Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SHOP (01/03/19)
TITLE: THE GIFT
By C D Swanson
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“Mia! Hurry up I’m freezing!”
I hugged her tightly. “You feel like a popsicle! You nut, how long have you been standing out here?”
“Forever, or so it seems,” she laughed.
“Well, who the heck told you to wait outside? You should have waited in the café where we usually meet.”
“I know, but for some reason I feel time goes quicker if I’m in search of you and your car!”
The flurry of people inside the building was amplified as it seemed everyone was scurrying to set up their tables. There were over 200 tables on the list for this particular day, and Ginny and I were excited beyond words, for the opportunity to thrift-shop. It was our mutual passion, plus we were the proud owners of an antique book shop. And, yes…this was the place to be, as we eyed the priceless books all lined up on the vast array of tables. If books were a food, I guess we were salivating at the sight of these precious items.
“I don’t know Ginny; something tells me that this is going to be a spectacular day, a real find to contribute to our fine collection as it were. What are your feelings about it?”
“Yeah, kind of, but I don’t know, at the same time I have gnawing doubts.”
I snorted a laugh and almost choked in the process. “Gnawing doubts? What’s that all about? You are the consummate optimist…this is a new side of you.”
“I don’t know. I didn’t eat my oatmeal today, maybe that’s it.”
“Okay…that’s probably it, you can’t think on an empty stomach.” I laughed out loud. “Well let’s begin shall we? We have plenty of tables to check out.” I pointed to the table in front of us, “You begin right here, and I’ll begin on the other side.”
I took my time engaging in conversation with prospector sellers enjoying them in the process. Some of the sellers were familiar faces, others brand new.
I stopped at one table for an unusually long time; I was enthralled with the vision that was laid out before me.The seller was different than all the rest, and spoke in soothing tones. He was very easy to speak with and wasn’t pushy, but instead laid back in approach. His long hair was intriguing and his close set blue eyes were penetrating and seemed to be smiling and sparkling at once. I really liked this individual; in fact, it was as if I’d known this person my whole life.
“These books are in fabulous condition. I can’t believe they’re years and years old!”
“Oh, some are older. If you take the time to read them, you will see.”
I held one in my hands, and as I opened it, I flipped through the delicate pages, and was amazed at my good fortune in finding it.
“That one is a particular favorite of mine.” He smiled, and then continued, “It’s pretty close to the first translation from the original manuscripts. In fact, it is a rare find.”
“I can see that it would be! It’s a King James 1611! Oh my goodness…and it looks like the original…but, it can’t be…”
“Why not?” He asked, with a smile.
“Well, it’s just that you don’t have a price on it? How much do you want for it?”
“You are a woman of great faith; you have a beautiful store with Bibles of all kinds. You give of yourself willingly and freely, you are always helping others. And, so this is my gift to you. No money is necessary.”
I nearly dropped the Bible as I felt an overwhelming sense of peace; I couldn’t describe it as anything less, or anything more. It was just, peace and love.
“But, the price…you mean to say I can have this for free? No price?”
He hugged me before saying, “I already paid the price.”
Tears dripped from my eyes as I watched Him walk away…
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20 (KJV)
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