Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FOLD (10/08/15)
- TITLE: The Room of 1,000 Stars
By Bonnie Bowden
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She was concentrating so hard that she didn’t notice her dad slip into the room.
“How many stars has my little girl made today?”
“Really dad, I’m seventeen,” Abbey said as she rolled her eyes. “I wasn’t as tired as normal, so I managed to make ten.”
"That's great honey. I'll get the gold cord, needle, and scissors, and start hanging.”
Her dad had managed to hang stars across the window frame, from wire mobiles dangling from the ceiling, and anywhere else he could find room. The hospital had given Abbey special permission to hang the stars after she told them of her mission.
“Stars here, stars there, stars and stars, everywhere,” Abbey said.
She remembered when a friend from school told her the story of Sadako Sasaki. “Ancient Japanese legend, Meg said, “believed that anyone who folded one thousand paper cranes would be granted a wish. Sadako hoped that if she folded the paper cranes she would get well from her leukemia. So she began making the cranes and finished over 1,000 of them before she died in 1955. Her other wish was for world peace. In her own words, Sadoka wrote,‘I will write peace on your wings and fly all over the world.’”
One morning soon after, Abbey read Psalm 147 in her NIV Bible. Verses 3 and 4 really spoke to her heart: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.”
Instead of cranes, Abbey would construct one thousand stars. On each star would be written a name and inside each star would be the prayer request of that individual. God not only knew the name of each star, but the needs of each person.
The art therapist on the cancer floor helped her make the first one. It was a little lopsided, but she got better and better at making them.
After visiting hours, it was especially lonely in the hospital room. So solitary that Abbey folded more stars and added more prayers to keep up her spirits.
Two hundred and ninety-five.
Two hundred and ninety-six…
Soon she got prayer requests and origami stars from all over the hospital and the city.
Three hundred and fifty-eight.
Three hundred and fifty-nine…
At times, Abbey’s gums were so sore or her bones would burn so much that she couldn’t work, but at other times the chemo or blood transfusions would keep the symptoms at bay. Still she didn’t give up on God or her prayers. She continued to fold and fold and fold.
Five hundred and seventy-two.
Five hundred and seventy-three…
Late one night, Abbey, felt the need to get up and make a silver star. The silver foil was slippery and difficult to work with. Abbey questioned whether she had really heard that still small voice. But that little voice kept prodding and insisting. She finally finished and wrote the name, Tim, on the outside of the star.
Around noon the next day, a nurse came in to give her a shot. The nurse turned pale as she looked down at the silver star. “That’s my son’s name,” she said. “He’s been fighting in Afghanistan, and we’ve been praying for his safety.”
“God wanted me to give you this,” Abbey said.
Tears rolled down the nurse’s eyes as she read, “Pray for this winner of the silver star who is on his way home after receiving a leg injury.”
Fiction based on the following two stories:
Coerr, Eleanor. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. New York : Puffin Books, 1999.
A Quiet Voice and the Golden Crane. (www.shortstories101.com)
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