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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)

TITLE: Keepsakes of the Heart
By Marlene Bonney


Circa 3 A.D.

“Ohhh, mama!” the baby’s awed voice penetrated his mother’s ponderings as her little son lifted his eyes to the sunrise’s splendor, “ohhh, a lub-ly song, mama—see, colors with music!”

Mary straightened up from the washing, her heavy womb great with child. Jesus had such creative thoughts! Other women thought him a bit strange, but many times he brought her closer to Yahweh by his imaginings.

“He hears things we do not,” she had commented to Joseph many times over.

-----------Mary kept these things, pondering them in her heart.-----------

Circa 6 A.D.

“Ohhh, mama, look at the poor little birdie! Broken—his wing—can Papa fix?” holding the sparrow in his cupped hands, he headed out to his father’s carpenter shop, where he could already smell the fresh, shaved curls of parchment littering the dirt floor under Joseph’s work bench . . .

“Mary, I made a splint for the bird’s wing, attaching it with a piece of root. Jesus went off to play, trusting me to care for his little charge. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him the bird wouldn’t live; then, I was so busy with the wood, I forgot about it until Jesus returned. I tried to shield its lifeless body from Jesus when, lo and behold, that bird flew over my head and roosted on our boy’s shoulder. Jesus whispered something and it glided gently out the window, olive branch and root left behind.”

“Why, I never heard of such a thing! Surely it was a different bird?”

“Dear heart, it happened just as I said. I asked Jesus what he said to the sparrow, and he gave me SUCH an answer: ‘I told him to go and do what Yahweh created him for—to sing His praises.’ Mary, he’s so different from younger James, who would probably be like the boy who used a slingshot to maim the bird Jesus rescued.”

-----------Mary kept these things, pondering them in her heart.-----------

Circa 9 A.D.

“Ohhh, mother! Come quick! Those ruffians are beating Reuben!” the boy ran as fast as his sandals would let him, Mary trailing behind.

“Leave him alone, you bullies!”

Jesus, gulping great gasps or air, approached while the culprits backed away to reveal a beaten small crippled boy in the ditch.

“Shame on you!” Jesus glared at Peter, Andrew and Simon, turning indignant eyes on them.

Hanging their heads under their usually kind playmate’s penetrating gaze, the youngsters shuffled away. Mary arrived at the scene to find her son with Reuben’s head cradled in his lap. Jesus lifted his tear-stained face up to the sky sorrowfully as Reuben sat up, his bloodied face stained with both their tears.

“Forgive them, Rube, they don’t understand what they do,” and, pointing down to the lad’s club foot, continued, “someday you will be healed.”

-----------Mary kept these things, pondering them in her heart.-----------

Circa 12 A.D.

“Ohhh, Jesus, you frightened us terribly! We’ve been searching for you for two days! Sirs, please excuse our son for bothering you in the Temple.”

“Did you not know? I must be about My Father’s business.”

-----------Mary kept these things, pondering them in her heart.-----------

Circa 30 A.D.

“Ohhh, Jesus, do something! Your uncle has run out of wine, and it will spoil Nathan’s wedding,” and, turning to the servants, “do whatever he tells you.”

Mary expected Jesus to send one of the lads to the nearest neighbor for more wine, but watched as He instead sent them to fill the two empty jars with water down the hill at the common well.

“Nathan, congratulations! Sorry we’re so late, my friend. You’ve got to tell your father how refreshing it was that he saved the best wine for last. . .”

-----------Mary kept these things, pondering them in her heart.-----------

Circa 32 A.D.

“Ohhh, my son,” Mary sobbed in John’s arms at the foot of the cross, the weeping wracking her slender frame as she suffered Jesus’ crucifixion.

-----------Mary kept these things, pondering them in her heart.-----------

. . .

“Ohhh, Jesus, my son, how can I let you go?”

“I must return to my heavenly Father, so that my mission is complete, I have told you, Mother. The Holy Spirit will come to comfort you and all the other believers. John will be as a son to you in my absence. Remember—I will always be with you.”

-----------Mary kept these things, pondering them in her heart.-----------

Author's paraphrasing from passages in the Bible, Book of Luke

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 02/11/10
This is very special. Nice work. I felt like I was right there as Jesus grew up under Mary's watchful eye. I love your title, too. It's perfect.
Angie Ragg02/11/10
Really enjoyed this. I love the breaks in the story with Mary pondering. As mothers, we can't help but do that. I really like this style of writing. Great!
stanley Bednarz02/13/10
Perfect title. Original. What an interesting world to imagine what it was like before Jesus was twelve. I hope you place high with this.
Lisha Hunnicutt02/17/10
Very creative!