Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: SICK (05/09/19)
- TITLE: A Broken Road
By Vicky Jeter
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Emma spent most of her days cleaning and restoring much of the very damaged furniture. After the soldiers tried to take over her family’s little plantation, most of the furnishings weren’t useable.
Emma caught several birds playing, trying to grab a twig or something from the other. She smiled for the first time in so long. These little birds were happy to play together, helping each other and finding the days food. “Oh, how I wished I could find that kind of happiness.” Emma thought.
Grandma Lydia’s voice came loud and strong, “My dear child never give up in life. The world does indeed have lots of suffering but it is also an opportunity for us to be strong. We must be overcomers!”
Grandma Lydia drew her strength from God himself. She spent every morning with a glass of water, by her side, as she sat in a rocking chair, and the Bible in her lap. Since Grandma became ill and died, Emma, had been drawing strength from that little rocker, too.
As she sat looking out over the wasted garden that Grandma so meticulously cared for, an idea came.
She would open her home, the ten room, empty plantation left after the ravages of war, to those who needed help. Sickness and loss were everywhere. Although her parents did have slaves, Emma never agreed. This home would be for all people, young, old, and it didn’t matter what color the skin was.
She believed that it would be in the shelter of each other’s care that they would all heal.
However, the one requirement she would ask was for each to participate in the garden.
Emma was pleased to see so many come, and make this their home. As each worked in the garden, had a comfortable place to sleep, and food for their stomachs something magical began to happen.
On Saturday afternoons, the garden was full of volunteers, planting seeds and cuttings they brought, while laughter and sharing of stories as they worked was the highlight. As they watched seeds turn to flowers, they felt healing inside. Sickness from loss and disease began to leave their minds and bodies. It was as if a new life, was born, within them.
Emma never realized that opening her home to help her neighbors recover would have the lesser healing power. It was the garden that created new life and new beginnings in everyone.
Sickness and pain were replaced with compassion and understanding. As each shared their stories of grief, faith, anger, love and reasoning, new hope was born. No longer did they feel alone or even singled out to suffer so greatly. It was these shared stories that brought out the range of emotions and humanity in times of crisis.
As the garden changed, some of the flowers faded, others were just beginning their beauty. It inspired us all to believe that whatever illness we had, had its own season. To Emma, she soon realized that it was in the garden that each found new hope as they joined together in the power of community.
Emma sitting on the porch one evening sipping her tea, she felt her grandmother’s joy. “I wonder if Grandma knows how much her little garden has restored the lives of the hopeless?” she said out loud. Then as if her grandmother was talking to her, Emma felt a warm breeze blow the sweet scents of all the flowers combined, in her direction. It was gentle but so fragrant.
Years have passed but the plantation and the beautiful garden that brought a place of refuge and beauty, as well as healing, is still thriving.
And the souls that were healed from the sicknesses all over the land, left their own messages for future generations.
The challenges of life create opportunities to discover things about ourselves that we really never knew we had. In a gentle way God restored everyone who sat by the garden.
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