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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: One Deliberate Love
By Donna Surgenor Reames


A large, ornately framed oil painting hangs prominently over the piano in my living room. Every time I see it I think of what it represents to me: it speaks to me, without a single word, about one man, with one purpose in this life. His purpose was to love me with total abandon, unconditionally and with all-his-heart fervor. I look at the painting sometimes and feel the breath catch in my throat. Because of him, because of this one deliberate love, my whole life has purpose.

I'm sure you know by now who is in the painting. It is a heartbreaking picture of Jesus, knelt on a rough, cobblestone-hewn street, with his cross heavy on his bruised, bleeding shoulders. His head is bent, his long hair falling in a curtain, hiding his eyes. He fulfilled his purpose on the day he carried that cross...and on the day he rose again, he gave purpose to me, yet unborn, yet unliving.

That purpose is to honor him in everything I say and do.

A year or so ago, when I was recovering from brain surgery, I was reeling in and out of consciousness from the morphine I was being given for pain. At one point, I heard my mother say, "At least she had children." For years that was my purpose in life: to be a mother. I couldn't speak to my mother at that moment but something rose up inside me as I heard her words. "Don't let me die, Lord," I was thinking dully, "till I can tell Mama my real purpose in life."

You see, until the night before brain surgery, I wasn't exactly sure what my truest purpose was. I was meant to be a mama, for sure. I was a nurse and a writer. On that night, I closed my eyes and realized that, if I didn't wake up after surgery, it wouldn't really matter about any of those things, as precious and important as they all are.

If I died, it wouldn't matter how great a mom I'd been, how capable a nurse, how prolific a writer. People would remember me for a brief moment and my children would think of me from time to time as they grew into lives of their own. But what would matter, what would really count, was if I had honored my Lord IN those things I was so busy doing.

I realized that cooking and cleaning and giving meds and charting and writing essays and stories were all vital parts of making me into who I am. But in those things, and in all things I say, do, think or feel, it is most important that Jesus is glorified through me.

They found another tumor a month ago and I will find out in eight days whether I will need surgery, chemotherapy, or nothing (this is what my church and I are believing for). One thing is for certain, this time around: I know what my purpose is in this life, and I have tried, to the best of my ability over the last 15 months, to live out that purpose every single day.

To love deliberately, the way he loves me, and to honor his name in all I say and do.

Alleluia. Amen.

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Member Comments
Member Date
david grant06/02/06
Right on the mark. You hit the theme perfectly with this story. Thanks for writing it!
Kate Wells06/02/06
Poignant, beautiful, stirring.
Sharlyn Guthrie06/02/06
Wow! Your words are so true, and you are a living example! Great job!