- March 2014
- December 2013
- June 2013
- March 2013
- September 2013
- From the Editor’s Desk
- Bloom Where You Are Planted and Where You Are Transplanted
- The Change Game
- Ten Tender Weeks: The Countdown
- The Chap Who Lives in a Flat
- Conspiracy Theory
- The Closers
- He Knows
- Surprising Steps with a Friendly Wind
- If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!
- Walking the Talk
- Message in a Bottle
- January 2013
Ripping the Weeds
Ripping the Weeds
By Koren Elise
(Winner of the 11-14 Years New Start Writing Contest at FaithWriters for Kids)
Elena Dyson shut her violet eyes slowly as the cackling sound of a shattering window disrupted the silence. “Third one this week.” Elena’s small voice sighed through the flies that hovered around her face.
Her usually poised posture gradually slumped down as her sneakers progressed through the dust devils that haunted the air. She dragged her baseball bat along while she sauntered to where she presumed her baseball, the shattered pieces of glass, and probably the angry occupant of the house, lay in waiting for her.
As the slightly fearful girl pushed open the tall, wooden gate of the six-foot high fence, the unruly fringe of her blonde hair draped over her flustered cheeks—like you do a blanket on a rainy, cold, winter night. Frustrated, Elena stepped forward and drew the tussle back behind her ear. The gate locked behind her.
Absolutely sure that there was no point trying to unlatch it, Elena slowly stalked through the tall, unmanaged thistles and grass that clustered about the small walkway. She clutched her father’s wooden bat to her chest and tried not to scratch her itchy legs as the tall grass brushed against them.
Elena pulled her shorts a little further down her bare knees and stepped out from the path. She gasped, noticing a colossal garden, blooming with hundreds of types of thriving flowers. Nearly tempted to rush into the garden and throw her freckled nose into a bunch of petunias, her conscience stopped her.
With her acute eyes, Elena noticed a tall woman bent over some roses; her hands cut and bleeding from the thorns and her face hidden by a mop of dark hair. The wind tussled her long floral skirt and her bare toes dug into the dirt. Before Elena could run—or think up an acceptable speech—the lady looked up and stared at her. At first, Elena thought the woman was mad, but the wholehearted smile that came next confirmed that she was not.
“Hello! Is this ball yours?” The bruised forehead of the woman wrinkled slightly. Elena blinked her large eyes and looked from the marred skin of the baseball to the high cheek bones of the kind lady. Elena nodded and took a shy step forward.
The woman wiggled further, still on her knees, and held the ball out to Elena. Though kneeling, the woman was just as tall as her. Elena took the ball with her dirt-caked fingers.
“So, what’s your name?”
“My name’s Kay.” The woman stood up and sauntered over to the cement patio. “You have a pretty good throw on you, Elena.” She motioned to the purple spot on her forehead.
Elena’s grubby hands rose to her pink lips. “O-Oh, I’m sorry! I…I—”
Kay shook her head while she poured a glass of ice water, handing it to Elena. “That’s okay; I’ve gotten worse injuries in my garden…and sometimes, it really hurts.” Her voice broke as she scrutinized her pricked fingers sadly.
Elena accepted the water and frowned sympathetically at the woman’s hands. “Why do you keep tending to your garden if you get hurt so much?”
Kay wiped her bloody nails against a dirty, damp cloth. “Well, Elena, if I didn’t it would die.”
“But it hurts!” Elena observed the grubby cloth and giggled nervously. “I understand very much about dirty cloth! I hate my clothes all dirty!” Elena motioned to her garments.
Kay lay her hands on her lap, inspecting Elena’s messy shirt. “Why do you keep playing baseball if you get all dirty? Wouldn’t you like to be clean?”
Elena looked down at her dusty t-shirt. “Yes, I guess so. But if I wash my clothes, the next day I’ll play and get dirty again. Miss Kay, I’ll never be able to stay fully clean forever.”
Kay smiled. “Elena, I feel the same way about my garden, but I shouldn’t give up on it. Can you imagine if Jesus did that to us? We are just the same as dirty clothes or…or a garden full of weeds, but Jesus still loves us and takes care of us. He cleans us and weeds us out. Would you like to start over new with God; ripping some of those weeds out?”
Elena contemplated for a moment. Then, mind made up, she turned to Kay and grinned. “Your garden is beautiful, Kay. It…it just wouldn’t be as nice full of weeds. I…I think I want to start new; weeded and clean.”
Kay winked. “Good choice.”
* * *
KOREN ELISE, also known as Koko Down Under to her fellow FaithWritians, is 13 years old and loves Jesus very much. Totally infected with the vibe of writing, Koren lives in Australia with her family and is home schooled. The blessings that Koren has stumbled over during her three year journey with FaithWriters—so far!—is the practice and feedback that comes out of posting stories, the challenges of each weekly topic, and the encouragement and friendships. One of Koren’s many goals in life is to let God’s children know that He loves them. This story received 1st Place in the Ages 11-14 category in the recent New Year Writing Contest at FaithWriters for Kids. You can read more by Koren at FaithWriters for Kids.