Tag Archives: story

The Open Gate (Part 2)

Read Part 1.

As the dream became more and more hungry, the girl became more and more desperate. Why would the servants not open the gate? Why were they ignoring her cries? Had she done something wrong? Was there something wrong with her?

Soon her desperation turned to anger. She kept beating at the gate, but the servants would not respond. Enraged, the girl decided to leave the hospital. She wanted the servants to regret their cruelty and wish in vain that they had opened the gate for her.

But despite her anger, the girl knew that her thoughts weren’t pleasing to the King. She believed the King had brought her to the hospital, that in His kindness he had provided a place for her to serve. She had served loyally out of love for the King and his servants. She didn’t want to throw away his generous gift because she was blinded by anger and pain.

So before she carried out her revenge, she went away to a secret place and sought Him. She waited quietly there for Him. And one day He came to her.

“Lord,” she cried,”You know what pain I am feeling! This hunger gnaws away at me, but your servants have refused to feed me! Why won’t they give me the small meal I’ve enjoyed all these years?”

The King sat beside her and touched her cheek. “My girl,” He said gently. “You have been blind! Look.”

Then the girl saw herself as the King saw her. She was facing the closed gate, beating at it with all her strength yet powerless to open it.

“Why do you think the food I have for you can only be found through that closed gate?” He asked.

And then the girl saw that behind her was another gate. One that stood wide open. One she’d never noticed, because all her attention had been focused on the closed gate.

“But Lord,” the girl asked with astonishment. “Are you saying it is okay to serve somewhere other than this garden, at this hospital? I was certain you would say that my desire was a wrong one!”

“Your heart was misled by revenge, this is true,” He said. “And I did lead you to this place. You have served here and you have grown here, and you have also found the food I left here for you. These are good things. But it was never my intention that you should serve me here–and here only–forever. Do you not know that all seasons must end so that new seasons can begin? Do you not know that you can serve me anywhere? Do you not know that I am able to provide abundant nourishment for you, wherever I lead you?”

Suddenly the girl saw how silly and afraid she had been. She realized the other gate had been open to her for a long time–she’d known this somewhere inside herself. But she’d been too afraid to turn around, too terrified to give the King the dream she’d hidden. She’d told herself she needed what was behind the closed gate, when in truth her King had awakened a hunger that could no longer be satisfied there. Through the open gate was the path to the land of her childhood, filled with flowers that bloomed colorful and bright, in beautiful defiance of the weeds and thorns. There in that beautiful land (called Faith) was a place for her to plant the seed of her dream, where it would surely die beneath the ground. Yet this was a chance for the girl to trust the King. He would be able to grow the dead seed into the new, living thing He’d always meant it to be. She knew He could: she’d seen Him do it countless times before.

The King wrapped His arms around the girl. “Will you trust me and walk through the open gate?” She nodded. And then the girl stood up with Him, encircled in His kind embrace, and walked through the open gate.

The End Middle.

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The Open Gate (Part 1)

Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a beautiful land where nothing was impossible. The King of that beautiful place had given her a seed for big, lovely dream, and with all the trust in her heart she awaited its blossoming. Because she was a child, the heavy seed and the big dream it contained didn’t terrify her. She didn’t ask silly questions like, “How will my dream ever blossom and grow?”

Then hard things happened, and to the little girl’s eyes, these hard things overtook the beautiful land. Her childhood home seemed overgrown with weeds and thorns. So to protect herself from the pain of a dead dream, she placed the dream in a tiny box and hid it deep inside her heart. No longer little, she hacked away at the weeds and thorns with tools fashioned from duty, responsibility and fear. But the buried dream somehow added depth and intricacy to her tools, so that sometimes she could use them to produce tiny, pretty flowers. She decided to use her tools to survive, forsaking the big dream. But the tiny, pretty flowers were incomparable to the dream she’d put away.

The King was very kind. He often tried to show her that the beautiful land was still near if she would simply look beyond the weeds. He sustained the hidden dream with tiny rays of sunshine and little drops of rain. But the silly girl thought she had found a way to sustain the dream.

