It's easy to critique the works of others and get your work critiqued. Just follow the steps below:
1) Post your first piece.
2) You must then critique the work of another member to post another piece yourself.
3) For each critique you give, you earn 1 credit that can be used to post another one of your writings.
4) You can build up credits to be used at another time by giving critiques to others.
Our Daily Devotional
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.
TRUST JESUS TODAY
What do you think?
Stringy, grease saturated hair dangled rebelliously in front of his right eye. Irritated, he shoved it back where the others strings lay stuck to his head, anchored by its filth. A full grown beard covered his hollow cheeks, and dark slashes lay furrowed above light blue eyes. Eyes that seemed to sink back into his head. Eyes that held nothing but pain and regret in there light masses. A mix between rotting garbage and sweat clung to his very skin, unbeknownst to him. A potent stench that reached into every nostril that walked idly by. A stench he had now become accustomed to.
“Look over there mommy!” A little with short blond pigtails exclaimed, pointing in the direction of the smelly man. None too gently the girl’s Mother pushed her chubby finger down to her side. Whispering candidly,
“Quiet Margaret. Don’t point! He’ll probably try and rob us if he sees! Those no good…” Her voice trailed off as she dragged her child away, covering her innocent eyes.
Pressing his thinning body into the side of the building, he squeezed his eyes shut tight, wishing he could disappear.
“Hey you there!” A deeply masculine voice called from his left. A tall handsome man, dressed casually began approaching him, his hand outstretched. “Here.” He said, passing him a 10-dollar-bill.
“Thanks.” The invisible man mumbled, quickly tucking it into his worn jacket pocket. Making sure not to raise his gaze above the other man’s collar, he attempted to give the man an appreciative smile, albeit yellow. But it was quickly cut short by a disgusted exclamation,
“Eww…Richard! What do you think you’re doing? Talking with…with…that?”
“Oh come on Anna! I just wanted to give the guy some money. He looks like he could use something to eat.” He said, walking back to his young girlfriend.
“Well! Aren’t you simple. Those kinds of people don’t use their money for food. They use it for drugs! All you’re doing is supporting his addiction. Next time why don’t you just pass the guy a syringe, fully loaded? It’ll save him time. Not like he has anything better to do anyway.” She mumbled, “And don’t touch me until you wash…” The voices began to fade as their backs retreated, her shiny golden hair swishing from side to side, the man obediently listening to her lecture.
Again the man felt the familiar slap of rejection. An emotion he knew all too well. Picking up his bag full of recyclable bottles, he slung it over his shoulder, his other hand firmly gripping a wooden frame. His most prized possession.
Sauntering down the busy street, he stopped at a hotdog stand to buy a hotdog with his ten bucks, with all the fixings. Then he continued his walk, seen only by those willing to bestow their looks of contempt and disgust on him. The others pretended he wasn’t even there.
Reaching the end of the street, he looked upon a huge park area, filled with people. There was a couple throwing a cherry red Frisbee back and forth, there young golden retriever playfully running between them, mesmerized. A group of teenage boys were playing a game of tackle football. A game that was clearly orchestrated to flaunt their perceived masculinity to the group of giggling girls that stood by to watch. With each pummel the women squealed in delight. At the far end of the field lay a rainbow coloured playground, with small children scrambling all over like a colony of anxious ants, while there parents stood by supervising.
Lastly, his eyes fell on a smartly dressed man who looked completely out of place. The man sat on a deteriorating wooden bench, legs neatly crossed, a three piece suit perfectly framing his body, not a wrinkle in sight. He clearly didn’t match his surroundings. He looked as if he should be in at a desk, at the top of a sky scraper commanding people to do his biddings at a large corporation, like a captain of a ship. Not sitting in a park, doing nothing. He knew what men like this were like. They had the mindset that life is all about work with no time for friends or family. The only thing they could think about was getting to the top. His father had been like that.
“I’m sorry sir, can I help you with something?”
Shoot! He’d been caught staring. How embarrassing! Turning, he began to amble away.
“Wait!” The ‘captain’ called after him. “I could use the company. Would you mind?”
Glancing behind, he found no reputable man the captain could be talking to.
“Yeah, you! I won’t bite you, I promise.” The captain smiled. Perfectly straight, white teeth seemed to glimmer as the smile lit up his face and seemed to twinkle in his eyes.
