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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Church (12/06/07)

TITLE: Where Do the Broken-Hearted Go?
By annie mclean
12/13/07


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Where Do the Broken-Hearted Go?

The wind was howling and the cold rain and icy pellets hit the windshield with unyielding force as Emma drove away from the church. Cold desolation fell over her soul wrapping its tentacles tightly around her wounded heart. Sobs racked her slim shoulders as she allowed her emotions to spill over. Never had she felt so alone. Emma drove blindly through the storm. Her heart held no hope.

Emma was my friend. She was the kind of woman who was everybody’s friend, always reaching out to anyone in need. If you were sick, you could be sure Emma would drop in with homemade chicken noodle soup and buns. If you were feeling down, she would suggest coffee and before long you would be pouring your heart out to her, knowing it would be a safe and trusted haven. She had a sparkle in her beautiful blue eyes and a spring to her step. She and her husband had always been very involved in the church until now…

What had been a well-kept secret was now a well-versed conversation piece within the church family…Emma’s marriage was no more. We, the women in the church were of course deeply concerned for her and so we discussed her broken marriage at great length during our prayer times. Emma had always been the life of the party. However, now she seemed to be weighed down with sadness. A smile was slow to come to her lips and when it did, it did not reach her eyes. We did not invite her to join us when we got together because somehow it seemed kind of awkward.

Sometimes during the church service she would seem to be overcome with emotion and would cry. We did not know what to do, so sadly, we did nothing. This particular Sunday she got up during the sermon and ran out of the church with tears streaming down her face. We all talked about it after and felt badly for her. Emma apparently wrote this poem on that cold and rainy afternoon…

I USED TO BE…

I used to be someone who loved God deeply
Who ministered to the lonely…
I was confident and secure
With lots of ‘friends’…

I used to be someone with hopes and dreams
Filled with joy and laughter
Offering comfort and care
To those in need…

Now, I am someone whose faith has been shaken
Filled with loneliness and despair
Ashamed, insecure and afraid
Whose friends have faded away…

Now, I need someone to come alongside me…
To share God’s love and comfort with me…I need you.

Maybe I am sitting next to you in the pew…
or…maybe I used to be…

Emma


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This article has been read 395 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Temple Miller12/14/07
Wow, powerful is the first word that comes to mind. You've presented a sermon in a concise, beautifully written entry. I'm quite moved.
Sheri Gordon12/14/07
This is very good. The poem is absolutely awesome.

Small point -- you start from Emma's POV, and then switch to the narrator's POV. Try to stick with one or the other in a short piece like this.

Very powerful message. Excellent job with the topic.
Paula Titus 12/16/07
Wonderful message here. Good writing!
Jan Ackerson 12/16/07
Still another piece for self-examination this week! Very powerful, and well-written. I agree with Sheri about the POV--one way to fix it in this piece would simply be to put the first paragraph in italics, so that it seems as if the narrator is imagining Emma's flight.
Yvonne Blake 12/18/07
So sad! She didn't die did she?
I loved your vivid descriptions in the first paragraph.
I suggest a smoother transition into the poem.
Well done.
Joanne Sher 12/21/07
Congratulations, Annie, on placing seventh in your level. Great job!
TJ Nickel12/27/07
Like it, especially 'when the smile doesn't reach the eyes' - nice technique.