Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)
TITLE: The spirit of Anna
By Melanie Kerr
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A library silence smothered me as I entered into the room. Muffled whispers mingled with echoing footsteps in the gallery with its lofty ceiling. I accepted a folded sheet of paper from a middle aged woman standing behind a table. It listed all the exhibits in small print, too difficult to decipher without my glasses.
It was a statue of a woman that drew my interest. She stood on a plinth bathed in a spotlight directly overhead. The wood was stained a dark grey, smoky black hue, polished to a soft sheen. The woman was very old. The artist had patiently chiseled a delicate maze of wrinkles in intricate detail around her eyes. She was small, but stout, wearing a cloak about her shoulders that fell to the ground in ripples caught by a breeze. She held a child in her arms, his one small palm lifted upwards, while his other hand grasped the edge of her cloak.
The woman was not looking at the child, but her gaze seemed to be fixed on a something above. The artist had captured a wonderful expression of immense joy. It seemed to radiate from her face and spill out into the room around her.
I reached out to trace a finger along her face. The artist had given her tears tracing a gentle trail down her cheek. It brought to my mind moments in my own life when I had cried tears of joy, just like her, and just for a while I was lost in a maze of memories.
I unfolded the paper in my hand and squinted at the list of exhibits. The name of the artist was unfamiliar. The statue was given the title "Hope Fulfilled" and underneath it there was a Bible reference Luke 2:36-38.
How apt! Who else could it be but Anna the prophetess? I remembered that she was old. She had made the temple her home and worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. The child in her arms is Jesus. No wonder there is such joy on her face. Here is the child she has been waiting for. Through him God will redeem the world.
Just as the artist had captured Anna's attitude of hope fulfilled, something stirred in me. I prayed that the Holy Spirit might carve through my life that same spirit of worship. I asked that I might make God's presence my home and see the hope that He had planted in my heart become a reality.
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