Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Checkout (06/09/11)
TITLE: The Treasure
By Linda Goergen
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She could not face another Saturday of boys, sports and smelly laundry. Today she would rebel. She opened the hall closet, slamming the basket of dirty socks and underwear inside!
Her husband Joe, and the Sunday school boys he spent time with every Saturday, looked at her strangely as she walked past them announcing they would be on their own today. She didn’t care!
“Sally, honey, what’s up”
“Nothing Joe...really NOTHING...I’ll see you before supper.” And with that she left.
She was near tears as she pulled out. NOTHING indeed, she thought. Married less than two years and it felt romance had slowly leaked out, drip by drip, like that water-cooler line at work no one noticed, until it ruined the floor.
Sally drove aimlessly before stopping to fill the tank. She recalled a lecture from Joe about purposeless driving wasting fuel but today she cared less!
PURPOSELESS is just what her life had come to feel like, she thought, scarcely smothering anger as she walked toward the station checkout. What happened to those dreams she thought God was fulfilling when He brought Joe into her life. Joe seemed to have more time for everything else than her now! She was tired of a circle of chores at work and home. The fantasies and dreams that had been the staples of Sally's college journal, now hung like a limp string, separated from a helium balloon.
Sally, headed out again, thinking today, she would feel like the balloon! She would drive aimless and free! She lowered the window and let the wind blow through her hair.
That was a mistake. Memories blew in with the wind, memories of meeting Joe. Of him suddenly being there, helping rescue the umbrella and books she’d dropped. She could still remember how startlingly captivating she thought his blond curls looked, dancing against the dark sky. She’d fallen for Joe in that moment.
But she wasn’t in a LOVING mood today and brushed those memories aside to resume her pity party. WELL, she HAD a right, she thought! In the whirlwind of romance that had followed their meeting, she had let her ambition to be a nurse, get sucked away. Just to become a grown man’s NURSEMAID, she thought. What a tradeoff!
By the time Sally's mind settled on her surroundings, she realized that she had driven far out into the country, where minutes later, she spotted the Estate Sale Here Today sign.
Sally stopped, thinking this would be a fun distraction. Inside she browsed, but saw most things had already been picked over. Still she hunted for a treasure. Suddenly she saw an old family bible on a shelf. She said aloud, “The family must have forgotten to take this out”.
“No” she was told; it was intended for the sale and was five dollars. As she carried it to the checkout table, she rubbed her hand across the beautiful carved leather cover and couldn’t believe a family would not keep something like this or value it so low.
When she got back in her car Sally couldn’t resist taking the worn old bible out of the bag to look at it again, as she did, something fell from the pages.
Sally lifted and read words from a wife to her deceased husband - expressing sorrow, longing to still have him to care for, but joy at him being with Jesus. He had been crippled in war, she had been his legs. The old letter’s words slapped Sally’s heart as she bowed her head, weeping.
How had she forgotten, real love is sacrificial, seeks not its own! How could she ever have dreamt of being a nurse, when she resented caring for her own husband! She was so ashamed of her selfishness. She thought of Jesus and of her Joe, so giving to so many. How could Jesus or Joe love the spoiled brat she’d allowed herself to be! Yet, she knew both offered loving and forgiving arms!
As Sally headed straight home she couldn’t resist fingering the old Bible, but gasped at discovering more papers tucked inside. Words...nestled inside God’s word. Treasure she couldn’t wait to read!
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
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