Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: AMAZING (04/19/18)
TITLE: In His Presence
By Dimple Suit
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The seats around her cleared out, scented handkerchiefs held to upturned noses, yet she paid no attention. Lips moving silently, she prayed. Lights dimmed as the row behind her filled in with the Mason’s. She was in their seats, yet they said nothing to her nor joined her.
Soft music began to swell as the worship leader finished the prayer. Attendants moved in to escort the offensive interloper from the aisle. She began to sing, stopping everyone in their tracks. Her voice floated over the congregation, sweet and pure. Eyes closed, swaying gently, her hands raised to praise Jesus. She moved with grace and elegance, singing from her heart.
She knew every song, contemporary or classic mattered not, the words floated from her soul. She touched each person around her with strong and tender notes, on key and in perfect pitch. As the last song in the set started, she smiled through the words.
“I stand amazed in the presence, of Jesus the Nazarene. And wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned, unclean. Singing…”
Suddenly her eyes opened wide, she went very still. A look of wonder filled her face as her gaze fixed. She stopped singing. Reaching out, grasping for unseen hands, she seemed struck by something magnificent only she could see.
“…He took my sin and my sorrow and made them His very own…”
A radiant smile bloomed across her face. The smell of desperation from her moth-eaten coat permeating the air around her morphed into the sweet fragrance of Christ.
“…He bore the burden to Calvary and suffered and died alone…”
Brilliant light shown around her. Glowing, bathing her in cleansing purity. She began singing again.
“…How wonderful, how marvelous is my Savior’s love for me…”
As the song finished, she sank to the chair. A ghost of a smile spread her lips, her head tilted down.
The Monday morning edition of the town paper declared the return of a woman many thought died long ago. Missing for over ten years, Mason heiress, Lady Harmony Grace returned home. Welcomed with open arms, she regaled the family with adventures, keeping her niece and nephews in laughter.
The sheriff’s office and FBI agents questioned her. She told of the kidnapping, her incarceration in a remote mountain cabin, and how she escaped. How courage replaced fear as she followed the stars to find her way back to the little town of Serenity. She expressed gratitude to the investigators letting her know they captured those responsible. Her brother and his wife stayed close to her, loving and offering support.
In an interview for the Sentinel, the reporter asked how she managed to stay focused and moving forward when she was so alone. “I wasn’t alone. He promises to never leave or forsake us. Even in the most painful moments of my time away, I felt His presence.”
“What about your kidnappers? Do you want them punished?”
“They will answer in a court of law for what they did, but I harbor no ill will toward them. I’ve forgiven them and pray for them daily to accept the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.”
At his look of surprise, she smiled. “I know it’s not conventional. Punishment finished on the cross. I chose long ago to be an ambassador for the kingdom of God. That means to be forgiving as I am forgiven, to love as I am loved.”
“You are amazing Lady Harmony!”
“No, I’m just a simple woman loved by an amazing God.”
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