Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: LOVE (agape and/or phileo) (03/12/15)
By Holly Westefeld
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between it and the edge piece she held in her hand.
"So much night sky... It
could go anywhere across the top of the
Rachel nodded, and
continued to separate the edge pieces from the
middle ones, and sort the
middle ones in to general color
groupings, more charcoal sky, silver streaks
snow-kissed evergreen, slate gray of the stone cottage, and the
hallmark of the artist's work, the golden glow of the lamp in the
Julie began to try fitting edge pieces together. "Mom, how long
do you think it will take Dad to clear all this snow from around
"I'm not sure, Julie. We don't often get a foot and a half, but
I'm sure he'll be home by dinnertime."
"I hope so, or there might not be
any left. That pot of chili is
smelling really good."
"I'll make cornbread, too. There will be
plenty, even for a ravenous
Julie started arranging some edge segments according to
on the box. "How did you and Dad ever manage to fall in love,
Mom. You seem like such opposites. He loves to be outdoors, you
kitchen. He loves the cold, you love summer..."
"Well, Julie, I don't think
we were thinking about those things
when we first met. We both loved the
youth group activities at
our church, and had a great time together bowling,
hiking, and even playing paint ball."
"You guys played paint
ball?" Julie roared with laughter. "I
wish I could have seen
Rachel smiled. "Those were fun days, all those fluttery feelings
romance. We didn't take much notice of our differences until
after we were
married, and you're right, it sometimes made us
wonder about our love." She
fit the last edge piece in to place.
"Yes! ... Anyway, as our relationship
with Jesus grew, we began
to understand that marriage was not about warm fuzzy
but about the commitment to love each other
Julie found the first inner piece that fit in to a corner.
you would still love him, even if he did something terrible,
cheat on you?"
"God knows my heart would be broken were something like that
happen. Like the border of this puzzle, there are boundaries to
marriage. I do know people who, by God's grace, have recovered
breaching that border, but it takes an incredible amount of
Godly love to overcome it." Rachel found a piece
with the other half of a
tree that Julie had placed. "See how
these pieces have the same coloration to
form this tree?"
"But they would never stay connected if they did
opposite shaped parts to interlock them."
"I get it! It's like
Pastor Matt was explaining in youth group
this week about the body of Christ.
We can't all be heads,
because there would be no hands or feet. If people
didn't clear the snow, we couldn't even get in the building, but
wouldn't matter how good the outside looks, if it is not
clean, warm and
welcoming inside. I don't have much in common
with some of the kids in youth
group, but when we have a car wash
to raise funds for our mission trip, we
work together toward that
goal, and people who don't know us individually
would never guess
how different we are."
Trees, cottage, and
night sky emerged amidst companionable
silence. Rachel handed Julie the last
piece of the lamp. "You
may do the honors. ... The thing that will always
amaze me is that God loves us so much that He sent the Light of
the world to be the connecting piece between us and Him, similar,
in His image, but oh so opposite from His holiness."
They heard the door from
the garage open. "Smells like chili and
cornbread. Yum!" Jake came in to
the kitchen and wrapped Julie
and Rachel in one big hug. "And what have my
two favorite ladies
been up to all afternoon."
In stereo he heard,
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