Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Spring (the season)( 07/23/09)
When God Joined Hands With Clorox
By Mariane Holbrook
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The earth just seemed to come alive and all was heaven-blessed.
The crocuses with all their might pushed through the swollen sod;
These harbingers of spring brought “Wake-Up” messages from God.
On such a day as this my sister, Norma, sighed aloud,
“If I could have a green spring dress, I know I’d be so proud.”
My mother overheard her and felt sadness in her heart.
This was the Great Depression; where would she even start?
My dad worked on a railroad, ‘twas a hot, unpleasant place.
To feed his seven children took both stamina and grace.
They’d lost their house and all they owned when things were at their worst
But through it all their faith held firm for they put Jesus first.
So Norma’s words rang o’er and o’er in Mother’s head that day.
Not knowing what else she should do, Mom started in to pray.
“If I could find some fabric, I could use some bleach and dye.
I’d make a dress much finer than a dress that I could buy.”
When Norma was at school one day, Mom hung the laundry out.
She washed more clothes than anyone, of that there was no doubt.
A kindly neighbor spotted her and walked to greet her there.
“I have a dress for you; it’s one I can no longer wear.”
Mother thanked her warmly, held the dress up for review.
Though it was brown and not spring green, my mom’s excitement grew.
When finally the neighbor left, Mom hurried back inside.
Once more it was confirmed to her: Jehovah would provide!
She mixed a cup of Clorox with some water in the sink,
Immersed the dress and prayed to God it somehow wouldn’t shrink.
She didn’t have the nickel she would need to buy the dye;
She only knew God promised that our needs He would supply.
And as she watch the color leave the dress, she was surprised.
For something changed the fabric right before her very eyes.
In all the years she’d sewed, this was a sight she’d never seen:
The bleach had turned the brown dress to a soft and lovely green.
No need to look for pennies now to buy the green Rit Dye.
My mother raised her arms to heaven and thanked her God on High.
She made a dress for Norma, far more lovely than she’d dreamed.
My sister was so pleased she ran all through the house and screamed.
The dress became a witness to God’s never-failing care
When in the Great Depression God brought hope from raw despair.
My sister wore the dress with pride and thanked her Lord above
For such a demonstration of His special kind of love.
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