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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)

TITLE: The spirit of Anna
By Melanie Kerr


The weather forecast had warned of heavy showers. Pellets of warm rain shot from the sky like volley of bullets, splattering the pavement in a staccato of hisses. The nearest refuge was art gallery, parked on the corner of the street. Two concrete columns stood like sentries on either side of a rotating door. A fan blasted out cold air in the entrance porch as I shook my clothes and ran my fingers through damp hair.

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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This article has been read 1874 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jessica Schmit05/12/06
Your writing astounds me. I could imagine everything. The statue was crystal clear in my head. Great job!
Stacey Kitchens05/12/06
Fantastic! Loved your descriptive language.
Purity Snowe05/12/06
Nicely written and described! You are good!
Maxx .05/12/06
Nicely captured sentiments. A fwe typos early that caused me to stumble a bit, but I can relate to the vivid descriptions and the attention to detail. Loved the message.
Sally Hanan05/13/06
Beautifully descriptive writing. The missed words did cause me to stumble reading it, and your second last paragraph changed tenses. Be careful to make sure that you read and reread and reread before submitting so that nothing happens to cause your reader to have to stop and start again, especially on a piece as beautiful as this one.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/14/06
You recreated this statue with words so beautifully. What an image. Great job.
Sandra Petersen 05/15/06
Very good descriptive opening! I could feel the rain. I could also 'see' the statue with the wrinkles carved into the face. When you said your MC reached out and touched the statue's face, I winced. Ordinarily, a museum would have sensors that would bring security to the location. Well done but for the few things that others have mentioned. You have a gift for description.
T. F. Chezum05/15/06
Very descriptive. A good read.
Cassie Memmer05/16/06
I loved your take on Hope. Very creative! You made the images clear to the reader. Great writing!
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/16/06
Beautiful. I liked this!
Val Clark05/16/06
I love it when the arts surprise me and inspire me. You've captured that moment with great skill.
Patricia Charlton05/17/06
Masterful in scope, descriptive in nature and superby written, you have captured the essence of hope. Well done!
Beth Muehlhausen05/22/06
I wish a picture could be attached; I want to see this myself! Well done. Very involving.