Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer’s Skill/Craft (04/22/10)
TITLE: MASTER CRAFTER
By Barbara Lynn Culler
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The wind-whipped waves ushered in dozens of gritty sand dollars, which I eagerly scooped up. Washing off the sand in the foamy water I was disheartened to discover that the fragile round shells were damaged and not the whole, perfect specimens I had anticipated. Most of the shells were broken; splintered or crushed in the center where the star formation should have been. Many of the sand dollars were severely discolored and others had tar and unknown debris cemented to them, but I continued to collect them as they were pretty in their own special way.
Shortly after that adventure, I was browsing a touristy novelty shop of beach-themed kitsch. Setting down the plastic mermaid–embracing-a-pelican-figurine, my eyes unexpectedly lit upon a display of a small artificial Christmas tree. The green tree was creatively adorned with delicate ornaments fashioned from whitened sand dollars that were bedecked in ribbons, flowers and lace. With an “I can do that!” mind set, I thought how simple they would be for me to make, using the broken shells picked up a few days earlier.
I took the idea home with me and started the process of cleansing the dirty, gray sand dollars by soaking them in bleach. I scrubbed off the tar and other impurities and placed them in the warm sunshine to dry. Eventually, they became a bright white color, free of blemish and ready for enhancement. I filled in the gaps with bits of silk flowers, tiny bows, strawflowers and baby’s breath. They turned out beautiful. Both drastic and simple changes made something unappealing morph into visually engaging objects of art.
As Christians, God is our master crafter in that He takes the rough draft of our broken and ugly soul and deletes impurities by His cleansing blood. His unconditional Love provides the powerful nouns and verbs that fill in the crushed voids. At specific points, God adds formatted flourishes that make each person unique for the final edition
Although the sand dollars I found upon the beach that day were not very attractive, I wanted them; for I knew that they were salvageable. Like the redeemed sand dollars, God has taken his creation from a bland and poorly structured layout to the coherent and trimmed format that binds the Christian into His own image.
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