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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Luggage (08/15/05)

TITLE: Orange Alert for Heart Luggage
By Cyndie Odya-Weis


I heard it on the news. The nation was on orange alert: increased security measures were in place for travel. I was packing for a long-awaited trip and the thought of someone inspecting my luggage flashed a neon-orange alert in me. Someone may inspect my socks for holes or my sweaters for unpleasant fuzzies or stains. Why, they may even use dogs to detect odors. I wanted to be sure the items in my luggage were in top-notch shape so I took precautions in the late-night hours of packing. Amidst the calming sounds of the Maytag cycles washing my clothing one more time, I dozed off to orange alert dreams.

In my dream, security guards inspected the contents of my heart. My physical heart was one thing with its clear arteries and well-functioning valves. Middle age was kind to me following decades of good habits and clean living. My old pumper was, after all, like the suitcase I received for high school graduation some 30 years ago- well preserved.

But what would the security inspectors find in the contents of the luggage of my heart. Would they be impressed by the words I penned each week for www.faithwriters.com? Would they raise an eyebrow at remnants of the nasty complaint letters that wielded certificates of apology? Would the guards declare the contents of my heart’s luggage unsafe for travel with the possibility of explosive unresolved anger or toxic thoughts? What would they find buried in the side-pockets of my heart?

Things I’d collected and lugged along in life’s travels indeed clutter an otherwise clean and grateful heart. I doubted that the guards would approve my heart luggage. In the deep stages of sleep, anxiety increased, orange lights flashed and sirens blared.

Wait! A wave of silence drowned all sounds as a hand reached for the luggage tag of my heart.

Owner: Jesus, payer of all tariffs, fines and fees; cleanser of all grime and crud in the heart; forgiver of all sins.

Looking to see who had thought to check the tag, I saw only the flowing sleeve of a white robe- and a gentle hand.

A kind voice began to chant, “You’re forgiven, you are mine. You’re forgiven, you are mine. You’re forgiven, you are mine………. You’re forgiven………..

I awoke to the repetitive sounds of the spin cycle. My clothes were clean. I smiled and put my hand on my chest. I felt the steady beat and momentarily relished the embrace of the one who keeps me clean- from the inside out.

My trip- and my luggage- were going to be just fine.

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This article has been read 885 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Phyllis Inniss 08/22/05
Quite nice.
Crista Darr08/23/05
Funny and sweet. Well done.
darlene hight08/23/05
Too much fun! I love the creative take on the orage alert. Thoroughly enjoyable read :)
Julianne Jones08/27/05
Very good. Enjoyable yet thought-provoking. Well done.
Beth Muehlhausen08/27/05
I enjoyed this. I understand what it is like to allow the Lord to do a "heart search" like this!
Suzanne R08/28/05
What an interesting concept ... the linking of physical luggage and heart luggage, and the repetition of the words with the dryer's cycle! Very clever. Well done. I'm sure apart from the fact that you're clean from the inside thanks to our Lord, He is also pleased with these words you've penned on faithwriters!