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As I Imitate Christ
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ARCHIVES

Teens Shavings
By Mid Stutsman

A golden glow framed the cedar doorposts of a Mediterranean style mansion, where a lone figure stood in the entryway, casting a shadow across the marble tiles of the floor. When he entered, the light followed, permeating the room with soft rays.

The interior of the home exuded the warmth of his handiwork. He ran his hand over each piece of furniture crafted to perfection from exotic rosewood and mahogany, and accented with gold leaf filigree. Botanical prints, done in low relief, framed the arches of the interior doorways. Pale watercolors were brushed over the surface of the designs to make them stand out even more. Terrazzo floors swirled with the hues of a misty sunrise, and gleamed in the light of his presence as he walked through the rooms. Scenes from special moments had been faithfully etched into each tile--a unique reminder of a life graced with love.

Time was not an issue; no expense was spared. There was an elegant simplicity to everything he made, from the recessed bookshelves in the library, to the desk for drawing and writing. Carved wood trim outlined the windows. Exposed timbers highlighted the vaulted ceilings. Every inch of the mansion bore his imprint of excellence. He looked around, pleased with his progress. There was only one more project he needed to finish for the garden courtyard.

The fragrances of frankincense, myrrh, and spices, blended with the air rising from the aromatic shavings on the floor. Like a cloud of incense, it mingled with the carpenter's sweat and blood, reminding him of another day, another piece of wood. He willed the image away and continued to work, his skilled hands moving deftly over the teak boards on his bench. He shaped them to exact measurement, breathing life into every stroke. Each curl of wood falling to the floor took with it a whispered prayer, and a promise that no one would ever have to go through what he had experienced so very long ago.

He picked up a small box, took out his carving tools, and inscribed a name at the top of the finished arch. When he was done gilding the letters, he hand rubbed the structure to a soft patina, and set it against the wall. He gathered his tools, cleaned his workspace. The shavings went into the deep pockets of his apron.

Outside, the courtyard reflected the elegant theme of the mansion. A teak table and benches graced the terracotta patio. Large stone jars, planted with trees and ornamental grasses, stood in groupings of three around the edge. Beyond them could be heard the lighthearted melody of water splashing into a hidden pool. Fragrant flowers and herbs lined the curved walkway leading to an unfinished entrance, where espaliered fruit trees edged the low garden wall on either side of the opening.

The carpenter positioned the arch in the empty space, sliding the posts into the bases he had prepared earlier. He patted the sides of the structure, and scattered the shavings on the ground beneath. Taking a few steps back, he checked to see if the arch was straight.

"Perfect," he whispered.

He unrolled the blueprints of my life and looked at the mansion one more time. "It won't be long…"

"In My Father's house are many mansions … I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2 KJV)

Mid Stutsman is married with 14 children, 12 living, and is the 1st Place winner of the FaithWriters' Best of the Best awards for 2007, with her glorious story, Shavings. Mid is an artist, writer, and craft designer, bringing all three skills together in this award winning story. In all her art and creativity, Mid endeavors to promote a lasting relationship with Yeshua--the Way the Truth and the Life. If you would like to write to Mid, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine. We congratulate her on her outstanding achievement as our Best of the Best winner for 2007.
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