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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)

TITLE: A Second Wind
By Benjamin Stephens
~1st Place


The ultimate Artist painted a world into existence. Stars with names appeared wherever He looked in the night sky. Water found its boundaries and came no closer until He commanded. Soon birds and animals, fish and trees, grass and flowers all began to color the canvas in a delight to the visual and auditory senses.

However, there was one bit of creation left and this creation would require something more. This creation would require an altogether new model - the ability to make a choice. This creation would reason and make decisions based on a balance of obedience and desire. One was life - the other certain death. Only he could decide which to chose, but he would not be left without guidance.

This creation would also bear the indelible stamp of the Creator - he would bear His image. Like a potter creating a piece for the throne room of the King, the Creator formed the man, Adam. He spent moments observing the lifeless form of the man and knew that a chain of events had started that would require something only the Creator could give.

He smiled on His creation and then, God breathed.

* * * * *

The rebellion of one brought eleven others to a discovery - their hope was locked in a tomb. The plans they had were wrapped in wishful thinking and now they lamented the loss of a misunderstood friend. The night of His betrayal they had scattered like a torch to a veritable tribe of cockroaches. They scolded themselves for their inability to stand with Jesus.

The women who followed Him were cloaked in a grief too desperate for simple platitudes and colloquialisms. No words reached that inner place of pain and despair. There were no rocks large enough to dam the inner flood that left eyes, throat and lungs raw from the raging flow.

Sixteen soldiers sat outside the tomb and watched, waiting for anyone who would dare retrieve the man’s broken body and fractured heart. They inspected the wax seal and swapped stories about the unusual peasant preacher from Galilee.

The priests stood with an odd mixture of triumph and fear as they gazed at the curtain torn from top to bottom exposing the most holy location to their people. An earthquake had caused such violence that their library and tabernacle were in shambles. They dare not allow the thought that haunted their moments, both waking and in the dark places of sleep. Their adversary was dead and His blood stained more than their hands.

Barabbas walked the streets of Jerusalem in confusion. The crowd had demanded his release and it was granted, yet there was no one to take him in and the desperation of aloneness descended as awkward as it was complete. He was free, but free from what?

The angels stood in confused silence as the body of God’s Son lay lifeless in a borrowed tomb. The outcome was not what they had expected and the exacting of life was beyond description even for such celestial elite.

God Himself finally turned and watched as His Son lay disfigured and stiff. He had to turn His back on His Son in those moments just before Jesus’ death - it was the hardest thing He had ever done. Now it was over and the sins of every human since the incident in the first garden were made clean in His sight - but there was something more and so He watched and waited.

Three days the Father waited knowing what every heart was going through amongst all of creation. Time was irrelevant in the demonstration of love between Father and Son.

He waited.

He watched.

The gift of eternal life was waiting to be granted to mankind which is why He kept vigil.

On day three - God breathed!

“Since death came through one man, the resurrection of the dead comes through a man. For as in Adam we all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22 - NIV).

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Delores Baber06/06/05
Fantastic perspective of the three days that changed the world !!! Your words were chosen artfully and were like jewels in a work of art. A painful work, but with a beauty due to it's outcome.
darlene hight06/06/05
This is beautifully written. It has the feel of a perfect ballad.
Shari Armstrong 06/07/05
Wonderfully crafted work - I think this should have been placed in the Advanced group :)
dub W06/08/05
This is an article of great depth, very well done.
Amy Verlennich06/08/05
I loved this! It is beautifully written. If I were to be completely objective, I would just offer the last sentence to repeat what had been written earlier about God... something like "and God smiled... then on day three, God breathed." to really tie it all together. I would love to see this as a little drama for an Easter Sunday!
Leticia Caroccio06/09/05
Awesome, awesome job on this week's topic. It was creative and intricately woven. Power and passion, bittersweet and poignant are just a few words to describe the sense of your carefully chosen words. Very effective. I loved the moments in the article when "God breathed". I would have chosen it as the title but your original title works better.

My favorite lines are:
"Time was irrelevant in the demonstration of love between Father and Son".
"There were no rocks large enough to dam the inner flood that left eyes, throat and lungs raw from the raging flow"

This truly is an article of substance. It should place at the highest level. Again, awesome job.
Debbie OConnor06/09/05
Wonderful work! The greatest story ever told, told expertly by a terrific writer. Thanks for blessing me with this reading.
Sally Hanan06/09/05
No way are you an interm. writer. Get thee hence to A. Very inspiring and well-written.
Amy Michelle Wiley 06/09/05
Very beautifully written!
Kathy Ellis06/09/05
this is an awesome entry!... I love the title...Just think! On the third day God breathed and Jesus inhaled the breath of the Father... Good job!
Val Clark06/10/05
Encapsulated the whole of salvation history from many points of view is so few words. beautifully crafted.
Katherine Douglas06/10/05
this is an excellent piece. I enjoyed the rhythm and my heart rate elevated with each lyrical turn of your phrases. You took me higher and higher until I reached my second wind thank you,
Phyllis Inniss06/10/05
The camera moves from one paragraph to the next depicting a new scene to set the picture of history and Christ's death and our salvation.
Maxx .06/10/05
Very very good. Ya done good and I bet you'll be in the top 8 :-)
Suzanne R06/10/05

I love the way it goes full circle and you wrap it up with that powerful sentence about God breathing.

Well done!
Lynda Lee Schab 06/11/05
Bravo! Bravo! You definitely need to move up a notch to Advanced. Excellent writing.
Blessings, Lynda
Pat Guy 06/11/05
"God Breathed" well done tying the Creation in with the Resurrection - won't be surprised if deb gives you the boot! I know I'd like too!:)
Joyce Simoneaux06/12/05
Very good piece. I liked the way you went from THE beginning to the NEW beginning. I enjoyed it.
Anthony Tophoney06/13/05
Wow! Congratulations on grabbing the top spot with your first challenge entry! Powerful imagery, solid structure, sacred truth, even a perfect title. This is a blessing at any level.
Lois Jennison Tribble06/13/05
Great job, Ben! Amen to previous comments -- I, too, loved God's breathing. Not bad for a first time challenger!
Sharon Cleveland06/15/05
This story is well-written. It is easy to read and very inspiring. Great Job!
Linda Watson Owen06/15/05
Benjy, I was literally holding my breath as I read. Absolutely wonderful!
Nina Phillips07/03/05
Captivating, and articulate peice which provolks our reveared thought. (My thought would be there is no evidence that God breathed- on the third day, according to Genesis; However, God did give the increase.) The mighty rushing wind was heard on the day of Pentecost beginning in Jerusalem, within the body of Christ. Still, this is a believable representation and awesome reflection of emotions and events that transpired in the days prior to Christ ressurection. Great story! God bless ya,
Tammy Johnson07/06/05
Excellent way to tell the story! Got my drama mind flowing - may be asking you for permission to use some of this come Easter next year! (Amy gave me the idea)
Deborah Porter 07/10/05
Ben, I'm finally getting a chance to pop around (as I'm editing the Celebrations book). Have to say mate - this was OUTSTANDING! You definitely deserved your Best of the Best win. Love, Deb