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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)

TITLE: Tellurium Meltdown
By Glenn A. Hascall
11/10/04

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September 12, 1887 - Telluride, Colorado

William Smithson was on his way to Pendel’s General Store. He had staked his claim on a potential mine. He hoped it had enough gold to make surviving a Colorado winter worthwhile.

John Pendel stepped up to the counter at the sound of the bell, “How can I help ya?”

“Just needing an outfit for a mine I laid claim to this morning,” William beamed.

John grunted and pointed to a corner filled with spades, pick axes and other assorted essentials for mining. He’s seen men come and go so he tried not to get too personal with the revolving-door miners.

“I hear they’re doing some good in the mountain hereabouts,” William attempted to strike up conversation.

“Suppose so,” John countered. “Snow’ll be comin’ soon, might want to build a shanty ‘fore ya fancy yourself a gopher.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Will replied in confusion.

John’s prediction came true and Will’s small clapboard shack barely held in heat and did little to keep the cold out, but he persevered. He mined as best he could and found just enough gold to barely keep him fed.

“I’m hungry for a strike,” he told John one morning in exasperation.

“Oh, well you’re in good company Mr. Smithson,” came the store keeps response.

“This is not what I expected.”

John brought over a coffee cup and filled it for the green horn. “It never is. You scramble for the easy payoff and it just don’t come. You hunger after the mother lode and she lurks just a bit further back in the cave.”

“Why don’t you take up mining, John?”

He chuckled, “‘Cause I want to make money. I keep the miner’s supplied while they go chasing their dreams. I stay inside with a pot bellied stove and a full till. I’m not gonna tramp around dark caves in cold mountains wonderin’ if I’m gonna make it through the day. No sir.”

Will remained thoughtful, “Say, John. I noticed a heap of gold stones outside. If that’s gold why don’t nobody make off with it?”

“Probably ‘cause most people round these parts know that there is Telluride Ore. Now, it’s got gold in it, but nobody’s figured out a way to separate the gold from the tellurium. So they bring it to me and I throw it out back ‘cause they don’t want it and I can’t use it,” the store owner replied.

“Well, best be going,” Will said as he grasped the fabric sack of staples and reached for the door. “Say John, I think I noticed a few chunks of coal in that mess, can I take them.”

“Suit yourself,” John replied absently as he worked through the days receipts.

The stove blazed brightly that night as Will slept. The next morning the fire had already burned out. He shoveled some residue away but was met by an peculiar site. It was startling enough that he had to raise his lamp to look. The bottom of his stove was literally covered in gold. What he had presumed was a handful of coal was actually Telluride Ore. The fire burned off the tellurium leaving behind purified gold.

Within three years a gold boom aided by the accidental discovery of the refining procedure of tellurium laced gold helped establish the resort community of Telluride, Colorado.

While the names and specifics of the above have been altered for dramatic purposes, there is truth to be found in Telluride.

Most of us will agree that we’ve faced our own share of hunger for things just out of reach. What’s offered seems much less than we wanted. We scramble for more and find the life we’re chasing is slipping further from view.

Some of us feel like Telluride Ore tossed by the wayside because no one in their right mind would consider us valuable. We convince ourselves that we are second class. Yet just like that ore, if you’ve believed in Jesus Christ, you have gold inside. The real McCoy has been there all along. Now God might have to apply some heat to bring that gold out, but the hunger that’s been raging deep within will only be satisfied in the refiner’s fire of God’s love.

“…I will melt you down and skim off your slag. I will remove all your impurities…” (Isaiah 1:25 - NLT)

When gold is purified it becomes almost mirror-like in quality. Have you been through the fire? Who does your life reflect?


Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker11/15/04
Once again the master has been here! Excellent analogy Glenn! Loved it!
Mitzi Busby11/15/04
Glen, Super writing. Enjoyed the reminder.
Kathy Cartee11/15/04
Wonderful story telling and a reminder that God is still working on us.
KAREN FASIG11/15/04
The master indeed! Great story Glenn.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/15/04
A fascinating slice of history served up well, with great spiritual application. You should proofread again,however, as there are several errors in mechanics. Relating this story how God blesses through "accidental" discoveries is pure seed for encouragement--thanks.
Glenn A. Hascall11/15/04
Lois,

This is one of the few submissions I didn't wait a manditory 24 hours for review and I am lamenting that fact :-)

I noticed the day after I sent it that I had fixables that were unfixed. Sorry. -- Glenn
DeAnna Brooks11/15/04
Wonderful read from start to finish. I was especially struck by the line, "Some of us feel like Telluride Ore tossed by the wayside because no one in their right mind would consider us valuable." I think that describes most of us in our hidden heart. But God, He sees that treasure, redeems it at great cost to Himself. To be loved like that...truly....fills our deepest hngers.
Lisa Beaman11/15/04
Can I just say "Wow"! I really liked this! I love history & I also was so captivated by the story that I didn't catch any errors. (I'm also a horrible proofreader) There was a lot to this & I loved it all!
Lisa:)
Deborah Anderson11/15/04
Excellent story Glenn. You had a few boo boo's huh? Guess what...I saw the gold. God bless you.
Tesiri Moweta11/18/04
Will anyone see anything less than the angel in the stone like Michealangelo after reading this piece?
I don't think so.
You really touched my heart! God bless you.
Keep winning and shining for Jesus.
Melanie Kerr 11/19/04
That really held my attention! It was very well written and had an excellent truth. It could also fit in with the next challenge on rejection!
Debbie OConnor11/19/04
Just awesome. I loved everything -- the realistic dialogue, the historical story and especially the message. That fire sure does feel hot though! :)
Linda Germain 11/21/04
Glenn, Going past the obvious 'gold' of this piece, there is merit in the 'coal' as well. You never know when a reader is suffering a cold snap, a freezing wind cutting to the bone and to the heart. A little reminder of the business of fire is a good thing. Your God- given words have spread some needed warmth to melt dabs of frost that become tiny icicles before they bloom into big icebergs! You have my vote. ~LG~