In her journey she’d come upon servants who were building a hospital on behalf of the King. She offered to help them build the hospital by sharing her tools with them. One day while she was serving at the hospital, the girl walked down a path and passed through an open gate. There she found a lovely garden. She thought, “My tiny flowers would thrive in this little garden!” The servants agreed, and from then on she would often pass through the gate and into the garden.

Each time she passed through the gate, she’d find a small, tasty meal that the King’s servants had left for her. The meal was just enough to sustain her hidden dream, and this made her happy. So she would regularly walk through the gate and eat the meal. She trusted that these servants would always feed her this way. She didn’t realize the meal was the result of the King’s tiny rays of sunshine and little drops of rain.

But then one day the gate, through which she’d always so freely walked, was shut and locked.

The girl despaired, but she decided to wait for the gate to be opened again.

Meanwhile, the dream began to starve. But rather than wither and die, it burst out of the tiny box and hungrily sought the King’s wonderful nourishment. At first she tried to ignore the hunger, but soon she realized this was useless. Desperate, the girl ran to the closed gate, begging, pleading, banging and crying for the King’s servants to open it again. But the servants ignored her. As the dream became more and more hungry, the girl became more and more desperate. Why would the servants not open the gate? Why were they ignoring her cries? Had she done something wrong? Was there something wrong with her?

Soon her desperation turned to anger.

To be continued.

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Book Review: Dear John


Well, since Deidre hooked me in with The Wedding, I felt the least I could do is read another of her Nicholas Sparks recommendations. But this book was so different from any of his other book I’ve read. It was sort of dark, and sad.

The main character is John. He grew up without a mother and with a father obsessed with coin collecting. Outgoing and popular, he had a hard time relating to his quiet, routine-driven dad.

After dropping out of high school and feeling like his life was wasting away, John decided to join the military. While he was home on his two-week leave, he met and quickly fell in love with Savannah. But because she was only visiting his hometown, and he was on leave, they would soon have to part ways. They vowed to keep in touch while he was stationed abroad. Savannah was also instrumental in helping John to relate to his dad in a new way.

When the two were able to see each other again, they found life to be far different from the idyllic existence they enjoyed before. Nonetheless, they still planned to marry once John’s tour of duty ended in just a few months.

Then 9/11 happened, and everything changed for both of them.

I really liked John. He seemed like a real person and a good guy. At a point later in the story, it would’ve been easy for him to do the wrong thing–and very few would’ve blamed him. But what he did was so honorable and right … even though I wished things could’ve been different, I felt a great deal of respect for him.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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Book Review: The Wedding


I must say, I’ve never been a big fan of Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read some of his other books, and they were pleasant. But … well, I’m just skeptical when a man writes romantic stories for women. I feel like I’m being manipulated or something … but that’s just my melancholy showing!

On a recent women’s retreat, I was hanging out with my good friend Deidre. After a long, hard day of shopping, we went to her room to relax. She wanted to read, and so did I–but I hadn’t brought a book with me. Dei recommended I borrow Melody’s book on the table, just so I’d have something to read while we relaxed.

I read the first two chapters, and I was hooked.

The story is about a man named Wilson. He married Jane, the love of his life, in his youth, and he still finds her wonderful and beautiful. But quiet and introspective as he is, he’d never been very good at showing her just how much he loved her. Over the years of their marriage, Wilson devoted more time and attention to his work than his wife and children, and now that the children are grown, he and his wife are like strangers.

When Wilson completely forgets about their wedding anniversary, Jane is heartbroken–it seems this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Wilson knows he must do something to make up for it, so he immediately begins to plan a special event for their next anniversary–until his oldest daughter decides to get married on the same day.

This book was just quaint and lovely, and Wilson was so sweet and believable. He worked so hard to earn back his wife’s love and to be the romantic he felt she’d always deserved. He capped it all off with a special surprise for Jane that melted my heart! I didn’t expect it to happen, but I felt all mushy inside when I read the last page. I had to go snuggle up on my hubby!

I give this book a 5/5 stars.

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