It was cold. The rain pounded on the roof of the little shop. There was only one small place to stand amidst all the branches - right in front of the wreath making table. How did this happen? It came on so suddenly. There she stood, a mountain of branches behind her, a stack of metal rings on the table, and yards of red ribbon waiting to be turned into bows. An expectation hovered over her head casting a shadow on her countenance. It hovered and spoke in a booming, commanding voice.
"YOU, CHOSEN ONE, will turn that pile and that stack and those yards into beautiful wreaths. If you make them, they will come. The people will ooh and ah over them, the people will buy them, the people will send their friends to do the same. YOU WILL DO THIS."
She sighed heavily, resenting the voice. She resented the cold. Her fingers were numb. She looked at the branches and all she could see was a fresh smelling pile - a perfect hiding place for spiders and mice.
She sent a prayer up. Like an arrow, it cut through the cloud hovering over her head and lightened the load on her heart. "Help me, Lord."
Determined, she placed the metal ring in the machine and fiddled with some branches. A clip here, a clip there. Bit by bit she lined up the branches, hoping in the end it would look presentable. The rain fell and, in spite of the cold, she continued her work. FINALLY, the last hand of the ring was closed. She hung the wreath up on the nail for inspection. Sadly, the full and floppy mess only slightly resembled a wreath. Another heavy sigh.
"C'mon children, let's go!"
The three children, wet with playing in the rain and branches, piled into the van. She turned the ignition and the heater blasted her with warm air. Yet another heavy sigh. Gently, she rested her head on the steering wheel.
"I can't do this. I have made three floppy wreaths and I can't imagine making any more. I'm cold, I have a thousand other things to do, and I just CAN'T DO THIS!" she prayed.
A still small voice..."My grace is sufficient for you, You can do all things through me who gives you strength. I will never leave you or forsake you. Besides, there is tea and banana bread waiting for you at home...one more wreath."
She smiled, got out of the van, and went to stand in "her spot." She made a fourth wreath. Now this one looked round at least. In fact, with a few pine cones tucked here and there, someone might even buy it. She clapped her hands with joy.
Happily, she lifted the wreath off the nail, but one, then two, then twenty little sprigs of pine fell away from the wreath. Her shoulders slumped as she was left with what could only be called "The Charlie Brown wreath."
SIGH! Well, we will try again tomorrow. Only 15 more days till "Opening Day" at the tree farm.