Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)
TITLE: April's Canopy
By Joyce Poet
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April picked up the country-blue painted, wooden heart from the thrift store shelf. She read "Home is where the heart is."
"And where might that be?" She wondered.
Throughout her lifetime, she believed that a roof made a house, but that the heart made the home. But the situation she'd found herself in of late made it obvious that the heart might not keep the rain off of her body.
She believed there was enough assistance and care in the world that homeless people remained homeless because they had no knowledge of where to find that assistance, because they didn't look hard enough for it, or because they were too proud to accept it, but that no person truly had to be without a home. Never had it dawned on her that there just isn't enough assistance to go around. Until she found herself in need, that is, and with the assistance she believed was out there unavailable to her.
"Is this Your way, God, of teaching me compassion for them? Must I wear their shoes? Surely, surely You will provide a home for me, my Provider, out of Your riches." She battled between faith in God's promises and fear of an unknown future.
Oh, she had an option; She could store her material things. (That was no heart-issue to her, as she never was one to cling too tightly to material things.) And then, she could move far from everything and everyone she loved. But she'd moved so many times in her youth and often felt rootless as a result. That door was opened to her, but it was not one she truly wanted to walk through.
Her immediate future yet uncertain, April let her tears fall freely. "Wherever You send me, Lord, touch, strengthen, and secure my heart -- Your home. Keep it near and dear to You. Then, Lord, I know that my home, wherever it may be, will remain comforted under the shelter of Your love. Please," she cried desperately, "please, draw nearer to me."
Home -- It is where the heart is. But the heart isn't necessarily where the roof is. Perhaps the lesson April really needed to learn had little to do with compassion.
Isaiah 4:5-6 (NIV) Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.
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