Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
TITLE: Corny Sins
By Helen Dowd
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The Sunday school verse, and be sure your sins will find you out, doesn’t mean much to a little girl, unless she learns by experience, the meaning.
“Be sure your sin will find you out. Be sure your sin will find you out.” Margie chanted the Sunday school verse all the way home. It was her memory verse for next week's Sunday school class. She was always the first one to stand up and say her verse when the teacher asked. But she didn't always know what the verses meant. And she really puzzled over this verse. How can sin find you out? Maybe she would ask her mama to explain it. She wouldn't laugh at her. If she asked her older sisters they might laugh. But the week went by, and Margie forgot all about asking anyone what the verse meant.
"No school today, and a whole day to play," thought Margie the following Saturday. It was May, and the weather was beautiful.
But Margie’s dad had other ideas for this beautiful May Saturday. "Today I want you kids to help me plant the garden," he announced at breakfast.
Margie’s heart sank. Her dad’s idea of "gardening" was a field of potatoes and a field of corn. The potato planting was kind-of fun. With a hoe Dad would chop rows and rows of holes in straight lines, and the kids would follow behind him, dropping three cut potatoes into each hole. But corn planting was another matter. When you are seven you’d much sooner be running wild, exploring empty fields, or climbing trees, than you would be dropping tiny corn kernels into the ground.
Her dad handed her a can containing hundreds of kernels of soaked corn. With her little brother helping, it was Margie’s job to make sure each kernel was dropped into the furrows Dad had already prepared. Drop kernel, cover. Drop kernel, cover. It went on like this for what seemed like an eternity. Would they ever get finished? The day was bright; the field with the waving buttercups and croaking frogs, just beyond the garden patch was beckoning. Wouldn’t it be so much better to be off exploring?
Margie looked at the can, still with about a quarter of the kernels in the bottom. She looked at the prepared cornfield yet to be planted. She looked out beyond the gate at the wild field, begging to be run in. Suddenly she knew what she would do. Dad would never know. Margie grabbed her little brother’s hand and led him behind the garden shed. She dug a hole. She instructed her brother to empty the contents of the tin into the hole. Looking around to make sure no one saw her, she covered the hole up with dirt and weeds and threw away the can. “Now, let’s go play,” she said, taking her five-year-old brother’s hand. Off together they ran into the inviting field.
Margie forgot all about the corn behind the shed. Weeks went by. The potato field, once just mounds of dirt, now had little individual tufts of green coming up in rows. The cornfield looked like one big field of waving grass. Dad didn’t notice that it wasn’t all corn; because grass had sprouted naturally, filling in the corn less part.
One day Margie’s Dad had occasion to go out behind the garden shed. There, staring him in the face was a struggling mass of green shoots, about a foot high.
“Come here, Margie” he said, “I want to show you something.” Margie ran cheerfully up to him. He pointed at the incriminating evidence of Margie’s sin; then, without a further word, he went back to the house. Margie stood staring at the patch of choking corn plants. Now she knew that sin COULD find you out.
To this day, every time Margie sees a field of corn--and she live in corn country--she is reminded of the little girl who once was seven, and learned by experience the meaning of Numbers 32:23: “Be sure your sin will find you out.”
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