Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)
TITLE: The Pride of a Father
By Joanne Malley
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According to a popular claim, if you’re ruled by estrogen and plagued with the horrors of endless primping, shopping or delegating, you’re female and we have the same best friend.
The great thing is, although this friend hangs around our necks, graces our wrists or chokes our ring fingers, she hasn’t a clue about the risks female friends really pose. Knowing that, I’m secure she won’t try to steal my man. Thankfully, she won’t blab about the bad traits my family swears I possess, either.
Please…as if they know me well enough to make such false claims.
Anyway, I’ve been blessed with best friends of the sparkling, diamond sort, but the shimmer doesn’t thrill me and sparkle doesn’t woo me. It’s the clarity they provide that clinches it for me.
Encrusted in a special cross that my husband gave me as a gift, my best friends try to take center stage amidst the antique design of my treasured crucifix. They proudly light up a room, but it’s the cross and what it symbolizes that should command the attention.
Unfortunately, the green-eyed monster rears his wretched head and smirks when I clasp my necklace around my neck. He surmises I’m aware that I pale in comparison to the brilliance of my cross. But, I refuse to acknowledge that fact in his presence. My estrogen side rules my pride, you know.
Every time my cross gently rests on my chest, I see a symbol that means my true treasured friend is always available. Wearing it is symbolic of who I am in Him, but it also presents the scary thought that the chasm between good and evil is way too thin for this girl who would appreciate a wider margin.
Unlike the beautiful cross I own, I’m still an unfinished product. I feel like a rough draft on the Architect’s drawing table and dislike being so vulnerable.
In disobedience, I attempt to readjust some things as I approach completion. With my big mouth, I object to His plan for me and rattle off a list of sorry reasons why the preliminary sketch seems a tad bit skewed. At that precise moment, I finally understand the true meaning of the phrase, “If looks could kill.” The loud chatter of my teeth could be heard in monumental echoes and in a state of obedience, I commenced being a diamond in the rough for my Master without further resistance. When the echoes diminished, I wondered when my Daddy would be thoroughly proud of me.
In prior attempts to follow His plan of refinement, I’d like to share that I’ve been known to leap that chasm to the other side one too many times.
But each time, my devoted, diligent Architect plops me back on the table, waves an authoritive finger at me and reminds me He’s not done with me yet. When that happens, I feel like a three-year-old who’s been slapped on the bottom for bad behavior. But, my Father knows what He’s doing and lovingly places me in time-out until I agree to retract my tongue for good.
I’ve learned that a bad attitude is not the way to get on His good side. The proof is on my backside and my behavior is often not what sparks the pride of a Father.
Even though I need to be reprimanded now and again, clarity of who He is and who I’m to be is becoming as clear as still, refreshing water. My desire for what I think I need or who I think I should be is reduced with every polishing His soft hand delivers to my being.
I may currently be like a diamond in the rough, but can you just imagine the day when the sparkle of my cross necklace takes second place to God’s finished work in me? Can you envision His pride when I wear it with a full and complete sense of indescribable gratitude for His endless devotion to me?
Well…although this procedure is getting stale and painfully monotonous, back on the table I go.
In the meantime, every time I wear my cross, I’ll be reminded that His hand is busy polishing me until I possess enough of His clarity and brilliance to be the very thing that lights up a room. At that precise moment, I’ll no longer wonder when my Daddy will be thoroughly proud of me.
And that, my dear friends, is when the pride of a Father is born.
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