Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)
TITLE: The $23 Fruit Candles
By allison hester
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“Fine,” I sighed, inwardly kicking myself for giving in so easily.
As promised the basket of fruit candles arrived a few days later, and I couldn’t help but laugh as I opened it. For $16.95 – make that $23 with shipping and handling – I expected to receive a fairly small but nice basket holding two or three fruit-scented candles. What I actually received was a tiny “basket” no bigger than a postcard containing six tiny, poorly made, unscented fruit-shaped candles. They looked like something I could purchase from the half-off aisle at a dollar store.
My first inkling was to toss them into the trash, but I decided instead to show them to my two-year-old son, Ethan.
“Apples!” he cheered. (Ethan referred to all fruits and vegetables as “apples.”) I handed him each candle one-by-one as he carefully counted – “Six apples!” he exclaimed.
From there, we began learning the names of each of the fruits – orange, watermelon, lemon, strawberry, pear, and, of course, apple. Then the real fun began. Over the next several days we discovered 101 uses for those candles. We threw them across the yard. We glided them down the slide. We immersed them in bathtub. We used them in every imaginable way possible, except as candles. They quickly became my son’s favorite toys.
Later, as I thought more about those candles, I began to see the parallel between them and myself.
I paid an exorbitant price for those little candles, yet it was nothing compared to the unconscionable price Christ paid for me. He left His heavenly throne to come to Earth as a baby – complete with dirty diapers and runny noses. He endured the bruises of boyhood, the awkwardness of adolescence, and the accountabilities of adulthood, all to eventually die a grueling death for a crime he did not commit. And he did it all to purchase eternity for me.
I’d like to say that I was worth that price. I’d like to say that, but the truth is I too often place myself in the back corner of the toy box – too busy, too lazy, too selfish to find time to spend with Him, not to mention actually be used by him.
Today, Ethan has moved on to newer, more exciting toys, but I have not. Those six tiny fruits that cost me a whopping $23 now hold a special place on my nightstand, next to my Bible. Each time I see them I’m reminded of the price Christ paid for me, and I pray that I will allow Him to find at least 101 uses for His purchase.
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