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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)

TITLE: Zippy and Christy
By catherine something
08/18/07


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Zippy and Christie


She sat by the window not looking outside, but looking straight ahead, distraught and confused.  Christine's eyes were glassy; she was thinking or maybe reliving something.  Escaping from her eyes were giant tears out of depths that hadn't been felt in a long time.  "I don't understand," she muttered aloud to God.  "Isn't church supposed to be different?  Shouldn't Christians be kind and understanding?  I'm confused.” 

As if in answer her striped cat yowled loudly next to her.  This startled her and she visibly shook herself. "Okay…okay I'll feed you Zippy."   Christine went on to feed and water him but her forehead crinkled with trouble and every now and then another silent tear fell.

Christine stroked the cat's fur.  "Zippy, how could that lady be so mean, and in church?!"    In response the cat licked Christine’s face.

She continued, "Didn't that lady understand, couldn't she tell that Jeanie is autistic?
I don't get that!"  

Zip's reply was to gaze with sweet, half closed eyes.   "I guess you're right Zippy, I can't worry about people's prejudice."  Christine cringed.   "It just hurts when it’s your sister!"

"I'm so confused! God, aren't Christians supposed to be kind and loving to the helpless?”  Christine spoke aloud to her Creator with a bowed head as she held the cat’s tail.

"And Jeanie didn't mean to bother any one Zippy.  She just really likes to sing! I think she's neat to watch, you ought to see how she does her hand movements with every verse. And she sings from her sweet heart, though it is off key.... but only sometimes.” Zippy purred loudly as Christine was captured in a momentary memory of pure joy. Christine stopped holding Zip’s tail, and her brow furrowed again.

"But I don't know what that lady said to Jeanie during the song; and how could she interrupt Jeanie’s worship like that? I know she sings loud, but I don't get it!  I’m confused. George was the one who saw it happen. He said that after the woman talked to her that Jeanie kept on singing.  But he also said he had a sick feeling in his stomach."  The cat twirled his tail as cats do and listened to Christine's voice.

"Jeanie doesn't really interact very well in church.  Mom can barely get her to shake someone's hand.  So what do I do? I'm so confused about all this. Should I say anything to Jeanie?  She tunes out the world and even puts her hands over her ears like this, Zippy.  I want so much to be able to talk to her, and help her understand that I love her.  I guess that's one thing I'm not confused about. Hmmm… well I could always talk to the Pastor but I don't know if I want to."  Christine’s mouth curled up questioningly and the cat rubbed on her chin.

"There are some really great people at church.  Like that lady, oh what's her name. . . Maggie.  Maggie has a little land and she's letting the new church be built on it, can you imagine that?”  The cat got off Christine's lap and dashed off to try and catch something.  Christine saw Zippy's body get rigid and still and then spring after an imaginary foe.

"You're so funny; I should change your name to Joker!” And with that Christine giggled and a smile brightened her tear streaked face. “I'm not as confused anymore Zippy.  I know some of what I should do."  Zippy stopped his pretend game of chasing invisible prey. “I’ll stand by her Zip, that’s what I’ll do.” Christine scooped up Zip in her arms.  She started to look out the window but then she changed her mind and reached for the phone.

"Let's call George, Zippy and tell him our plan and that I'm no longer confused."


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/23/07
I love, love, love how you included the cat as a part of this girl's internal monologue. It added such a wonderful touch to your story.

I was a bit confused as to your narrator's age--couldn't quite place it. And who's George? And what is the plan of action? Just a few things to resolve on an edit.

Lots of food for thought here--Christians need to examine their actions under your microscope!
Carolyn Baney08/24/07
There is a boy with Down Syndrome at a local church I've been to. He ,too, sings and praises Jesus loudly and boldly...completely heart-driven. Not too much on key, but passionate.

Yes, there are many who avoid making eye contact with the boy or even worse, expressing anger towards him.

To me, he brings sweet laughter and joy. Only if the Body of Christ could all learn to worship so "open-faced"...no holds barred. Perhaps there would be more power in the church, yes? Thanks for the story. Keep writing!

Yes, the cat was a nice touch,too.
dub W08/24/07
Very touching, a meaningful essay that needs to be read by a number of folks. A couple of comman errors that might be fixed with a proof reader. Thank you for sharing this essay.
Donna Emery08/26/07
I can see this sweet girl talking to her cat. What a lovely picture. And what a heart for her sister. Kudos to Christy and to you for bringing us this touching story.
Jacquelyn Horne08/27/07
We often eleviate our confusion by talking to animals. They listen so well.
Clyde Blakely 08/28/07
And sometimes we get the answers through the animals we talk to.

God bless and keep writing.