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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rejoicing (11/22/04)

TITLE: Paradise Gained
By Karri Compton


Dancing barefoot through a soft, grassy field in the afternoon sun? Boring. Peering out the window after a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground? Mundane. Roasting marshmallows with loved ones around a crackling fire? Mediocre. A baby’s smile, the smell of cinnamon, a first kiss, the feel of cat fur, a flawless piano concerto? Dull.

When I first realized God loved me, I could barely breathe. My tears were joyous as I gave my life to my Redeemer. I was ecstatic on the day I married my soul mate. The angels rejoiced along with me as my children became Christians. But nothing can compare to what I am experiencing right now. I have been waiting my whole life for this moment.

It’s all happening so fast, and yet I realize I have all the time I’ll ever need. My senses are at the brink of overload as I revel in each new discovery. The light pervades every millimeter of space so that there is no shadow. Before me is a vast array of vivid colors, textures, and patterns beyond description. Breathing is no longer necessary as my whole being inhales its surroundings. Melodies and harmonies weave into an intricate tapestry of matchless sound. Emotion swells into an intoxicating joy. The flawless beauty of object and creature alike is overwhelming. Everything is so…perfect.

I am truly alive! In total abandonment I run, leap, dance, and fly without fatigue. No more am I captive to the now cast off body of flesh. Authentic freedom and healing can be permanently enjoyed. My fears have shattered like a million shards of broken glass. This is unadulterated bliss magnified infinitely. And yet, I am not fully complete.

There. The One I have been waiting for. Eyes that burn with fire and pool with love illuminate my soul and pierce me to the heart. Finally, I gaze on my Savior's face so radiant, thinking just a glimpse would’ve contented me forever. I prostrate myself before Him in uncontrolled weeping, still thinking I am unworthy. Then He slowly and tenderly lifts me up, bringing me into a breathless embrace, causing my soul to surge in ultimate delight. At last, what I have been longing for is mine for eternity!!!

“Honey, wake up.” A faint but familiar voice invaded my consciousness.

“No, no, let me stay…please…” I struggled to regain the vision which had so captivated me. My imagination was so cruel to have tricked me into believing I was actually there. In heaven. The only consolation I have is that one day it won’t just be a dream, but a reality.

Karri F. Compton

Member Comments
Member Date
Lucian Thompson11/29/04
Wow! You leave me breathless, Karri, with your dream of Heaven and being united with our savior. All I can say is, “come quickly, Lord Jesus.”
Jeremy McNabb11/29/04
Excellent work! You really put your imagination to work! Paradise Gained, what a wonderful thought. You are awesome!
Mitzi Busby11/29/04
Wow, Karri, Super job. Thank you for sharing this.
Kathy Cartee11/30/04
Wow ! Breathless is Right!
Has my vote.
Debbie OConnor11/30/04
Oh so completely and totally awesome. I'll be amazed if anything tops this one! GREAT, GREAT JOB! I am overwhelmed.
Lois Jennison Tribble12/01/04
I loved the opening perspective, Karri. Like an oasis in a desert, this story invites us to stay, drinking in all that lies before us. Thank you for offering this sip of our eternal refreshment!
Diane Johnson12/02/04
Karri, your story touched my heart so much that I wanted to cry. How beautiful. Thank you.
Sandra Clayton12/02/04
"Wow!" is right. This is great. Loved it. Love your first paragraph. And loved your "wake up" ending, after believing your were writing as someone who was really in heaven, sending us back a description of it!