Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)
TITLE: Hot Chocolate Served With Hope
By Sharlyn Guthrie
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Curiosity pulled me into the conversation. It nudged with each introduction and needled through the small talk. It glimmered in the others’ eyes. It licked my fingers and curled up on my lap -cautious, but willing to take a risk.
Variety caught me by surprise, binding me into the common cord that wound through the evening. It directed music, shaped prayer requests, and expounded on the Scriptures. It projected from eclectically decorated walls. It delineated opinions, personalities, and backgrounds, piquing my interest. And it cleverly defined our humble troupe: a family with teenagers, a twenty-something woman with child, three singles, an elderly widower, a divorcee, and our middle-aged hosts.
Comfort crept in to replace caution, coaxing off protective layers and drawing my stocking feet up into the arm chair. It convinced me to relax and be myself –not perfect, just real. It eased strained features and curved set lips. It carried me into my Father’s presence.
Renewal began, flickering with hope’s tiniest ray, thawing the perimeter of a stone-cold heart. It bowed my head and brought me to my knees, weary and broken. It revealed my folly and my pride, evoking repentance. It was portrayed in the warmth and comfort of a home and in the imperfect, varied, and devoted members of Christ’s body assembled there. Complete healing still seemed distant, but hope insured it would come.
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