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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Predicament (03/01/12)

TITLE: The Lumpy Rug
By Kathy Stevens


Have you ever had a lumpy rug in your house? It is one that looks beautiful, but if you’re not careful, when you step a certain way, it could trip you.

On the outside, your house looks wonderful. The yard is manicured, and the house is always kept fresh.

Actually, everything is great, until . . . .


Our lives are that way. I know a woman who represents the house and rug. She is a beautiful woman whose hair is always just right, her nails are maintained perfectly, and she wears the latest fashions. Seeing her, anyone would think her life is perfect.

But she has a secret. It is a secret because it cannot be seen from the outside. She has a lumpy rug. Whenever she does something wrong, whether someone else knows about it or not, guilt is always standing by to accuse her. It is ugly and she cannot have it in her otherwise beautifully ordered home, so she sweeps it under the rug.

“There, now I can’t see it anymore. Everything is flawless again.”

A little later, she has another contribution to the secret hiding place. Over and over she hides bits and pieces of pain one day, guilt another day, followed by anger, rejection, and offense. She sweeps them under the rug here and there until one day a very important guest comes to visit.

“Oh, my, I don’t have time to clean out from under the rug. Maybe he won’t notice. I hope he doesn’t, because I really want to impress him. There’s the door-bell.”

“Please come in, I’m so happy to see you. Have a seat; I’ll prepare some refreshments for us.”

She turns and dashes into the kitchen where she retrieves a scrumptious looking dish of sweets. She is so excited and happy to be able to entertain her guest. As she steps back into the living room, one of the lumps catches her foot and she falls on her face with cakes, cookies and little sandwiches sprawled all over the floor.

She is so embarrassed she wishes she could crawl under the rug with the lumps.

“After all, that’s where I belong, with the lumps.”

A gracious hand reaches down and helps her to stand again. The guest then begins to help her to clean up the mess.

“It was the lumps under the rug that tripped me. I’m so sorry, can you ever forgive me?”

“That’s what I do best. I can also help you to clean the rubbish out from under the rug. You’re not hiding anything anyway; anyone can easily see the lumps. It’s also dangerous for those who may come into your house, because everything we do affects many others.”

“But . . . I intended to do right things, to take care of the problems, but I kept putting it off because wanted to have fun first, and I didn’t think about it affecting anyone else. How . . . how do I begin to clean up this mess?”

With his big, gentle hand, the guest wipes the tears from her eyes.

“Now, let’s pull back the rug, and you can show me each mound. I’ll clean them up for you.”

Pointing to an especially large mound he says, “Will you give that pile to me? It’s a big, ugly unforgiveness mass. Will you forgive that person?”

As the painful situation floods back into her memory, her perfectly manicured hand flies to her face to hide her pain. Her eyes close tightly as she reels in agony.

“But . . . but you don’t know what he did to me.”

“Yes, I do, and I can clean up that area if you will let me.”

“All . . . all right, I'll give it to you if I don’t have to do the cleaning.”

“Just give it to me, I’ll do the rest.”

“But . . . but they’re my messes to clean up.”

“They’re not yours if you've given them to me, and I know how to make your whole rug beautiful again. You go now, and point out another lump to give to me, and don’t get yourself into this predicament again.”

She looks into the soft eyes of this wonderful guest.

“Who are you -- really?”

“I Am Love.”


Do you have any lumps under your rug?

Hello . . . hello? Hmm . . . .

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This article has been read 460 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/08/12
Wow this is intense. I felt myself trembling as I read it. It reminded me of the song "Killing Me Softly" I felt like you were looking right into me and telling the whole world my secrets.

My only red ink is I think it would have been a much stronger ending had you left the last line off. The readers you are meant to touch will get it so clearly and in neon signs they don't need that question. Those who do won't seem themselves in the answer.

This is an outstanding piece and so spot on for the topic. I can't even begin to tell you the impact it has on me. Thank you
C D Swanson 03/08/12
Wow - This was overwhelmingly powerful and left me breathless.

This was so clever and so wonderful. Thank you. Amazing job with this.

I know this will earn a win or an EC for sure.

God Bless~
Hiram Claudio03/09/12
Great story ... it had a haunting feel to it as it turned from reading someone else's account to, at the end, being asked about my lumps. Very pointed and well written.
Amanda Brogan03/12/12
An inspiring story that shows us the importance of handing our messes over to God ... no matter how big they are or how long we've hidden them. Nice job!
Leola Ogle 03/13/12
A powerfully written story, one that causes the reader to ponder and reflect. Very moving. Thanks for sharing. God bless!
Edmond Ng 03/13/12
I like allegories. They get the message through better than direct approach. This piece speaks to the heart. Nicely written.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/15/12
Congratulations for placing 13th in level 3!