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

TITLE: Two Wings to Cry Holy
By Lisa McMillion


He thought the flower might burn a hole directly through his brain to the headrest. Colin stared incredulously between the crack to the airplane seat in front of him where a little girl colored a bloom of her own creation -- the “black-eyed Susan” variety. It was a good circle for a four-year-old, surrounded by alert petals equidistant from the center.

For a professor of theological literature at a predominantly theological university, Colin was rather godless. He dissected the Bible as he would any piece of amphibious literature-- one at home either in the fiction or non-fiction sections. He routinely highlighted symbols to his packed classes, recounting throughout the weighty book things like the number forty. “Forty days and forty nights,” “for forty days he fasted.” Forty was Bible for “a very long time.” I’ve been on this plane for forty hours, he mused, and all the women I know are named Mary. The symbols had recently crawled off the page, however, as the image of a flower kept returning to him. The flowers. His body’s sympathetic need to pause and notice them. He could think of nothing else but what someone or something might be trying to tell him.

Colin thought back to the weeks before his present trans-Atlantic flight toward a prophetic literature symposium. Having finished a review of numbers, symbols, and their meanings in Revelations, it had started. Walking through his house, he noticed that on the floor was the head of a flower. He bent to pick it up, thoughtfully brushing its fuzzy brown middle and sliding his thumbs across the silky yellow petals. He hadn’t purchased any flowers. Absolutely no one had a key to his home. It was too intact to have hitched a ride on the bottom of his shoe unnoticed. He felt then what his eagerly spiritual apprentices must when they’d burst into prayer in the middle of his lectures. He always noticed it, because the eyes would drop and he could read lips saying something like: “what do you mean, Lord?” He convinced himself that most theology students had an as yet undiagnosed, barely perceptible seizure disorder that each had confused with the call to preach the gospel. Because his senses were so heightened to a bombardment of the same flower images following his odd discovery, Colin found himself wanting to ask, “if you’re out there, Lord, then what does this all mean?”

The truth was that he hadn’t sought the flowers out like one with a compulsion might. The poster in the university library with the brown and yellow daisy perched on a model’s nose, the day the street vendor pushed toward him a bunch of the identical flower, saying, “Here, take these. They’re on the house,” – the symbols were finding him. What had really set Colin on edge was the female student. “Uh- hmmm. Uh, Mr. Forst,” she began, stammering. “Do you know the Lord as your personal Savior?” It wasn’t the first time a student had seen him as a conversion challenge, and he was suitably prepared. “For one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess…” she quoted.
“ Philippians Chapter 2, verses ten and eleven,” he completed, responding: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple…” Reciting the entire sixth chapter of Isaiah in front of her, Colin detailed the six-winged seraphim with eloquent accuracy. “You see, Mary,” he finished, “it takes at least two wings to cry holy, and yours haven’t even sprouted yet.” She ran out, obviously flustered. It wasn’t until two a.m. the following morning that he remembered her last name. “Flowers” he said aloud to the darkness, “Mary Flowers.”

Colin found himself recalling his own cynical words now on the plane, “two wings to cry holy.” At the same time, the little girl in front of him counted aloud, “one, two.” She pointed like she was following a ball in a tennis match, first to the left, then to the right. “Mommy,” she said louder, “there are two wings!” Shocked at the apparent invasion into his thoughts, Colin sat upright. “There are two wings on this plane,” she said again, proud of her sudden revelation.

Without a handset or a transmitter of any kind save his own mouth, Colin decided to answer what would be the most important call of his life. It was a simple prayer he prayed. It started with, “Hello…”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth Muehlhausen10/10/05
An engaging story of head knowledge moving to the heart! PTL!
Brandi Roberts10/12/05
Wow. I really enjoyed this one. As someone who tends to lean towards the intellectual side of things, I often find it hard to comprehend biblical teaching. But God is gracious and patient. Thank you for sharing!
Garnet Miller 10/12/05
Good article. Sometimes we need to make use of our intellectual side to see the pattern of the things that God is trying to tell us.
Julianne Jones10/16/05
Wow! Well-written, provocative and insightful. Unfortunately, not something confined to the realm of imagination - there are too many professors of theology who don't know Christ as Saviour. Thanks for sharing this.
Julianne Jones10/16/05
P.S. Loved the title - that's what drew me to this piece in the first place.
Linda Watson Owen10/16/05
Really enjoyed the adventure of reading this one! Great imagery!