Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sewing (02/22/07)
TITLE: Gingham and God
By Debbie Roome
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“I hate Todd Riley! I hate Mam! I hate living in this hick town.” I flounced into Grammy’s cottage in a teenage huff. It was only hours since I’d caught Todd making out with Anita-Sue and minutes since the blazing row with Mam. I knew Todd was a waster. I knew he wasn’t the right one for me. But he had ripped my heart to ribbons, trampled on it and walked away.
Grammy drew me into an embrace, soft with roses, lavender and clean soap. “Mam called. Said she reckoned you’d be over.” She settled me in a kitchen chair and I poured out my pain as she brewed big mugs of hot chocolate and spread blueberry muffins with dollops of cream. Her back was to me and although she was asking questions, I knew she was also praying. Grammy prayed about everything and I always felt safe with her.
At last, my rage was spent and I huddled over my mug, waiting to hear what Grammy would say.
“Do you remember the yellow check dress? The one made of gingham and white daisies?” Of course I remembered. Grammy had sewn it for me and on my seventh birthday, I wore it from sun up till late evening. I probably would have worn it longer but as the sun was melting into inky fields, I slipped near a wooden fence. A rusty nail ripped the fabric and tore my leg into jagged halves. Even through the drama of shots and stitches, my tears had been for one thing. My dress. The next morning, Mam washed and dried it and together we inspected the damage. The nail had ripped the threads and torn a jagged hole the size of three dimes.
“Grammy made this dress.” Mam said. “Let’s see if she can help us.”
Grammy laid the dress on her dark wood, work bench and examined it inside and out. Then taking glinty, sharp, sewing scissors, she carefully began to cut my dress. In childish ignorance, I burst into tears.
“Don’t fret child.” Grammy told me. “I’m going to cut out the damage and sew in a patch to repair it.” She showed me the scraps of left over fabric. Her needle was sharp and swift, in and out, in and out and when she had finished, the dress looked good as new. My friends never noticed the repair and I could only see it if I turned my dress inside out.
Grammy nodded as I recounted the story. “I thought you would remember. Now I want you to look at your heart. Sounds to me like this boy has ripped it up. Torn it and broken it in pieces.” I nodded. “And I think you realise, Todd isn’t a boy of good character. Not the right type for you.” Grammy was astute in her observations and waited for me to fess up. “Now the maker of your heart knows just how to fix it good and proper. There’s stuff brewing in there that’s not good. A little bitterness, some resentment, a whole batch of anger. You and I are going to ask God to cut those things out and patch you up like new.” She reached across the table and grasped my hands. “You do believe He can do that don’t you?” I thought of how Grammy had fixed my dress so perfectly. I thought of God and how much faith Grammy had in Him. I thought of my pain and suddenly I wanted to know more about the maker of my heart.
“Yes, Grammy. I believe he can.” I bowed my head with her as she began to pray.
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