When asked if she was afraid to live there anymore, she gave a smile of utter peace as she proclaimed she has never felt safer. She said God woke her up just before the slide occurred and urged her to pray. She did and she believes God’s hand of protection was on her through the night and she has no reason to think His hand has been lifted.

You know purple is a combination of opposites. Hot red and cool blue combine to create this intriguing color. I find that very interesting, as Iris, of the feisty red headed fame, also displays the calm, cool, collected character of a woman seeped in God’s grace.

There is a day coming when I will have to face saying goodbye to my dear friend. But I know, when she arrives in her new home, there will be a purple robe of royalty draped around her shoulders, to welcome home the queen.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst11/12/09
Beautiful! What a blessing for you to have this lovely flower in your bouquet of friends.
Lisa Keck11/12/09
What a wonderful, well-written tribute. You and Iris are trully blessed to have each other.