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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)

By Donna Powers


To me, she is a princess.

To others, her voice is caustic as lye. Her appearance is deemed as harsh as withered grass. She is the director of our church choir and though the choir sings majestically each Sunday, I have reason to know what it costs for them to sing this wonderful way.

Most call her a shrew. She castigates each member mercilessly with a voice as grating as rusted iron whenever she detects the smallest infraction. She drills them over and over; each passage must be perfect. She draws her formidable frame up in front of the choir so her entire body becomes a sneer of challenge: “do this right,” her unbending posture commands.

To me, she is a vision of beauty.

I am the janitor of our church. I am a quiet man, so the volume of her voice initially unsettled me. But as time went on, I saw in her a quest for excellence equal to my own. You see: I glory in my vocation, since it helps ready God’s House for worship each Sunday. I do not skimp over any of my cleaning or repairs, because it is not for my own sake I do my job.

To me, it is a calling.

On Thursday evenings, the choir meets for rehearsal. I love music, so I plan my Thursday evening duties so I can listen as they sing. It’s like getting an extra helping of the glorious melodies and harmonies they produce. But, I confess: it’s not just the music I listen to. Although some may think our director’s methods harsh, I believe she strives for such high standards in order to most effectively produce the maximum amount of beauty from the choir members – in order for their performance to best glorify God.

To me, her efforts are justified.

Such force of dedication; such energy expended with her vitriolic voice. Yet, her unrelenting discipline always evokes from this disparate group countless true masterpieces of worshipful music. If this harsh mistress can evoke that which is so incredibly lovely; I know that beauty must be somewhere within her. I can only watch and listen; in stunned admiration and awe.

To me, she is so lovely.

Her eyes are cauldrons of anger as they encounter the slightest flaw. Yet, they are the blue of a spring sky at morning. Her hair is tightly coiled in a precisely round bun; yet its coppery sheen glows as she tosses her head in each fit of pique. Her hands clench tightly with tension as she directs the group; but those hands hold the reigns of her mastery of the group’s music.

Somewhere inside that tempestuous tigress is a tender treasure. And, one day, perhaps I will gain enough boldness to tell her so. She never notices me, for her focus on the choir is singularly targeted. She doesn’t see me as I push my mop in time to the wonderful music, or see me as I gaze longingly into those fiery blue eyes. When I look at her, I see only the loveliness I am certain exists inside her formidable exterior. When I see her, I can easily imagine what Solomon saw; when he first glimpsed the Queen of Sheba.

To me, she is – and will always be – a princess.

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This article has been read 659 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 09/16/10
What a difference it makes when we look at someone through the eyes of love. The MC drew me in and your creative writing put pictures in my mind that made this interesting from start to end. Great work.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/18/10
What a lovely love story. If the MC ever gathers his courage the choir director will have quite the ideal man.
Barbara Lynn Culler09/19/10
This is definately a unique story.

I like how you used a humbled person's ability to see the inside of someone else who comes off as brash.
Christina Banks 09/22/10
I like the way that you crafted this story, showing what he sees and then contrasting that with what others see. I hope he someday gets the nerve to talk to her, and that she will see beyond is quiet shell.
Christina Banks 09/23/10
Congratulations on your level placement and EC!
Loren T. Lowery09/23/10
This story makes one stop and ponder why we are attracted to others. Is it by their fruit, or by their physical appearance? Had the MC not loved music would he have missed the beauty he believed existed inside the choir mistress? I love stories that make me think and yours is no exception. Congratulations on your well deserved EC placement with this story.