The day was fast approaching. It seemed she had waited forever. How hard she had worked and slaved. Finally! Yes, she had everything she had dreamed of so long ago. But this was even better; to be recognized by the president in front of her peers.
She pictured the dress she would wear and imagined what she would say. She wondered again about the exact day and time. The invitation had been lost. She would confront the mail person again today.
"Mom, guess what? It is finally coming. The day of reckoning for all of my hard work!"
"Honey, I'm glad you called. Your dad is pretty sick again. Can you stop by and take us to the doctor?"
"Um. Well, I'll call you back." As usual they didn't listen. Who could she call? How about Becky, her oldest friend, even if they hadn't been in touch for a long time.
"Hi Becky. I have some news for you!"
"Who is this?" Becky sounded puzzled.
"Becky, it's me, Daisy. My day is finally coming to pass and I just had to tell you. Maybe you can help me with my dress."
"What? What day? I thought you were calling about my mom. Your mom sent the nicest card explaining why they weren't able to be at the funeral. Is your dad ok? Can I help?"
"Oh, I'm not sure. Well, I wanted to tell you about my awards. Imagine! Me, Daisy Perkins! Bye"
She hung up quickly. Didn't anyone care?
Shopping took her mind off of her selfish family and friends. She spent a whole week's wages on a long red dress. She took the time, of course, to find the perfect gold sandals, matching earrings and bracelet, and brand-name clutch purse. This opportunity only came once and she would be ready.
The day came. She spent hours getting ready with her hair and makeup professionally done. The drive up to the mansion had been arduous and difficult even in her luxury sedan.
She ran to the door, afraid she was late. Met by a gatekeeper, he asked for the invitation.
"I am the guest of honor. My invitation was lost. My name is Daisy Perkins." She just knew she would sit in the seat of honor next to the president. How could he pick anyone else?
He looked at the book of names in his hands and perused it carefully.
"I am sorry Ms. Perkins. Your name is not in the book."
"There has to be a mistake. The president is to award me for all of my hard work. I made much money for the company."
She stomped one foot and grabbed the book right out of the surprised gatekeeper's hands.
I insist you get the president immediately. He is saving a seat for me. Everyone will be watching."
Her voice had become a shriek.
There was George, the scrawny little guy from work who was always behind closed doors. He was being escorted into the banquet. And was that Elizabeth, the measly secretary? She always had that sickeningly sweet smile on her face. What in the world was going on here?
The gatekeeper used a phone on the wall behind him, whispering to someone on the other end.
"Yes sir, are you sure sir? You don't know her? Thank you sir. Oh yes sir, I know your heart is breaking."
Two strong visions, (she couldn't say they were men) came to meet her. They wrapped what seemed to be wings around her and whisked her back down to the valley.
She stumbled in her gold sandals, one sliding right off her foot. The red dress tore at the hem and dragged through the mud. Her bracelet seemed to be losing its lustre. Lost and bewildered, cold and frighteened, she gazed back up the hill and saw a great glow. She felt as if she would never be warm again.
"All of man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart."
Proverbs 21:2 (NIV)
"But many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first."
Matthew 19:30 (NIV)
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