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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)

TITLE: An Eternal Church Service? Think Again, Jamie!
By Helen Curtis
07/21/11


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Ahhh, now this is living. Walking along the river, the seasonal mist swirling around my legs. It's like my own little piece of heaven on earth! I wonder what it's like in heaven? Huh, "Worshipping God all day, every day," is how Pastor Roberts described it.

God...would it be really sinful of me to say it doesn't sound all that exciting? Not that I don't like worshipping you, God! It's just, well you know how much trouble I have staying awake during prayer meetings; how on earth - pardon the pun! - will I stay awake for all of eternity?! And if I can't grasp the joy of heaven, how can I possibly 'sell' it to others? "Hey, you wanna come to heaven and be part of a church service that lasts forever?!" I know, I know, "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."* I guess I'll just leave it in your very capable hands, God. I know you'll show me what I need to see in your time.

Speaking of seeing things, is that...a light up ahead? That's odd, I've never met anyone else walking along this riverbank at this time of year before. Wow, that's not just any sort of light, it's...shimmering. It's beautiful!

I feel like it's surrounding me, as if it's infusing my entire being with its essence. It's so surprisingly warm, and the fragrance. How delicious!

I wonder where it's going? I have to follow it...I...I can't find the road, I have no idea where I am, but I don't care! I feel...safe. It's almost as if I were...home?

Yes, home!

The light has stopped, the mist is beginning to clear. It's... Oh dear God, this is... indescribable! Such beauty, such radiance! The depth of the colours is... unbelievable. I mean, I can actually sense the colours! I can touch colour! It feels as if it's...moving? No, dancing, right there in my hands! And I can taste the unique blend of...spices? Yes, but so much more delightful than anything I've ever tasted before. And the aroma! The deep, earthy base notes; the fruity middle notes; the lingering, playful top notes of each colours' perfume, all merging together in a perfect balance to make ... ha ha! It makes COLOUR!

Oh dear, am I...crying? Yes!

Am I scared? Ha! Not in the least! How could fear live in such a place as this, in this...

Paradise?

Heaven?!

Think, think, think. Ummm, haha!! Could it really be?!

No, don't be silly.

He he he.. what is going on? I feel... Delirious! Delirious and really...thirsty! Maybe if I kneel by that river I can scoop up some...

WOAH!

No WAY! Either that was a really huge cat, or I just saw a lion playing with a flock of little sheep...which, of course would be lambs. LAMBS AND LIONS!! Why does that seem so logical in this place?! Right. Maybe I just need to rest a moment, perhaps close my eyes for a bit, so I can see more clearly and fully know what's...going...on...

I'M IN HEAVEN!

"Hi Jamie! How are you liking it here?"

Who's there? I can't quite...make out your face. Uhhh..is that really you, Lord?

JESUS!!

Oh, my soul is overcome! Such ecstasy is too great for my puny little being to contain! I have never been so...whole, so completely saturated by pure love.

Um, why is the mist rolling back in? I can't see you anymore.

Jesus?! Please, I want to stay with you! NO! How can I go back when I have tasted this side of Paradise?

"Jamie, it's ok. Your time is not yet come, but one day all of this will be yours to share!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"Well, hi there, Miss Jamie! Great to see that you're awake. No, don't try to speak. You're in hospital, Jamie. You are one lucky little lady. You fell into the icy Collins Creek; if a camper hadn't seen you through a chance break in the mist, we would have lost you. It's their quick thinking that kept you on this side of Paradise."

*1 Corinthians 13:12, NIV


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This article has been read 370 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 07/23/11
Interesting, for sure:) I can't wait until Jesus comes for us for good and takes us home! Then we won't have to wonder anymore. Oh happy day!
Kimberly Russell07/23/11
Enjoyed the ambivalence of the thought processes of the MC and the twist at the end. Nice job.
Joan Campbell07/24/11
Wow! I think this is really special. Spot on topic, and interesting plot, I found your "colour" paragraph particularly beautifully written. I loved the sense of peace and beauty that you created throughout. Lovely writing!
Noel Mitaxa 07/25/11
I love your light touch and your grasp of the visuals here. It recalled for me an older man telling me of an accident that took him to the emergency room. He had got out of his wheelchair, to look out a window; where there were such rich colors outside. When he got back to the wheelchair, there were people all around him, all thrilled that he was back with them. And the window was a brick wall. "I can't wait to see that green again" he told me. Thanks for awakening that memory for me.
Edy T Johnson 07/25/11
I like how you kept the action going even while describing the vision affecting all the senses. Your opening question is one even young Sunday school children can wonder about. One little girl, thinking we will just be singing all the time, told me it sounded "boring!" I hope she got the message that singing is just part of a grand adventure exploring everything Jesus has gone to prepare for us :)
Linda Goergen07/26/11
Oh this reminds me of 1 Corinthians 2:9 “ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

I really enjoyed this story -Jamie’s conversation on this side and her peek at the other side was just wonderfully told!
Lillian Rhoades 07/27/11
Your piece entertained an area of writing style where angel fear to trod:-) Many
"voices", and you move from the declarative to the exclamatory with relative ease.

Consider a shorter title.

Very creative! I like it.

Sydney Avey07/27/11
I was hooked when you started asking questions many of us think but don't say ... all praise all the time might make for a dull experience. Then you expanded our concept of praise in the lovely riff on color (tasting color, what a concept). Very fun.
Kim Hamlin07/27/11
Awesome originality, love the tasting colors, nice job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/02/11
Ooh this gives me chills as I had a near death experience last Thursday. I wish I'd read your piece first I may not have panicked before letting go and letting God. Great descriptions! Congratulations for ranking 7th in level 3!