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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Importance of Being Earnest (not about the play) (08/04/11)

TITLE: Little Bush
By darlene hight


We live a little off the beaten path. Not exactly in the country but for the Cincinnati area “It’s a little bit country.” We drive roads that are heading out of town rather than into the city. Because of that, we pass many farms, farm stands and country landscape. The properties become familiar to the eyes. Then something changed. “Well, would you look at that?” Nothing special…I guess and yet it captured my full attention. One perfectly trimmed shrub, no more than two and half feet tall, ordinary shrub green, he wasn’t a stand out under normal circumstances. Yet, here in this overgrown disarray of tangled branches, unkempt shrubbery and high grass, the little bush stood as a symbol of hope and possibility.

I had driven down this same road many times on my way to the store, work or home and that yard had been just one of many that blurred into the scenery and then, forgotten. However now, I found myself seeking out the yard and the little bush each day as I passed. For some reason, it made me happy when I spotted the little guy standing tall and proud in the garden of thistle and thorn. I pictured the owner of the yard looking at the jungle of weeds, overgrown shrubbery, sagging fences and what must have seemed like miles of mowing and deciding, “I can at least trim this little bush.” I imagined him standing back afterwards and surveying his handiwork and smiling with a sense of accomplishment. A tiny shrub, cut to perfection, impacting the landscape with the care, detail and attention lavished by a dedicated gardener. One gardener, one bush, nothing more and yet, it has me pondering deep thoughts, important thoughts. I reflect on times when my life was overwhelming like a wad of yarn with no beginning or end. And then suddenly, one person, one example or one word on a page, causes a change, a place to start. With that beginning there is the promise of something better and a new outlook for the future.

Sometimes, people want to blend in instead of standing out or they adopt an attitude of “I can’t make a significant difference so what is the point to my tiny contribution?” But how do we really know who will be impacted or how much? Maybe, we are the first brick in a skyscraper or the first link in a chain of events that catapult someone to success or healing. Who judges our impact except for the master gardener, Himself? We simply trim the bush, or write the story, or wipe the little noses or build the skyscraper. God gives the increase. Sometimes, life is overwhelming but one little bush perfectly trimmed may be all that is required to begin a garden that blooms for years or centuries. As to the yard on my path, it, eventually, got tamed. All of the bushes trimmed and the yard transformed into one that imitated the neighboring manicured properties but for me, the little bush on the south corner holds a special spot in my heart and it always makes me smile.

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Member Date
C D Swanson 08/12/11
Very nice story. I also imagined the "bush" as standing amongst a world of iniquity, and it stood its ground to give hope to everyone. I liked this line the most: Who judges our impact except for the master gardener, Himself? Keep writing, God Bless~
Linda Goergen08/13/11
This reminded me of that simple children’s song: “This Little Light Of Mine” for it is a beautiful visual of how God’s masterful touch and trimming can make a Christian stand out as a little beacon amid the gloom and thorns and weeds of life and be an example others want to follow. The specialness the little bush holds, even when it only became one of many beautifully trimmed, seems to speak of the special place the one who leads us to Christ always holds in our hearts! I really enjoyed this, great job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/16/11
This was a charming piece and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

You may want to break it into smaller paragraphs. With such a limited word count, long paragraphs can feel overwhelming to the reader.

The message here is one I can definitely relate to. You did a great job writing this lovely article.