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

TITLE: Holding History
By Donna Carrico


The old woman hated coming to this dump. She had just stepped on the very edge of the dump where everyone brought their trash. The foul smell made her gasp. The air was full of dust mingled with the smell of feces, rotten food, and human remains.

"What is that over there in the crack between the jagged rocks on the side of the cliff?", she thought. She wondered how long it had been hidden there. She tugged and wiggled it back and forth finally setting it free.

With her wrinkled aged hand she finally grasped the weather beaten, frayed, disheveled piece of cloth. It was so dirty she could not decide what color it really was. She spat on it and wiped it on the sash of her garment. To her surprise, it was the most beautiful purple she had ever seen. Cloth always had a history and she wondered what this piece was hiding.

In her earlier years Lydia was a seller of purple cloth, but this scrap was more beautiful than any she had sold. The quality of the ragged cloth could be compared to the material in Solomonís temple. Only the highest royalty would be arrayed in this type of cloth. It was the kind used to make the robes of kings; the same kind used to cover the altar after sacrifices were offered in the holy of holies in the temple.

As she sat down on a small rock, her thoughts drifted back to a day when the dump was the place where a momentous event had taken place. Golgotha was called the place of the skull because of its shape. It was located on the East side of the edge of Jerusalem where her savior was crucified, also used as the garbage dump. Tears welled in her eyes as she had a fleeting thought, a possibility of the origin of the cloth. Could it be the truth that the piece of purple cloth she held in her hand was embroiled in the event that changed history?

Regret and shame filled her heart as she accepted her thought about the origin of the cloth. In her curiosity she had spat on the cloth during her investigation of the color and quality. Others had spat on the cloth for a different reason. As they bowed their knees irrelevantly, the Roman soldiers had placed a purple robe on Jesus as they spit on Him, mocked and smote Him. They shouted, "Hail, King of the Jews!" A little later they took the kingly robe off Jesus and put his own humble clothes back on Him. In the end they parted his garments, casting lots and dividing them among the men there. During the tumult, no one knew or recorded what happened to that purple robe.

Self-imposed shame began to overwhelm her. Then she realized she did not need to be ashamed of spitting on the cloth. Just as the cloth had been set free from the rocks with some effort, she was set free when she chose to trust and believe in Jesus and what He had done for her on that cross of crucifixion.

She held the purple cloth close to her heart and accepted the promise of grace, mercy, and forgiveness. The promise of peace was made real to her as she sat holding history in her hands.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 11/15/09
You've written a very creative (historically based)story. I enjoyed the progression of this.
Carol Penhorwood 11/16/09
"She sat holding history in her hands." Very well written.
Francy Judge 11/19/09
What a beautiful story! I like when she realized that she spat on the cloth in the same careless manner of the mocking crowd...and how she was set free from shame. Love your ending.