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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Winter (11/14/05)

TITLE: I Want To Go Home
By Suzanne R


I huddle into the moulded plastic seat of the 901 bus as it trundles towards the city. It is early. It is cold. My shoulders are hunched over, my hands have disappeared into my sleeves, my legs jog up and down trying to generate a little heat and also keep my shoes of the bus floor through which the cold forces itself like an advancing army. Outwardly, I quietly maintain a pitiful composure. Inwardly I scream in frustration.

I want to go home!

Were I a child, I'd stamp my feet, scream, kick, sob and generally create havoc until somebody took me home.

But I'm all grown up. I've things to do.

My bones hurt ... my teeth ache ... my cheeks sting ... my ears feel like they're going to fall off ... my nose, throat and lungs burn as if I've inhaled dry ice.

I look out of the bus window. Perhaps the cold has numbed my appreciation of beauty. Perhaps there truly is no beauty to be enjoyed on this cold winter morning. Over there are the grey-brown matchsticks of what was once a fruitful orchard. Here by this grey road is the brown grass that was once green and will soon be no more. By the empty brown field there are some brown greenhouses, made of clay and rolls of matted brown sticks - greenhouses that are anything but green. Even the air is grey. The sun struggles to penetrate the fine coal dust which belches out of the chimney stacks of every neighbourhood furnace.

I want to go home. I want to crawl under the covers and defrost. I want to stay there until spring.

But I'm all grown up. I've things to do.

There are flecks of colour in this environment, yet even they are grey-brown. The red plastic bags littering the landscape are dusty. The yellow trucks belching their exhaust into the grey air are dusty. The blue roofs of the bus shelters under which people clad in dirty khaki coats huddle are dusty. Every pore of my skin is clogged with dust. Iím sure my heart is dusty too.

I want to go home. I want to stand under a steaming hot shower. I want to wash the dust out of my hair, ears, nose and mouth. I want to put on clean and colourful clothes.

But I'm all grown up. I've things to do.

My body is stuck on this slow frigid bus, but I force my mind to leave the pity party in which Iím indulging. In my imagination, I escape to where my soul longs to be.

Heaven is light, bright and sparkling clean. The light doesn't need to penetrate anything because the air is clean. Heaven is lit by the awesome origin of light itself. The streets are golden, the gates are pearly, the river clear as crystal, the trees laden with colourful and good fruit, as well as deep green leaves which are said to contain healing for the nations.

Thoughts of heaven defrost my frozen heart. But not my body.

I don't belong here. Oh God, I just want to go home!

But I'm all grown up. I've things to do.

The bus finally arrives and I join the shivering throng in the city. Peeling away from the masses, I enter a tall building and take the rickety elevator to the 16th floor.

Relief from the cold washes over me as I enter the heated office and enjoy a tiny taste of heaven. Gathered together with brothers and sisters in Christ, we pray together and study the vital topic of Ďdiscipleshipí. Iím reminded of the importance of prayer, Bible study and sacrificial living.

God has prepared good works for those who are His. We have important tasks to accomplish in this dismal barren environment. We've lives to touch, people to take by the chapped dry red hands. Souls to lead home.

One day, we'll go home. We'll be given new bodies, new clothes, and they'll be lightweight! It will be warm! We'll dance and sing for joy. That is where we belong.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. I want to go home. Now.

But Iím all grown up. Iíve things to do. Grant me the ability to keep my focus clear, Father. Bless these feeble efforts until the day I meet you face to face.

Until the day I finally go home.

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This article has been read 1359 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W11/21/05
This is very well done. The pace and flow kept me reading. The last third changed a little too much and I had to reread, but good job nonetheless.
terri tiffany11/23/05
This was great! At first I thought he wanted to go home as in his house..then I got it and it was very powerful the way to wrapped it together.
B Brenton11/24/05
I LOOOOVE the way you kept restating "but I'm all grown up, I've things to do..."
You have flair, you flow...
and you know it!
Hmmm... I'd love to read your journal someday if you write this well about day to day life.
Sandra Petersen 11/24/05
I, too, think the repeated phrase, "I want to go home" creates a longing in the soul of the reader. The first paragraph sets up the scene very well. Oh, I loved this! It was a pleasure to read this aloud to my family. My husband commented that this sounded like a poem, and I agree; the words are so well-chosen. As far as favorite phrases, where would I begin? I especially thought effective the paragraphs about the dusty surroundings, the dusty heart, and the longing to be clean. The phrase "But I'm all grown up, I've things to do." is a bittersweet phrase that really sets the tone. Thank you for sharing!
Julianne Jones11/25/05
Well done! The repetitive phrases as well as the repetitive use of key words in some paragrpahs (e.g. the dust one) were particularly effective. I was a little surprised by the heavenly image but you tied this in well at the end. Good on you!
Denise Stanford11/25/05
I think we all have times in adult life when we want to be child again and let someone else take the pain! You capture that really well with the gritty reality...problem is your piece had to end somewhere/ somehow and I think you did really well.
Can you imagine how Jesus felt during His time among us? You stir thoughts such as this well done
Judy Hollins11/25/05
"Iím reminded of the importance of prayer, Bible study and sacrificial living".
What a good reminder to us all! This hit me particularly. Excellent spin on 'home', and excellent description, as always! Well done Suzanne.
Pat Guy 11/25/05
'Come quickly, Lord Jesus. I want to go home. Now.' (Amen! :) ) 'But I'm all grown up. I've things to do.' (bummer! :) ) Remember dear friend, behind all the gray and cold winter clouds - the Sun IS shining... waiting, working It's way through. I ab-so-lute-ly loved this! It's beautiful and I can just picture every word. Wow!Wish you could hop on over to Florida! I'd love to share my sunshine with you! Love, Pat
Laurie Glass 11/25/05
Your words paint pictures in this piece. Well done.
Marilyn Schnepp 11/25/05
No name on this story, but everybody calls you by name,,Suzanne. ???
Anyway, this is a Winner! It is true! WE have Things to do! Remember the harvest? And not enough workers to harvest? That story Jesus told? Yes, it was a masterful story! Just brilliant! Thank you.
Shari Armstrong 11/26/05
Very very well done!
Jan Ackerson 11/26/05
This is my absolute favorite. Thank you so much!
Debbie Sickler11/28/05
You reminded me of myself getting out of bed to get my son off to school each cold morning. I just want to stay under the covers, but I'm a grown up and have things to do too! The repeating lines made this flow like poetry. It was fun to read after reading your post about where you got your inspiration from. ;) Great job on a wonderful entry.
Val Clark11/28/05
Despite the dust :-) a very clean piece of writing. I particularly like the way you communicate the longing of your heart for something that you can't have yet and then find 'heaven on earth' in your midst.