Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)
- TITLE: Old,Wrinkled, and Ugly
By Fern Brown
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When did people start calling her Sweetie, Hon, Honey and other names reserved for grandmas? She didn’t feel old – most days. However, her looks belied her feelings. The sweet smile lines from her forties and fifties, now etched deeply as wrinkles and furrowed brows, covered her pale face. She drove home from her shopping adventure thinking, ‘I never called older people Hon and Sweetie when I was there age. What’s with them anyways? I think I’ll just put a bag over my head next time I go out and they can wonder what kind of nut I am instead of using pet names for old people.”
Still bemoaning those ugly wrinkles, she plopped down on the couch. ‘Lord,’ she whined. ‘I just don’t feel good about myself anymore. I have so many goals and dreams but I just can’t seem to accomplish anything. Younger people humor me! And besides that, I’m old and ugly! I don’t know what to do. Some women seem to make things happen but all my dreams keep getting put on hold. I give them all to you, Lord. Please take them and help me not to care.’
At that instant, banging on the door jarred her out of her pitiful state. She pulled herself from the couch and peeked out in time to see a woman with three young children hurrying across her yard to the neighbor’s house. ‘Okay, Lord. I know when you are sending me an assignment. Especially since I know the neighbors aren’t home and it’s a long ways down the road to the next house. It’s such a cold day. Help me catch them, please.’
Grabbing her coat and putting it on, she scuttled across the muddy yard as fast as her old feet could carry her, calling, “Hello, do you need something?”
Relief flooded the lady’s face. “Oh, yes. I had my kids down at the park and started my van when I saw my son fall off the slide. As I ran to help him, the van door shut and my keys are locked inside. I need to call my husband.”
Grandma pulled her cell phone from her coat pocket and handed it to the visitor.
The stranger spoke to her husband briefly, tears welling in her eyes, and looking at Grandma she said, “He’s laughing at me. But he’s coming to get us.”
Grandma invited them inside to warm up a few minutes before they headed back to the park.
Much can happen in ten minutes.
The children noticed Grandma’s toy box. Grandma encouraged them, saying, “I have a lot of grandkids. You go ahead and play with those toys.”
Grandma loved to turn conversations to God and assured the young mother that He plans events in our lives. She consoled her about the keys and her husband’s laughter. “I used to do that all the time. My husband shook his head at me and laughed, too. A long time later, he locked himself out of his truck, and twice in one week, I took extra keys to him. He doesn’t laugh at me anymore.”
The mother laughed softly, saying, “That sounds hopeful.”
Politely Grandma continued, “May I ask if you are sure that Heaven will be your home someday?”
“I’m pretty sure. I try to do the right things…”
“It is simply a matter of putting your faith in Jesus Christ,” Grandma spoke gently and handed her some information for further study. She also wrote down her phone number for the visitor, who promised to call her someday.
The youngest child whispered softly to her mother, who answered, “That would be a nice thing for you to tell our hostess.”
With sweet, kind eyes and a loving smile the little girl looked Grandma directly in the eyes and said simply, “You’re pretty.”
Grandma prayed, “Lord, thank you. You sent a little angel to encourage me today. I know everything in life is all about you, not me. You don’t measure us by our looks or accomplishments. It’s our willingness to obey you and help others, that you are interested in. Thank you for showing me that you love me and can still use me to help others and point them to you. Please let your love for others and your beauty shine through me.”
II Corinthians 10:12b KJV …but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
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