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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sunday School (10/25/07)

TITLE: A Message from the Good Samaritan
By Sheila Arnott


My Sunday School lesson this week was the parable of the Good Samaritan. I read it over in the Bible the night before, and felt no particular connection to it. Whenever possible, I try to relate something in my own life to the Bible story, but I couldn’t recall anything relevant to me and the Good Samaritan.

The next morning we read the parable together, followed by a discussion. My teacher’s manual instructed me to encourage the children in my 4th and 5th grade class to help others. I tried to do this cautiously.

“Someone may try to take all of your money.”, I said.

“Did that ever happen to you?”, Mitchell asked me. I nodded slowly, wondering how to tell these trusting, wide-eyed children the events of that terrible day. I didn’t have to wonder long, though, as my ten year-old daughter, Sophie, began telling them everything.

It happened only four months after we had moved almost 2,000 miles from the suburbs of northeastern PA to New Orleans, LA. My husband and I were enjoying everything about being newly married, with new jobs in a big, exciting city. It was a warm, November afternoon and I was walking home alone from work.

“Did he ask you for change and then rob you?” Mary asked. I told them that he did ask, but he asked for my whole purse, not just change.

“Did you give it to him?” was Zach’s question.

“No, but I should have. When I refused, he chased me down the street, tackled me, and knocked me down. He took my glasses off and broke them in half. Then he tore off my purse and ran away, leaving me lying in the middle of the road. When I sat up, I looked across the street and saw two men standing there, waiting for the streetcar. Neither of them moved to help me. Instead, I got up and walked to the nearest business, a bakery called, ‘Our Daily Bread’. There, I asked to use the phone to call the police. ‘I’ve just been robbed.’, I explained to the woman behind the counter.”

For a moment, no one said anything. My heart was pounding hard in my chest and I was feeling near to tears. I relived how vulnerable and helpless I felt…how fear began to permeate my perfect new life in New Orleans.

Sophie broke the silence with, “Tell them what the cop said to you when he came to the bakery.” I shot Sophie a look.

“Maybe I shouldn’t. I don’t want to scare anyone.” I answered her. This was immediately followed by nine children pleading, “Please tell us!”.

I said, “The cop asked me if the man had a weapon.” There were gasps. Mary put her hand over her mouth.

“I told him that I didn’t know. The thought had never occurred to me. Then he scolded me for not willingly handing over my purse, with $1.60 in my wallet, because this robber could have killed me for it.”

“Were you afraid?”, asked Taylor. I silently recalled that I had experienced panic attacks over the next year while waiting for the streetcar, walking in the park, even just going around the back of our apartment house to do the laundry.

“Of course I was afraid, but I learned to be more careful.” I answered.

“How?”, Jacob asked. I talked about being careful when you take out your money. I told the children that God would understand that you are being careful so as to not get hurt. Finally, I reassured my Sunday School class that my bad experience happened far away, in a big city. We moved on to a game, a snack and a prayer.

I never could have imagined how telling the difficult tale of my being robbed fifteen years ago would make the parable of the Good Samaritan so relevant to my Sunday School class today. Sadly, there really was no Good Samaritan in my story. Yet God had brought me to a place where this seemingly pointless event in my life would prove itself useful to me in sharing God’s word.

That day helped me to remember to be humble when reading the Bible and looking for similarities in my own life. I came away from it feeling grateful and blessed that I could recognize His purpose in both my lesson to my Sunday School class, as well as His lesson for me.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/01/07
Good lesson--I wish more people would write up their life lessons in story form--they're so much more readable that way.

You have some easily correctable punctuation errors, especially in punctuating dialogue. A google search might take you to a website that reviews those rules.

Your dialogue is true to the children's ages, and moves the story along very well.
Allison Egley 11/03/07
Oh, this was really, really good.

The first paragraph seemed a little weak. Try staring out with the kids begging you to tell the story, and then go into the background information.

Great story, and I'm sure those kids will remember that story long after they've left your class.
Colin Swann11/05/07
Good interesting story- pity there wasn't a Good Samaritan around in your story. Thanks
Lynda Schultz 11/05/07
Very good story.