Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Craft (as in handcraft) (02/08/07)
TITLE: Handcrafted the Perfect Job
By Michelle Burkhardt
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Draped over the rustic, burgundy door was the sign, “Flowers and Craft Collections.” Samantha stood frozen in time as if the door would open itself. “Why am I standing here like a frightened school girl?” wondered Samantha. “Just push it open, go inside and show your stuff.” Samantha slowly walked in carrying a large cardboard box. The handcrafted items were not just for gifts; for Samantha, these items were her livelihood.
Last year, after Jack, her husband, had left her and their daughter, Amber, Samantha knew she had to find a way to support them both. The only problem was that Samantha had married Jack right out of high school and her skills were limited. She was a housewife, mother, and now she needed to also be a provider. So, Samantha did the only thing that she knew how to do. She was skilled with her hands making baskets, wreaths, ornaments, jewelry and wall hangings. Ever since she had been a little girl, Samantha had enjoyed painting, pasting, and designing. All her girlfriends wanted her to make them bracelets, anklets and hair ties. Samantha knew that her talent was a gift from God and to show Him glory all of her materials had somewhere painted, carved, stenciled, or glued onto them a tiny fish, symbolizing Christ. Now, these objects were her sole source of income. At first she sold them during yard sales that she held outside her home, then at church functions, to friends, family, and at the local flea market.
The ad in the newspaper had read, “Wanted F/T Craft Designer.” Samantha couldn’t believe her eyes. She had been praying her heart out, almost crying, to the Lord to help her. Many nights she sobbed into her pillow wondering how this could have happened. The gentle answer that came before the sun dawned the horizon was always the same, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) Placing the paper down, Samantha had practically tripped over the cat trying to get to the phone. Her fingers were shaking when she dialed the number to set-up an interview. She had gathered all her best things and even included some sketches of other design ideas. This job would supply the income, and more importantly, the confidence that Samantha so desperately needed. Amber had helped her pack the box that morning by carefully wrapping the crafts in tissue paper and placing them inside with such love and delicacy. Whispering softly, Amber had told her, “Mommy, don’t worry they will love you and hire you the minute they see you.” For Samantha and Amber, “Flowers and Craft Collections” could, hopefully, be the beginning of a dream come true.
Standing behind the register was Mary, the woman, with whom Samantha had made the appointment. Mustering the biggest smile she could, Samantha placed the box down and reached out for Mary’s hand. The interview lasted about 45 minutes and as Mary walked Samantha now empty handed, to the door, she assured Samantha that she would be hearing from her soon. Mary indicated that she had a few more applicants and that it would take her a little bit of time to exam the fantastically, handcrafted items.
Every time the phone rang, Samantha wasn’t sure if her heart jumped higher than Ambers. The anxiety she felt while awaiting the decision was torturous. But finally, 10 days after the interview…Brring…Brring…the phone call she had been waiting for came. As Samantha reached for the handset, she prayed a quick prayer, “Dear Lord, please…please…please… let this job be Your will.” Mary offered her the position of Craft Designer and asked if she would be able to start immediately. Samantha could hardly believe her ears, she was going to work! After practically choking out the word, “Yes!” she thanked Mary for this incredible opportunity. Once Samantha hung up the phone, she hugged Amber with all her might and gave thanks to the Lord Almighty for crafting the perfect job!
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