Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Outbreak (04/07/11)
TITLE: Praise in the Pines
By Linda Goergen
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I am sorry my presence disturbs them. Surly they are still on edge from the assault two days ago, when these woods were battered by nature’s fury, with an outbreak of violent storms. Evidence of nature’s tantrums are spread across my path and it angers me. “Why does nature have to be so cruel at times” I spout off to any creatures who may be listening, knowing they would agree! But still, none of them seem to respond.
I walk on, brushing aside nature’s debris, sad that the only fanfare for my woodland workout today, seems to be my own footsteps and the verbal outbreak of my inner thoughts, as I fuss at the storm’s mess, at the silent serenade, the dark clouds suddenly creeping in threatening the sun and the not-so-happening, grand intentions I had for this hike.
About halfway into my intended journey, my mind increasingly needling me with the feeling of failed enjoyment in this walk, I stop and slump down onto an old stump that seems as if it were there just waiting for me. Releasing an outbreak of disgusted sighs and about to start on my “why Lord” medley, a strong gust of wind, full of dust and stray foliage, slaps me right in the face.
Aggravated, I look up and see a blur of Ponderosa Pines seem to bow toward me, shaking their limbs at me, demanding my attention! They then straighten and become very still, as if commanding a stage, provoking me to watch. I stare, as they ever so slowly, in unison, start to whisper and sway. Seeming to sense my want, they become a united woodland choir and I am surrounded with the outbreak of rippling rhythm, like a prayer, with soft persistent flair they hum and rock, as I say “How sweet the sound”, thinking surely this a timber-translated version of the hymn Amazing Grace!
I am overtaken by the need to rise and twirl and toss my gloom! As I dance, the woodland creatures end their silence and join me and the trees in an outbreak of wonderfully blended sounds of praise. At this moment, it seems as if a seed from the Garden of Eden has made its way to this backwoods place to grow and mature, at this very time, into aphrodisiac for the spirit.
Time seems stilled and I am lost in its absence, as God reflects His outbreak of love, from every particle of this patch of woods, like speaking sunrays, ministering to me, gently reminding, how blind my earthbound vision and that standing in the aftermath of a storm is where we sometimes learn our greatest lessons.
My heart is pumping mixed passion and pang as tiny droplets of fresh understanding rains through me, soaking my soul, when suddenly I realize soft raindrops are also dampening my flesh. I rise to head home and look up to see an outbreak of color, sparkling and drizzling through the trees and I fall to my knees - awed and I joyously weep, at the rainbow reminder of God’s covenant, given like a parting kiss to me.
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