Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)
TITLE: Wendy's Birthday Clipping
By Deborah Engle
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“I can’t believe it! I got all the classes I wanted, and I even got Mr. Matthews for Chemistry. This is going to be a great year!”
“Maybe for you, but not all of us are so lucky. I signed up for French and Art, but they gave me Spanish and Drama! I already hate it.” Wendy’s bed creaked with every move of her animated body.
Sherry’s high spirits deflated quickly at the tone of her sister’s voice. “Oh. That’s not cool. Why don’t you try…”
“I did ‘try’ to get it changed, but they won’t do anything about it, and I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Wendy, don’t be that way. It’s just a mistake. In a day or two …”
“It’s a mistake, all right, just like my whole life. You’re not the one who had a broken ankle all summer. You’re not the one who lost her summer job.” The bitter words erupted from Wendy’s mouth. “Let’s see, help me here-whose best friend was it that moved three states away? Mine. Oh, and who spent all her birthday money on a guitar that she’s wanted for years, then ruined it two days later when she fell on it because her monster dog knocked her over. That was me, too. Of course my classes are messed up! What else would they be?”
Wendy’s torrent subsided, leaving both girls at a loss for words, and they sat in silence for several minutes. Then Sherry spotted a greeting card on the nightstand.
“Look, Gramma did send you a birthday card.”
“Sure, a week late.”
“There’s a newspaper clipping, too.”
“Of course. What else would you send your granddaughter on her 16th birthday?”
“Oh, you know Gramma. She thought you’d like it. Did you read it”
“A poem? Not likely.”
“How about I read it to you?” Without waiting for an answer, Sherry began…
“Billowy clouds of sun-brightened white,
Dispersed on a background of blue,
Glide along with the gentle breeze wafting by,
Sculpt quite a magnificent view.
Warm, sun-filled days and quaint vistas
Exhilarate, renew weary souls,
Preferred beyond measure o’er dark stormy skies
That hinder, demanding great tolls.”
“Please! Do you have to?”
Sherry glanced up and caught Wendy’s scowl. “All right, never mind.” Rising from the bed, she added, “I’m going downstairs to do my homework.” Stopping in the doorway, she turned around and added, “You should read it. It’s not that bad.”
Wendy watched her leave, but Sherry’s words refused to go away. ”You should read it” “She thought you’d like it.” “You should read it.” Reluctantly, Wendy picked up the clipping and forced herself to read.
Formidable, ominous, threatening clouds
Obscure precious light from above,
Cast gloomy shadows where hope once shone bright,
Shrouding good forged with great love.
Confusion and anguish torment in the dark,
Harsh winds topple long-treasured prizes.
Vitality weakens, diminished and pale.
Doubt upon doubt soon arises.
Though desperately feeble, a plea for compassion
And mercy ascends to the sky.
Acknowledgement of the great need that is clear,
And of only one Source to rely.
Faithfully, in His own time, there will be
Answers from the great Creator.
Storm clouds move aside, reveal light from on high,
Prompt praise, gratitude, now and later.
For sunlight will vanquish the darkness of night,
Relieve every sorrow and fear.
A most awesome blessing, a gift from above,
Each yielded heart will hold dear.
But what of the times when thunderheads roar
And linger without giving way,
Destruction and trouble tenaciously bring,
And dominate day after day?
I Am That I Am knows the path set before,
He planned it and understands all.
There’s good in the bad, though it’s hard to discern,
And He marks every tear when it falls.
God’s presence and love are the things that won’t change,
In spite of much turmoil and strife.
Peace and rest will abound in a heart that can seek
His arms that give all hope and life.
Wendy finished reading the last stanza with tear-filled eyes, knowing the time had come to deal with her attitude. An hour later, she stood at the window, her lightened heart rejoicing in the grace of God. With true thanksgiving, she whispered, “The sun is finally shining again.”
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