Love Your Enemy
Mini Challenge Week 1 of September Break (2008)
Jan's Master Class
Topic: Man vs. Man
“Psst! Chandra! What's a hypotenuse?” whispered Eric.
Chandra stared back, irritation reflecting in her hazel eyes. “I have no idea.” She despised math, and taking this geometry class alone would be miserable enough. Taking this geometry class and sitting next to Eric Hampton, star runningback of Valley High's football team, made it ten thousand times worse.
Chandra leaned back into her chair and folded her arms across her chest. Sighing, she tried to concentrate on the lecture.
Eric leaned and whispered, “Can I see your notes for a sec?” He smiled, his blue eyes sparkling.
“What notes?” she hissed back. “I can't even keep up with what he's talking about.”
Eric had lettered as a freshman; now the star runningback as a junior, he was favored for a university scholarship even before his senior year. All the teachers lauded his incredible talent as well as his sparkling personality.
Chandra rolled her eyes, disgusted. She knew the real math: football star equals jerk-of-the-world! She had heard the team members as they sat around their own table at lunch, making fun of everyone in the school they disliked to affirm their superiority among the masses. She made her own clothing, had multiple ear piercings and a tattoo on her wrist, and listened to loud metal music. Not the cheerleader type by any stretch of the imagination.
What a jerk! she thought, shifting in her seat. I have no idea why he's being “friendly” to me, but I'm not going to swoon over him like all the brainless girls in this school.
Uh-oh. A warning bell rang in her heart. She knew God could not be pleased with her attitude, but she desired to justify her thoughts.
Love your enemies.
Yeah, yeah, I know, Lord. But you don't understand what I have to go through every day. They call me a freak!
They called me a freak first.
Chandra closed her eyes. I'm sorry, Lord. You're right. They did call You a freak, and You were perfect. I'll try to be nice to him. Even if he makes fun of me just like the rest of those jerks....
The bell rung just as she finished her prayer. As Chandra gathered her books and notepad, she noticed Eric staring at the tattoo encircling her wrist.
“It's some words in Hebrew.” She volunteered the answer to his likely question.
“What does it mean?”
“The Lord is my light and my salvation.” She smiled briefly. Satisfied that she had done her Christian duty to love her enemy, she turned to go.
“Wow.” he spoke, but she did not look at his face, nor wait for the expected question about how she could call herself a Christian and not look nor dress like one. Slipping out the door, she hurried to her locker for her lunch.
Carrying her art supplies and sack lunch, Chandra ventured to find a seat in the lunchroom. Every day the same loneliness would descend upon her as she walked the godless halls of her school. She longed for someone to share her faith, but she knew of only a few other Christians.
“What's going on, Freak?” Great. The football team had spotted her. “What happened to your hair? Did you have an accident with a paint can?” Laughter erupted among the members.
Chandra eyed the table, immediately noticing that Eric had not laughed with the others. “Cut it out, guys. Leave her alone,” he spoke firmly.
“What, you know her?” They laughed again.
“No, but it's just not acceptable.” He took his tray and stood up.
“What's wrong, man? It's not that big a deal!”
Chandra turned from the table and began walking quickly toward the corner of the cafeteria. “Chandra! Wait up!” She stopped and looked back, seeing Eric hurrying after her.
“What?” she snapped. “You gonna apologize for all your friends making fun of me?”
“Yeah. I'm sorry those guys called you a freak. But let me clarify one thing: they're not my friends.”
“Oh? So why do you hang with them?”
“To be a light to them.” He smiled. “You're a Christian, too, right?”
He's a Christian? She closed her eyes and quickly repented. Judge not, lest you be judged....Lord, forgive me!
“Yeah.” Chandra smiled genuinely this time.
“Cool. So, you want to sit down and eat some lunch?”
“Sure.” Thank you, God. From now on, I'm loving my enemies....I would never have known he could be my friend!
I know it's a bit cheesy, so tear it up....I kept it under 750 words to practice for the regular writing challenge, so that doesn't leave much room to really develop the story, but you get the idea! :)
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I always enjoy your work Leah. I'm glad I saw the link to this story in one of the threads and so agree you can be a Christian and dress and look a little differently than others. Jesus Himself was chastised for doing the unthinkable- the out of the normal- many times. Keep writing and I'll keep reading.
Leah, I'm reading this again after two years and still love it. Why do people get so hung up about how a Christian dresses. Unless they are wearing clothes that are explicitly sexual and the clothes say "Hey, look at me, I'm available to anyone", I don't see a problem. When I was a teen I was looked down on for wearing something as sinful as slacks to church. AND I refused to wear a hat, so there.
Leah, I'm reading this again after two years and still love it. Why do people get so hung up about how a Christian dresses. Unless they are wearing clothes that are sexually provocative, I don't see a problem. When I was a teen I was looked down on for wearing something as sinful as slacks to church. AND I refused to wear a hat. Hugs, Lynne
I can really see this. I think you did a great job with your MC. I know a girl who is very similar, and she is a very strong Christian, but you would never believe it to see her, she looks goth, she also has several belts in karate. But she knows her Bible, and can argue any point. I spotted a couple of minor grammar problems, can't remember exactly what they were now, I just remember stumbling slightly over them. Not enough to interrupt the flow of the story.
I enjoyed your story and thought your characters were believable. You've caught the feel of the teen very well.
I didn't see that ending coming! Good job with this! You made a good point that sometimes we assume people are one way just because they don't look the part. We should never point fingers until we take the time to get to know someone. And this was a mini-challenge entry? Wow!
I love it!! Only the tiniest bit cheesy - just the right amount actually. I think you did a great job with the characters within the word count.
Well done! Just the right amount of conflict and easily relatable for teens.
No cheese in this story. In fact, it could probably even be subtitled, "Judge Not". Oh well, I loved it. I agree, this could be an incredible publication for teens. Maybe something like "Break Away", "Brio", or "Brio and Beyond". They are all through Focus On the Family.
I liked this very much...strong message....Thank you for sharing it. GOD BLESS YOU
This is not cheesy, at all! We ALL need to look beyond appearances, and see the Child God created. And we are not cookie cutter creations, either. I like that Chandra was so different. Cant wait to see more of this!
Wonderful entry. Is Man vs Man a weak area for you? This sample sure doesn't show weakness. It really is good enough for a teen Sunday School publication.