Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: The Carpenter
By Joanney Uthe
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“I don’t understand. Why are they over there if all they need is over here?” Tommy looked at the hopeless situation. “Did they use up the stuff they need on that cliff? Is that why they need to come over here?”
The Carpenter shook his head with a sad sigh. “There didn’t used to be this divide between us. We used to walk together, talking and enjoying each other’s fellowship. But they chose differently.” The tears in His eyes clouded His voice.
“I … I don’t understand.”
“When I first made two of these wonderful, amazing creatures, we would walk in the garden together. They lived in Paradise. But they chose to disobey Me. They blamed it on each other, on the Enemy; they even blamed Me. Nonetheless, they chose to walk away from what we had.
“This abyss, the walls of these cliffs, is the result of their walking away. I have tried continuously to draw them back, to show them how much I love them, but they continue to walk away, to widen the gap.”
Tommy sat silently, watching the failed attempts to cross the span between the creatures and the Carpenter. They were an ingenious bunch, using every conceivable means to cross. Some tried to long jump, others pole vaulted to their death, hoping to make it to the other cliff. Some worked together to build a bridge, but they had no way to secure it to the other side of the cliff. Others built flying machines that flew partway across before running out of fuel. Turning to the Carpenter, Tommy pointed to a group further away from the cliff. “What about them? They seem to be worse off than the rest. Why aren’t they trying?”
Love filled the Carpenter’s eyes as He explained that those creatures were the ones who didn’t believe there was anything on this side of the cliff. “I have given them all the evidence they need, provided all that they have, and yet they refuse to believe. They continue to walk away, making the chasm bigger.”
Tommy marveled at Carpenter’s compassion for these creatures, yet He left them alone on the other cliff. As if hearing the young boy’s unspoken question, the Carpenter answered.
“I became one of them, and tried to bring them back. Only a few followed. As a result, I have left a bridge between the two cliffs. Most do not see the bridge. Others think it a silly, worthless crutch. They would rather continue to try things their own way.”
The Carpenter took Tommy’s hand, leading him to the edge of the cliff. A small distance from where the creatures were jumping, a humungous log, bigger than the trunk of a Redwood tree, bridged the two cliffs. All of the creatures on the other cliff would have fit on the bridge at the same time. The middle of the bridge had another log sticking up from it and extending deep into the abyss. Staring at the bridge, Tommy realized he was looking at a cross.
Turning his questioning eyes to his companion, Tommy noticed for the first time the scars on the Carpenter’s hands, and was shown the one on His side. Falling to his knees, Tommy wept at the Carpenter’s feet. When he looked back at the lost creatures still trying to cross the chasm on their own, Tommy realized that they were not strange creatures after all. They were people just like him. A vivid memory came to Tommy’s mind as he recognized when he had heard about and crossed the bridge.
“Go,” the Carpenter commanded. “Go and tell the others. Show them the bridge I’ve left for them. They only need to see it and cross it.”
“But… I ….I don’t know how.”
“I am with you always.” The Carpenter’s voice soothed Tommy as he noticed that there were others trying to show the people the bridge. He would join them, as the Carpenter had commanded him.
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