Monday, 7 November 2016

A Danish Christmas Tale (Chapter 1)

Hello All,

Christmas is just two months away.

We are now embarking on a Christmas fictional poem for the Christmas season.

This poem is a sequel of a Christmas poem I have written a few years ago entitled, ‘The Parable of the Little Match Girl’.

Let us now begin with the first chapter of ‘A Danish Christmas Tale’.

A Danish Christmas Tale
Chapter 1: The Return of the Little Match Girl
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (17 October 2016)
Dedicated to a dear friend who inspired the poem.

Her father staggered into the room drunkenly
And slammed the wooden door behind him furiously
'How much is there?!' He glared at her sack of money
Which she handed over to him faint-heartedly

'Pittance!' He yelled as he threw the sack angrily
At the petrified girl who bent down tearfully
On her poor knees to gather her hard-earned money
Her actions infuriated him immensely

He hurled and smashed his bottle of wine on the ground
Glass fragments cut her, but she dared not make a sound
He struck a blow on her head which threw her face down
Her vision dimmed; she passed out on the glass-strewn ground...

Her heart raced as she jolted from her sleep in bed
She wiped away the beads of sweat from her forehead
She buried her tearful face in her hands and prayed
'God, please take away these nightmares and let them fade

From my memory for it has been four long years
But the images of torment are still so clear
The unspoken horrors of my past feel so near
Help me find release in the deluge of my tears'

Ashley slipped out of bed and walked to the window
She pushed open the shutters and gazed down below
The streets were covered in a thick blanket of snow
On which she trod to sell matches four years ago

That was her plight in the year eighteen forty-three
During the Christmas season in a great city
Of Denmark where the poor remained in poverty
Comfort and pleasures were only for the wealthy

Her eyes closed as the cold wind blew upon her face
In her deepest sorrow, she found joy in God's grace
Although the pain of her past was not yet erased
The assurance of God's love brought her much solace

The hours crawled by before dawn finally ensued
Although sleep did not come, she felt her strength renewed
The sleepless nights of tearful prayers she valued
For there will be a day when all hurts will be healed


Points for Reflection:
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
(Revelation 21:4 ESV)
·         This is a world filled with much pain. It is a real world with real people and real suffering.
·         There are sins committed by others against the weak and helpless who are unable to protect themselves.
·         Ashley was a victim of abuse. In the past, her alcoholic father hit her when she could not earn enough from selling matches.
·         The memory of abuse still haunted her after four years. It brought her flashbacks from the past and sleepless nights.
·         But those sleepless nights of prayer were precious, intimate moments she experienced with God who was not deaf to her cries for mercy. Even in the midst of suffering, she found comfort in God’s love and the knowledge of her future hope in Christ. She knew that there will be a day when all hurts will be healed. A day when God will wipe away every tear from her eyes. The day when Christ returns.
·         Do you have sorrows and painful memories? Do you know of those who are suffering? Find comfort, strength and mercy in Christ who has borne our sufferings and saved us through the cross. Bring His hope to a lost and broken world.