Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)
TITLE: Nana Pumpkin's Thanksgiving Story
By Jean Beier
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Nana, why do you call me Pumpkin? I’m not orange or round. So, why do you call me that?
Little one, it’s called endearment. It’s the same as calling you Beloved.
Giggles … Nana Pumpkin, please tell me the story.
Okay dear. When I was an eight year old pumpkin like you, I sat squirming on a hard bench pew of our small country chapel. My mommy had been taking me to church every Sunday for as long as I could remember. This particular day was the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
All I could think of was the upcoming celebrations. Mommy had already begun baking pumpkin, cherry, raisin, and chocolate pies. She had baked cookies, and had the turkey thawing. Bread had been dried and crushed ready to be added to other dressing ingredients. Endless delicious dishes floated on dream clouds around my head. My mind raced from food to joyful time with board games and charades. The sounds of football calls rang in my ears. I dreamed of family all surrounded in love.
Oh, I thought, why does the pastor go on and on? Doesn’t he know we have things to do and a schedule to meet? Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. How will mommy get it all done?
My face felt warm and flushed as I looked up to the pastor and met him eyeball to eyeball. He had stopped speaking. It was as though he knew that I was daydreaming and not hearing him at all. Then his face softened and he began to speak again. This time he addressed all the little pumpkins. Since my mommy had often called me that, I knew I was one of them.
Pastor very patiently, and without being condescending, spoke of all the things we all had to be thankful for. He mentioned everything that I had been dreaming about. It was as though he had read my mind. But then he turned more serious. And he said, “Beloved let me repeat you a story.”
He told how God loved us so much that He sent His own little pumpkin, called Jesus, to live and walk on earth as one of us. Pastor told us how Jesus would gather all the little children around Him to teach them how God would have them live, and how much God loved them.
Everyone, including all us pumpkins, were stilled and silenced, as the pastor told the rest of the story. He walked us through the life of Jesus being scorned, denied, tortured, and then nailed to the cross. The words rang loud, hard, and clear to my little ears, as the pastor said, “He did it because He loved You. And He did it to clear your sins. And finally He did it so you could be reconciled with your Heavenly Father” Then the pastor, closing his Bible, said “and this is what we most have to be thankful for. Think about this as you join in your Thanksgiving celebrations”.
The choir went into singing, Amazing Grace, and the feelings going through me were indescribable then and still today.
Nana, what did you do about those feelings?
Well, sweet pumpkin, when the choir finished their song, the pastor stepped up to the podium. He made an altar salvation call. Until that eighth year of my life I did not hear the call. My heart and mind had not been prepared, but that Sunday before Thanksgiving, I understood and with tears of joy streaming down my face, I walked the long isle to the front. I kneeled along with a few others and I asked Jesus into my heart. I repented and I felt the grace and mercy flow through me.
Nana, did you still have your dream Thanksgiving Day?
Yes, beloved, only this time I knew exactly for what I was most thankful. All the food, games, and family fellowship, were just icing on the cake.
Did Jesus die for me too?
Yes, Pumpkin, you are His Beloved.
I want Jesus in my heart.
Pumpkin, just tell Him, and He will live in you forever.
Thank you for sharing yours and Gods story.
I love you Pumpkin.
Giggles … And I love you Nana Pumpkin.
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