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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)

TITLE: From Darkness into Light
By Beckie Stewart


Beth slowly walked into her pastor's living room. Her eyes darted back and forth like a caged animal looking for the way of escape. She sat down, crossed her arms, and focused her attention upon the floor. Jane watched and observed that Beth appeared apprehensive and yet ready to lunge and attack at any given moment. The rest of Jane's students had not yet arrived, and so Jane sat in the chair across from Beth. This was the first time Beth had attended Sunday School in months.

"Beth, are you okay?"
"Yes," Beth whispered.
"You look like you don't want to be here today."
"I don't. My parents forced me to come."
"I see, " Jane said, "But you seem scared. What are you afraid of?"
"You," Beth coldly stated without looking up.

Taken back by Beth's bold statement, Jane quickly whispered a prayer for wisdom. Jane wondered what had caused this young teenage girl to be so frightened of her. Beth shifted back and forth in her seat as Jane prayerfully decided what she should do or say. It soon became apparent that the other two girls were not coming for class, and so Jane wondered what her approach should be.

Gently, Jane decided to prod Beth about her feelings toward Christians in general and discovered that Beth had a deep commitment to occult practices. She expressed a time when she had prayed and asked satan to come into her life and help her live for him. Beth related how she enjoyed wearing dark clothing and as she told Jane about the decor in her bedroom her eyes reflected that of a lion ready to pounce upon its prey.

Jane again lifted a prayer for direction and the right words. She had the deep sense that she did not want to force anything with Beth, but the yearning to see the power of the Lord. Jane had been wondering for months whether she was taking this "Christianity" a little too seriously herself. It seemed that the majority of people in her congregation were only interested in talking about Jesus on Sunday. It had been a long time since Jane had seen the difference following Christ made in the life of others.

Jane decided to share with Beth the difference Jesus had made in her own life since she was sixteen. She related to her the pain of her broken home and the fights with her mother. As she recalled the hopelessness she had felt in dealing with life and her desire to die, Beth leaned forward in her chair and asked, "What will trusting in Jesus do for me? How will I have to dress?"

"I don't know about your clothing, but I know that you will have hope for something more than this life can ever offer," Jane said. As they continued to talk, Beth asked question after question about Jane's life before and after Jesus. The more they talked the more clear it became that Beth desired to leave the life she once knew and follow Jesus instead. Jane remembered the words of her Savior when He said to Nicodemus, "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8, NASB).

In those precious moments shared together, Beth bowed her head, admitted her sin, and sought forgiveness. She asked Jesus to fill her life where satan had been and committed her life to obeying Him. When Jane looked into Beth's eyes she saw a sparkle, a warmth, and the countenance of one who had indeed been set free from her prison. Jane knew she had not only witnessed the baptism of a new life in Jesus Christ, but she too had been revived with resurrection power.

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This article has been read 674 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 10/27/07
I love that both of these women were renewed. Enjoyed this!
Paula Titus 10/27/07
It's true, the Lord can take the darkest soul and give it new light :) Thanks for this lovely story.
LauraLee Shaw10/29/07
I love the way Jane leaned on the Lord for her words and responses. And your ending is one we all hope for when we're asking God to use us. He changes us in the process of changing others. Excellent piece.
Seema Bagai 10/31/07
This is a good story. You have some great character descriptions here.

You asked for ways to "move to the next level. One way would be to avoid obvious statments. For example, you wrote, "Jane watched and observed that Beth appeared apprehensive and yet ready to lunge and attack at any given moment." I would take out "Jane watched and observed" and have the description of Beth stand on its own.

Please feel free to PM me if you want a more detailed critique.
Jan Ackerson 10/31/07
Good story line and plot development.

My suggestion for being able to move on to the next level would be to work on "showing, not telling." Do a google search on that phrase, and you'll find some really good examples of what that means.

Your writing mechanincs are absolutely fine--"showing" will enable you to punch it up a bit.
Sara Harricharan 10/31/07
This is great! My only note is the quick shift in the beginning from Beth's eyes to Jane's POV. Otherwise, this is very good! I see a lot of potential here. ^_^
Brenda Welc11/01/07
Good story telling here. Keep up the good writing.
Linda Roth11/07/07
Well written! You kept me captivated with your story. I especially like your ending.