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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: Pillars Of A Coliseum
By Karen Chatham


Pillars Of A Coliseum

When it came to Ricky, nothing was simple. His complex, teenage life was filled with all varieties of chaos. Victimized by the consequences of divorce, Ricky’s heart was pounded into shreds from being tossed back and forth from one parent to the other like a football in an NFL playoff game. Struggling to adjust to different rules, different schools, step mom, step dad, stepbrother, and a new half brother, Ricky had no solid place to land. His life was like a rushing river of confusion.
Displayed by his rebellious attitude and failing grades, Ricky’s weariness of it all came to a point of hopeless despair. He was up for some “Mom time”.
An earthquake could not have stopped me from loading up the car and taking that boy exactly where I knew he needed to be: The Mountain Fork River. After five hours of banging our heads over and over to Ricky’s favorite Switchfoot CD, a reconnection was already being established miles before we reached our log cabin in the woods.
Once we were settled in, we grabbed our life jackets and hiked down to the rain- swollen river. The kayaks seemed to be waiting especially for this designated moment in time.
Freezing cold water rolled over my middle-aged legs as we launched into the fast paced current. I wondered if I could handle this challenge. The fears of this adventure faded into the musty air when I looked up. The trees stood like pillars of a coliseum, built for a show that only God Himself could direct.
Full of life and curiosity, an energetic boy emerged from the walls of my son’s teenage fortress. We pretended to be Indians before the white man came. Turtles became targets for canoe paddle bopping, and we raced like the pros down playful, white rapids, conquering waterfalls in triumphant victory
Laughter and beauty became a soothing balm to Ricky’s war torn soul. An appalled spirit of anxiety lifted from him like an angry demon that couldn’t stand the tranquility. The innocent romance between a boy and his mother was sweetly restored and a river of peace quietly flooded over the river of confusion.
Countless seeds were sown on the banks of Ricky’s heart that day; seeds that have already sprouted to grow into trees of confidence, trees of significance, trees of peace, kindness and love. Trees that are planted by the water, trees whose leaves never wither, trees that will one day become pillars of a coliseum, built for a show that only God Himself could direct.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 09/09/06
What a wonderful connection between mother and child! How well your title describes the way some teenagers can become. I have experienced these "pillars" in my own two girls, and can attest to the accuracy of your description. An excellent story. Well written.
Stacey LaMontagne09/11/06
Very good. A little space between paragraphs would make it easier to read.
I hope the romance can continue with my 2 year old when she gets to be a teenager. Thanks for that hopeful story.
Kristi Kennedy09/11/06
This is an excellent example detailing how we as parents should spend "quality time" with our kids and the impact it has on them. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to spend one on one time with each individual child. One good experience like that can change a child's self esteem for years to come. And time is something money cannot buy.
Joanne Sher 09/14/06
Such wonderful storytelling, and a great message! Congratulations on your second place finish in beginners!!
Jan Ross09/14/06
Congratulations on your #2 Win! The only thing that bothered me was the lack of spacing. It makes it so much more readable if you doublespace between paragraphs. God bless you as you continue to grow in your gifts and talents! Very well done ... wonderful!
william price09/15/06
Excellent writing here Karen!!! I thought you had to be new here. You have such an orginal voice in your storytelling I don't remember reading before. You are destined for higher levels, for sure. Congratulations on your 2nd place!!! I'll be adding you to my fav writers list. Keep up the great work.
God bless.