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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: Meditation on Isaiah 35
By Jan Ackerson


Her heart is a desert; a scorched, arid land
Where sorrow is cactus, and bitterness, sand.
She shelters the scorpions of loneliness there:
They flourish, while feeding on wasps of despair.

The desert and the parched land will be glad…

So tired of the wilderness, sand in her veins,
She yearns for refreshment--for soft, cleansing rains;
But rattlesnakes occupy each shadowed den,
Devouring her longings, again and again.

…The wilderness will rejoice and blossom…

Where once was a brook, now a dry riverbed
Winds through her sad spirit. No streamlet—instead,
A path baked by grief. But look! Now from the earth
Comes a stream of redemption, renewal, rebirth.

…Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom…

By Christ’s living water her heart is revived;
Now crocuses bloom where saguaro once thrived.
No longer a desert, her heart is a place
Of beauty and gladness—transformed by God’s grace.

…It will rejoice greatly, and shout for joy.

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This article has been read 1593 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Michelle Fout10/10/05
Tender. Classical. Very clearly expresses on a personal level Isaiah's mood and tenor.
Garnet Miller 10/10/05
I like the contrast between what is dry and barren to a renewed commitment to life and fertile ground. Very poignant poem!
Sally Hanan10/10/05
Beautiful. I love the lines of Scripture between each stanza.
B Brenton10/11/05
This was a brilliant way to write it. Wow. Amazing idea. What a gift and glory to God's already powerful word.
Alexandra Wilkin10/11/05
This is excellent - tender, moving and so intelligently weaves the words of Isiah. This is entirely satisfying and a poem to return to again and again. Wonderful. God bless.
Lisa Smith10/11/05
You have some well-chosen words here, which give us excellent word pictures. Good job!
Helga Doermer10/11/05
A well expressed poetic meditation.
Tammy Johnson10/11/05
Oh do I love this! So beautiful and just what I needed today! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I liked how you "displayed" the poem and scripture - very effective.
Robin McGowan10/11/05
Excellent poem and meditation.
Val Clark10/11/05
Great choices of images. Everyone works together in layered meanings and are woven beautifully together to take the reader on a very satisfying journey from the dessert to where the flowers bloom in abundance. Thank you and well done.
Maxx .10/11/05
Very nice devotional type piece. The visuals were strong.
Pat Guy 10/12/05
Wow! This is GREAT! Marvelous!
Linda Watson Owen10/12/05
Oh, how beautifully full of rich imagery! The creative use of contrast is striking and effective. Wonderful!
Julianne Jones10/13/05
This had it all! Musical rhythm, beautiful imagery, satisfying message. This piece really speaks to the reader's soul. Loved it.
Suzanne R10/13/05
Magnificent, just magnificent. I'm speechless. Very unusual. Says a lot about this piece.
Anita Neuman10/13/05
Fabulous! Amazing! Brilliant!!!
Brandi Roberts10/13/05
Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.
Joanne Malley10/13/05
Beautifully done! I hope this earns the merit it deserves. :)
Crista Darr10/13/05
Beautifully written. I love the way you show the fallen state and then comfort with the promise.
Dixie Phillips10/13/05
A contender indeed! WOW! Amazing! Loved the visuals.... I'm still reeling. God has given you a HUGE GIFT and you are using it for HIM. He will enlarge your territory as you write for HIS GLORY!
Shari Armstrong 10/13/05
Very nice!! I loved the way you wove your poem with the scripture!
Gabrielle Morgan10/13/05
A supurb creation, intensely felt. Excellent inspired writing. It really reached me, I look forward to more.
Lynda Lee Schab 10/14/05
Very creative and inspiring piece on the topic of "flowers." Well done!
Blessings, Lynda
Cassie Memmer10/14/05
This is truly beautiful. An account of how God can take the desert within our hearts and bring it to life and beauty. Excellent!
Laurie Glass 10/15/05
Wow! Excellently crafted poem with a strong message!
Sandra Petersen 10/16/05
Oh, the word pictures you painted! Yes, this is exactly what the lonely wilderness of the heart is like, and what it can be like once the desert is left behind! Beautiful!!
Alexandra Wilkin10/17/05
Jan - huge congratulations on your 'highly commended'. The more I read this, the more I like it. God bless.
Deborah Porter 10/17/05
Jan, congratulations on your Highly Commended Award for Level 3. As you know, the competition on that level is fierce!

True confessions - when I saw the title, my expectation level was pretty low. But boy, when I finished reading it I was VERY impressed. It was truly beautiful.

Also, want you to know that you were just a breath away from being in the Editors' Choice. You ranked 9th overall - out of a total of 145 entries. So again, congratulations. You did extremely well.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)