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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Vines (11/21/05)

TITLE: The Peace-Bringer
By Amy Michelle Wiley


Long ago, deep in the jungles of Pasah, an old woman lived. She was a vine-weaver and people came from miles around to purchase her beautiful baskets. They called her Wanga Suru, which is to say, The Wise Vine-Weaver Woman.

Most any day you could find her seated in the shade of the Bengow tree, weaving thin strands of red and tan into baskets. She never had trouble finding a child to hold the ends of the vines as she worked. For you see, Wanga Suru was not just a vine-weaver, she was also a story-teller.

For hours the children of Pasah, and even the adults, would sit and listen to her tales. She told stories of the animals in the forest, people in far off lands, and tales of Pasah. But soon her eyes would stray toward the bush around them--this bush that could hide danger so easily in its shadows… Then her words would turn toward tales of the One it was said would bring peace to Pasah. One who would end the war between Pasah and Xika. End the violence and kidnapping and stealing. End the dominance of the Xika.

“How will this One bring peace, Wanga Suru?” little Bea asked, holding the reddish strands of vine high above her head. “Many have tried to make peace with Xika, but always they betray.”

Wanga Suru did not like to see the anger and worry on the child’s face. It was not right. “It is said that He will show love so strongly that it will spread throughout the land, filling the world with peace.”

One day a stranger came, listening to Wanga Suru as he waited for a basket. “Wise Woman, your tales of this Peace-Bringer are true. Indeed, He has come already!”

This spread quickly, as words of this sort do, and soon there was quite a crowd under the Bengow tree.

“Where is He?”

“When will He come here?”

The stranger settled down. “The Peace-Bringer came to this world many years ago. He was God’s Son, but He came in the form of a man. The people had waited for Him to bring peace, just as you have waited. But when He came they despised Him, hated Him. You see, the Peace-Bringer did not save the people from their enemies.”

The crowd murmured.

“He did something greater by offering them peace within their hearts. Even today He offers a peaceful home in heaven for those who believe.”

Wanga Suru’s heart was not peaceful. It was bitter toward the Xika, bitter even toward herself and her own people, because they did not keep Xika from controlling them. “What must we believe?”

The man looked among the people. “God is holy and perfect. He wishes to give you peace and a home with Him. But He cannot accept anything that is not holy.” The man’s gaze met Wanga Suru’s. “Are you holy, Wise Woman?”

These words crushed Wanga Suru. Of course peace was not something mortals could have. She let the vines fall from her fingers. “No. I am not worthy.”

There was a stunned silence. Was this then, Pasah life? To hate the Xika? To have their children live in fear of being stolen away?

The man continued. “We deserve to live in war. We have done bad, and there is only one thing left for us--bitter, eternal death.”

It was Bea who spoke up. “But you have said the Peace-Bringer still offers peace. What must we do?”

The man smiled. “Yes, little one, you understand. You see, God has great love for us. So He sent His son, the Peace-Bringer, to take that bitter death for us.”

The crowd was silent. Not even the Vine-Weaver’s fingers moved.

“I have told you that the people hated the Peace-Bringer. Indeed, they killed Him in an awful death. But the Peace-Bringer was the Son of God. He rose from the dead--ending death and offering peace! Now you do not have to be bitter. You can believe in God and His Son, and have peace, now in your hearts, and forever in heaven.”

The people chattered. Wanga Suru leaned toward him. “What of the Xika?”

“Perhaps the Xika will receive this peace, also. Or perhaps God will give you the strength to overcome them. Or,” the man looked solemn. “Perhaps He will only give you the strength to trust Him, despite the Xika.”

The man waited. Wanga Suru considered this. “It is enough.” She would have peace.

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This article has been read 1463 times
Member Comments
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Pat Guy 11/28/05
Wow! And wow! This was great from beginning to end. A wonderful and entertaining read!
Lauren Bombardier11/28/05
Debbie Sickler11/29/05
This was really interesting. You placed the reader in the village and I could see the people gathered by the weaving old woman. I loved the name Wanga Suru. Believable and creative names are so hard for me. That one is perfect! Great job for someone suffering from procrastinationitus! ;)
Jesus Puppy 11/29/05
Awesome chills... and well done. With the man knowing God and Also stating thefact the we deserve "bitter, eternal death." but still can seek HIM.. Good job.
Anita Neuman11/30/05
A well-crafted tale. I loved it from beginning to end!
Helga Doermer11/30/05
"The Wise Vine-Weaver Woman." Just with a name a story begins to be woven, a story within a story spun. A nicely woven creation.
Jan Ackerson 12/01/05
I liked this a LOT--it's told in a beautiful voice, and it reads like a legend that is part of this tribe's oral tradition. Gorgeous.

But since you asked, there's only one thing that I wasn't clear on (and it's so minor that it hardly matters)--is this supposed to be some tribe here, on this world, or in some fantasy place? If it's here, perhaps you'd give the tribes more familiar names. If not, give us something else NOT familiar (an odd animal, or a description of the inhabitants' blue skin), so that we know it's fantasy.

But like I said, that's very minor. The message is the same, whatever the setting, and it comes through loud and clear.
Cassie Memmer12/01/05
Very sweet story, clever way to share the gospel! Good job!
Karen Ward12/02/05
Your setting and names are fabulous. I don't know how you come up with them, but it's not the first time I've thought that, so it must be part of your gift! I hate to be unhelpful, but I have no advice for you, I thought it was very clever. :) Karen
Val Clark12/02/05
Loved it! Great POV character. Great sense of place. Very well done. Yeggy
Julianne Jones12/02/05
Ditto to all the above. A wonderful tale told in a very real and nature way. Well done.
Shari Armstrong 12/02/05
A very creative parable style story (a touch of the woman at the well?) An enjoyable read :)
Linda Germain 12/03/05
Nicely done! I loved the exotic names; made it seem like a place that most likely had never heard about Jesus.
Sally Hanan12/03/05
Good story. A few minor grammar slips with sentence length here and there, and being a fan of missionary stories, I find it hard to believe that the man does not a) have a translator and b)was able to tell them the entire gospel story in one sitting without gaining their trust first.
Suzanne R12/06/05
Wow - what a lot you've fitted into 750 words! The setting - the story - the gospel - well done!