Cautiously setting down his bag of recyclables, he took a seat at the opposite side of the bench, clutching his prized possession tightly in his hands, knuckles white, waiting for the joke to end with a spit in the face, or a push off the side of the bench. Instead something happened that he hadn’t expected.
“The name’s Joshua. Pleasure to meet you…” Confidently the man named Joshua held out his hand.
So the captain had a name. Joshua. Respectable name. Really clean hands. Spotless even. Wow! Staring at his hands, he forgot to extend his own.
“Well buddy, don’t leave me awkward here. What’s your name?” Joshua asked, reluctantly lowering his hand.
“Aaron.” His voice sounded scratchy, like it had become rusty due to disuse.
“Aaron. Hi. So what’s that you have in your lap Aaron?” Still a little hesitant, Aaron slowly lifted up the rectangular, wooden frame.
“Wow! She’s a beauty! How old is she?”
“In the picture she’s about five. But it was taken about six years ago.”
“So that would make her eleven now?” Silence met the question. Then slowly, a quiet response,
“She passed away when she was six. Leukemia.” Tears began filling up his blue eyes, making them look as if the very iris was melting. They spilled over, causing tiny trails to form over his filthy cheeks. “She was my angel. My everything. The reason I lived. The two of us were inseparable. But after we found out she had the disease, life became really complicated and real expensive too. She was so scared to go to her treatments. Didn’t want to go alone. So I told her I would be right beside her every step of the way. That family was more important to me than my career. But my employers didn’t seem to agree with the sentiment. I was an electrician, you know. A very good one at that. But I was away at the hospital too much. And that was a problem. After they fired me, the money began to run out, and so I began to sell off everything I had. I had too in order to pay for all the medical bills. The worse she got, the more expensive it was.” He took in a shaky breath, trying to calm his emotions.
“When she passed away, I was left with nothing. No house, no car, no job, and worst of all, no family. So I lost my will to live. And now I have fallen so far, there’s no way out.” Realising how much he had shared, his cheeks reddened, but the dirt on his streaked face aptly covered any evidence of embarrassment. He laughed awkwardly,
“I bet you never thought you’d be listening to a homeless man’s life story when you decided to come to the park. Sorry, I don’t know what came over me. I’m just not used to having someone listen.” Silence met his apology. Feeling awkward, Aaron rose to leave.
“Aaron wait!” Meeting Joshua’s earnest gaze, Aaron retook his seat.
“So let me tell you a little about me. I own a company called Jeshanah Enterprises. And today as I sat at my desk, papers everywhere and meetings lined up for seemingly the rest of my life, I felt God telling me something. He told me to get up, leave the office, and come to the park. So did just that. I cancelled all my appointments and left. And here I am. And now I know the reason why. And that reason is you.” Joshua paused, his eyes sparkling, looking as if he held a secret. “You see it just so happens that our main electrician is looking to retire. And so we are currently in the process of finding a new one. A man with your past experience would be quite an asset to the company. And so I’m asking you if you would do me a favour by coming in for a more formal interview with me and my colleagues, just as a precaution, and seeing if it is something you would like to do.”
Aaron stared at him in shock.
“Is this a joke?” he asked, automatically putting his guard up.
“I promise you its not. The job has good pay and its full time. A little soap and water, some food, new clothes and I’m sure you’ll be perfect for the job. What do you think?”
“I think God is giving me a second chance at life, and I ought to take it.” He answered, a smile stretching over his thin face. And so rising together the two men left the dirty old bench, a bag of bottles nestled beside it.
The two were an unlikely pair as they started down the busy street, but their smiles shone equally as brightly.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
REMEMBER, this is a Critique Circle. Please try to give a critique to receive a critique. If you do not want to give any critiques, you can use the REGULAR ARTICLE SUBMISSION area. If you are unsure about how to critique, please use the CRITIQUE GUIDELINES and CRITIQUE TIPS.
To view your critiques that you receive on any writing, login to your account and click "CRITIQUE CIRCLE MANAGEMENT" to view all of your critiques and edit each piece. Then, click "VIEW CRITIQUES" next to the article title to view critiques on that piece. Comments on all of your writings when using the Critique Circle will not be displayed publicly as regular and writing challenge articles. They can only be viewed by accessing them from your account.