Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)
TITLE: Barren Yearnings
By Pamela Kliewer
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Suddenly delight settled on my shoulders like a warm cloak. My spirit filled with a wonder I hadn’t felt in a long time. The door in front of me had a sign on it that said Spending Money in big bold letters.
What a precious treasure. This is what I’ve been looking for. I know it! I turned the doorknob. The door swung open on well-oiled hinges. Wow. A lot of people must’ve found what they were looking for here. My eyes about popped out of my head. What in the world? I had entered… a mall! This was going to be a great day. I could just feel it.
“Step right way this ma’am. We are here to meet your every need and make sure your Spending Money encounter is all you’ve ever hoped for.” I heard a woman say, her voice silky smooth.
Without thinking, I followed the woman into a room filled with more money than I have ever seen in one place. The woman told me I could take as little or as much money as I needed to make sure my experience filled all the barren longings of my heart. I was astounded that she used almost the same words I had been thinking earlier. I let it go, and headed straight for the table of five hundred-dollar bills. I looked them over and finally settled on a stack of ten bills. I figured that would be enough (probably more than enough) to fill my aching heart with joy – the joy that had alluded me for too long now.
I bounced out of that room, ready to spend to my heart’s content. I realized later that I didn’t even thank the woman. I felt a bit uneasy as I started down the wide hallway, wondering which shop I should go in first. I brushed the uneasiness away like a pesky fly, figuring it was just excitement mounting.
A shop caught my eye and I meandered in. No way. How could it be that this shop had all my favorite things in it? From clothes to furniture to knick-knacks to all my most adored foods. I took a cart from those by the door. Before I knew it, my cart was filled to overflowing and I had to grab another cart. The clerk assured me it was okay to leave the full one near the registers. No one would take it he said, as everyone had his or her own yearnings to fill. None were exactly the same. That made sense… I hadn’t felt this happy in a long time. This Spending Money to fill the barren yearnings of my heart was wondrous indeed.
I had such fun going through ‘my mall’ and by the time I was ready to check out, I was heading gleefully for the checkout counter with my fifth cart. I was amazed at how fast that clerk emptied my carts and filled bag after bag of my Spending Money experience. Then came the shocker. My total came to more than twenty-five thousand dollars.
I figured that was no problem. I would just go to the room where I’d gotten the money before and get the rest to cover it. After all, the woman told me I could have whatever I needed to make the most of my encounter.
“I’m sorry ma’am but you took all you needed the first time. We can’t give you any more.” The woman said when I told I needed more money.
I walked away dejected, bereft, a deflated balloon all shriveled up. I didn’t even have the heart to go back and sort through all those carts and pay for what I really wanted. Or should I say, what I thought I had wanted. The warm cloak of delight fell to the ground waiting to alight on some other unsuspecting soul…
With a vice-like grip emptiness held me fast in its talons as I wandered the hallways of life again, looking for something to fill the void…
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