Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: JOY (12/07/17)
- TITLE: The Two Faces of Grace
By Bonnie Bowden
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Joy and Sorrow walked the earth hand in hand ministering to others. As they passed a small cottage nestled in a green valley, they heard the sound of laughter coming from inside the house. It was as pleasing to the ear as the fragrance of the roses climbing over the door was to the nose.
After knocking on the door, Joy waited. A young girl, with hair the color of flax, bid her in, while her older raven-haired sister watched.
Since Sorrow didnâ€™t like to intrude on their happiness, she waited outside in the shadows.â€
â€œGrandma, we have a guest.â€
â€œIndeed we do,â€ said the woman, as she motioned for the visitor to join them.
â€œIt is such a lovely day and I had to find out the source of the merriment.â€
â€œThe girls and I were just finishing up washing the floors when we looked up to see what the commotion at the window was all about. My husband, Jacob, stood there with a blue jay perched upon him. Apparently, it didnâ€™t find his head a suitable nest and flew away cawing in disgust.â€
â€œYouâ€™re such a busy family.â€
â€œYes, we all enjoy working together,â€ answered the woman, looking fondly at the girls. â€œWe have many blessings, far more than we deserve, I sometimes think.â€
â€œYes, I tell my wife,â€ broke in her husband, â€œthat we must never lose sight of our blessings, though, like rain, many of them come in disguise.â€
At that moment Sorrow looked in at them from the doorway. It was so seldom that she was noticed that she longed to come in.
â€œIs that your friend out there? You must ask her in.â€
Joy turned and signaled for her sister to come in. Sorrow came in quietly, and sat beside Joy, waiting for the woman to continue.
â€œYes, they are all blessings in disguise,â€ she said, â€œthough I couldnâ€™t think that way when my son and his wife were killed in an accident. It was hard to see the hand of God at work then.â€
â€œBut God's hand was in it, dear. They have only gone to prepare the way, and we have much left to us, including our grandkids to raise.â€
The words of her husband were true, and it was beautiful to see the countenance of his wifeâ€™s face when she recognized it.â€
As the sisters rose to leave, the young girls pulled Joy aside, â€œCanâ€™t you stay with us a little longer?â€
â€œI have work to do in the village; and besides, I canâ€™t leave my sister.â€
â€œBut she is so gloomy and forlorn, why not leave her to go alone?â€ said the youngest girl, who had never seen Sorrow nor heard of her calling before.
Sorrow was standing in the door and heard her remark. She hoped the day would never come when she would have to bring calamity to her young heart, but life was so unpredictable she never knew who she would next have to envelop in the dark clouds. She lamented, plucked a rose, and pressed it to her nostrils, as though it was the last bit of perfume she would ever inhale.
â€œHow I pity her!â€ said the grandmother, her warm, hazel eyes filling with tears, as she looked at the hunched form in the doorway.
â€œAh, blessings to you, for few recognize her mission to them. My sister is sent to administer sufferings which contain heavenly truths, while I bring happiness.â€
The kind woman went out and said to Sorrow, â€œI thought I could spot Godâ€™s angels anywhere, but this time I have failed. Forgive me. And when you are weary and need comforting, come to our home.â€
Then, Sorrow heard her Fatherâ€™s voice speak to her. There will always be sorrow and joy. And one without the other makes a soul incomplete, a heart lacking the full essence of grace.
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