2022 Writing Contest

Daniel laughed. “You are persistent. We have eaten, so don’t worry about that. Go on inside and fix yourself something if you are hungry, then go back to bed and rest. Tomorrow could be a busy day.” Michael and Daniel looked at each other as Esther turned toward the door. “There is one thing you could do for us.” Michael said quietly. Esther turned back around as Michael finished his question. “May we borrow your Bible? We like to read a verse or two from it before we end our day.” “Of course, gladly.” Esther answered and hurried into the house to get her Bible from the nightstand in her bedroom, returning quickly to hand it to Michael. “It’s a little worn, a family bible. I hope that’s okay.” Michael smiled, “Dear lady, that is perfectly fine. Well used and well loved Bibles are always the best ones.” Esther went inside, leaving Michael and Daniel on the porch, holding, reverently, her Bible. Instead of making herself something to eat, or going back to bed, Esther added more wood to the fire then settled, as comfortably as possible, into the rocking chair by the fireplace. Her mind wandered around a bit but eventually returned to the two strangers, Michael and Daniel. There was a feeling, an aura, about them of strength and of purpose. She could also sense a genuine kindness and, surprisingly, love around them. She didn’t feel threatened or as if she was in any sort of danger. She prayed about them then she prayed for them. Esther had dozed off when she was startled awake by a loud rumble of thunder. She listened intently for several minutes but heard nothing more. Maybe it was just part of a dream. Esther decided she must have been asleep for quite a long time as her joints were stiff and sore when she stood up. Even though she wasn’t old, the life of a homesteader, especially one by herself, was hard. After 10 years out here, it hadn’t gotten easier. Looking out a window nearest her, she saw the beginnings of a beautiful sunrise. Looking around the cabin, she realized that there wasn’t much but bread and coffee for breakfast. And where did all the bread keep coming from. She thought she’d like a look inside that backpack. It would have to do for breakfast. There was still just enough water to make one more pot of coffee. She would have to visit the little stream, not too far from the cabin, to get another bucket filled. Her supply of coffee was very low as well. Still, it would do for today. While the coffee boiled, Esther sat down at the table and bowed her head. She thanked God for another beautiful day, for the bread and the coffee and for her two new friends. Just as she finished her prayer, the front door opened and Michael and Daniel walked in, looking as refreshed and rested as they had yesterday. At that moment, Esther realized she was still wearing the same clothes from yesterday and her hair need to be combed and reset. She welcomed the two men into her house, told them to help themselves to the bread and coffee, then excused herself and went into her bedroom to change.