Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: I SURRENDER ALL (to God) (don’t write about the song) (05/07/15)
- TITLE: With Open Hands
By Ruthanna Scott
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Noreen knew it was only a flower, but from that one promising bud had awakened in her hopes and dreams she had long struggled to “lay down on the altar”, in a manner of speaking.
“Lord, what did he mean by giving this to me?” Noreen cried out silently. “Could he possibly have feelings for me? Surely not.” She argued with herself. “I’m nobody. But maybe he does. Otherwise why would he have given it to me?”
Her heart began to hope for joys and dreams that she had never dared imagine might be hers.
“Could someone like him possibly care for someone like me, so quiet and shy? Someone as plain as I am? Whatever could he see in me to find desirable?”
Hoping, but afraid to presume, she watched and waited.
Despite her resolve to hold the cherished gift with an open hand in case God should deem fit that it wasn’t to be hers, the fingers of her heart gradually closed around it.
So caught up with the fragrance of the bud, Noreen never even felt the prick of thorns.
Then suddenly the flower was gone, wrenched from her heart! The thorns ripped it open leaving it raw and bleeding profusely.
“I knew better.” Noreen thought numbly. “What fantasy to think I could grasp a thorny rose so tightly without getting gouged and torn apart by reality’s unforgiving claim?”
Slowly her cynicism faded leaving only tears, faded dreams and crushed hope.
After much hurt, struggle, disappointment and fear, Noreen’s heart finally fled to a most secure refuge and resting place in the midst of the ruins and pain. It was in the heart of her Friend who said, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3, KJV)
And her heart slowly opened its tentacles that had wrapped around the rose and looked to a higher love that brought healing.
One morning, standing in the sunlight of an early dawn, Noreen flung her arms wide open toward heaven as an outward expression of her inner state. Open, yielded, tender, gratefully submissive to whatever her loving Heavenly Father might give or take. Moldable, useable, hopeful.
And wouldn’t you know? In that instant, a nail-scarred Hand reached down and gently placed into her open hands the most delicately beautiful, fragrant, smooth stemmed blossom she had ever seen or heard of. Divine Love out shined all of her dashed dreams and brought a deeper joy and a brighter hope that she would never have believed could flow within her.
Whether or not He ever brought to her the realization of the dreams and hopes awakened in her by the thorny rose it cannot be said.
What is certain is that Noreen was washed in waves of comfort, joy, peace and hope that welled from the overwhelming Presence of Him whose name is Unfailing Love.
Overflowing with awe, Noreen smiled upward and whispered, “Father, I give all my hopes and dreams into Your unconditionally loving heart and will go forth receiving and holding all of Your gifts with an open heart, not grasping with a tightly closed fist. Surely this is the pathway to finding true beauty in life even in the midst of pain!”
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