Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Threefold Cord (04/12/12)
TITLE: Itching to Get Free
By Nancy Bucca
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Not stitching, but itching.
Itching, itching, itching.
I'm not pitching, but I'm twitching to stop itching.
Do you understand how badly I am itching?
I'm itching to be done with this. I'm itching to get free.
I wish to ditch the sick old tick that's inching up my knee.
But this bug-ridden cage of brambles will not let me be.
And this, friend, is the last rhyme you shall ever hear from me.
A spider just crawled up my nose. I snort to expel it and renew my escape attempt.
All it takes is a little pulling... twisting... yanking. Heels kicking, adrenaline pumping, I throw my full weight into it.
Phew, so much for that. Now I'm all scratched up, and in a bigger tangle than ever before. The sound of an ax splitting wood gives me a splitting headache.
They're coming for me.
Now I'm really itching to get free.
Suddenly out of the blue I see something. Can it be?
Inside this prickly maze of gray and brown and do-I-really-have-to-eat-this-horrible-pea green (not that I mind peas; they sure beat sneezing fleas) a beam of pure gold glistens like a jewel.
At last Faith has arrived! If anyone can scratch my itch, she can. Come on, Faith. Speak the word. Tickle my ears.
Instead of doing that, she tosses me a riddle.
"It will not do to butt against the Father's will for you,
For though He speaks in mysteries, His purposes are true."
Mysteries? What mysteries? And what do you mean, don't butt against His will? All I want is to get my itch scratched.
"I'm sorry, but Faith doesn't work that way, my little metaphor."
What do you mean, that's not how you work? And what's a metaphor?
I hear the sound of twigs crunching. Footsteps.
They're coming for me.
Suddenly out of the blue (again), I see a flash of brilliant green. Not your ordinary stick-in-the-mud green, but real genuine smell-the-pine-cones super green-y green.
Now that's what I call Hope.
If anyone can scratch my itch, she can. Come on, Hope. Dazzle me with a sign.
I get more than I bargained for as her rippling eyes draw me into their whirlpool, a winding tunnel that swirls 'round and 'round. It slowly narrows as it deepens, eventually tapering to a tip to reach the blackest recesses of this prickly plant.
And I thought I'd seen everything.
Now behold a splash of white, opening to new visions! Above I see a cloud, below a quiet crowd circling a wall, broad and tall. And what's that strange trumpet those guys are blowing? It looks an awful lot like -
Uh-oh. The sound of stone laid upon stone re-alerts me to their presence. I hear the thud of splintered logs. A braid of hemp is getting a workout.
They're coming for me. And I'm itching to be free.
Cruel branches scourged by shifting winds lash my crown with needling thorns. Poisonous vines wrap choking arms around my limbs. Pinching. Stinging. Setting my veins on fire. Everywhere I turn I burn. This little garden sure has turned into a dark place.
Into the darkness drops a scarlet thread, lifting my gaze toward a tree trunk. Etched in its bark I see a name.
Love. How could I miss it? She's the one who ties it all together. Now it all makes sense.
Love gives Faith power to move mountains and Hope new rope to place her vision on. Believing and hoping for all good things, she puts up with all sorts of niggling pricks to save lost children; bringing them from eternal torment back into the Father's sheepfold. She's His adoption agency, and I'm the advertisement.
Can you hear my little lamb, the spotless one who led me here, bleating from atop the mount?
"I need you, Daddy. Why did you leave me up here all alone?"
The answer is, I have no choice. That wondrous three-fold cord called "faith, hope and love" keeps me tied to this bush. I couldn't get free if I tried.
Listen. Do you hear the thunder? Do you dare ignore the message?
"Abraham!" "See that ram." "Over there, horns caught in a thicket." "Your salvation, Isaac."
All this time his son's been itching to get free.
And that's the reason they're coming for me.
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