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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)

TITLE: In the Beginnning


“Dear Editor: Is anyone else concerned about the last weekend in January? According to a Salem News report, three to four thousand people from Greater Boston and beyond will be coming to the Sheraton Ferncroft in Danvers from January 26-28 to attend the Fetish Fair Fleamarket (FFF). The rooms at the Ferncroft are now sold out, and the overflow will be going to the Comfort Inn." So began my letter this morning to the newspaper editor.

Our community had worked diligently for several years to establish an acceptable and legal way to accommodate adult entertainment businesses. We had set up a designated adult business zone. Now, through a technicality, event planners were giving us exactly what we had tried to prevent.

Attendees from across the country will be coming to our small town. Some as far away as the Bay area in San Francisco are soliciting traveling companions. Although the unsavory weekend will pump approximately one million dollars into our local economy, what else will it bring? And at what cost? How do we express our displeasure at this latest unwelcome news?

For me, putting pen to paper is the answer.

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think;

(Lord Byron)

In a play by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Cardinal Richelieu put it this way: “The pen is mightier than the sword.” The incendiary pen has even ignited revolutions.

In J. B. Phillips’ translation of the New Testament, John says: “In the beginning God expressed himself. That personal expression, that Word was with God and was God and existed with God from the beginning.” (John 1:1) The King James version goes on to say: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14)

God’s love, God’s Word—too great not to be shared—was made incarnate. It spilled over onto the pages of human history. And the apostles, seeing with both their eyes and intellect, felt impelled to regift what they had learned. They had to spread the good news.

This urge to share knowledge led me to become a teacher. Even after leaving the classroom to devote full time to my husband and children, the teacher in me never quit. My charges were no longer young adolescents but rather, a husband and four children. I continued to clip from newspapers and magazines the latest research and reports of newsworthy events. Onto the refrigerator went the gems. When my firstborn was away at college, the barrage continued. Rather than care packages filled with goodies or long letters replete with family news, she continued to be gifted with clippings: on date rape, how to eat healthy, and a myriad of other life-enriching topics.

As Christians, all of us must find the words to speak out on issues and focus our miniscule rays of light on the darkness. The pastor of my church often reminds us: “Christ speaks to us, he speaks for us, and he makes speakers of us.”

As writers, we must take pen in hand or put mouse to keyboard. Even in the absence of inspiration, a voice can be found; and with persistence, a substance with contour, texture, and color will emerge from our vague imaginings. Let the words cascade from your inner well and follow William Wordsworth’s advice: “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/18/07
Much-needed exhortation to action here!

The unclear pronoun usage in the 2nd paragraph forced me to re-read a few times; it almost seemed as if you were fighting FOR the adult-oriented businesses.

Nice essay--I liked it.
Donna Powers 01/20/07
A very good essay and a very good expression of your beliefs. It is a well-expressed call to action.
Julie Arduini01/24/07
Yes, we must speak out. I loved the quote at the end.