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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: Burning books.
By Josiah Kane


Sceva’s septenary of sons charged out of the hovel. They were stark naked, and blood gushed through open wounds. Tears streamed to their eyes and cascaded down their faces. Benzeball, the village madman stood angrily in the doorway, not ashamed that he had just had just ripped their clothes off them. They had boldly marched into his home for an exorcism, but he and his owner were not happy with the idea. When the seven had made the mistake of bringing an absent Paul into the equation, the crazed man had leaped at his chance—and at them. The town was catapulted into frenzy, and twelve men marched off to Tyrannus to fetch the troublemaker, Paul, since there was obviously much more to his gospel than the people had given it credit for.

Paul arrived with the group to see the people well ready to repent. The Christ-in-a-closet believers had all burst into the open, and one was giving a speech. He was talking about the time he stole a man named David’s cow. What was more, the confessor asked for forgiveness! That broke the dam, and wave after wave of confessions came out their mouths. As one the crowd that had driven the preacher away turned to his God for salvation. But in spite of the “Jesus is Lord”s and other such axioms there was a noticeable lack of change. The terror that had driven the citizens to shout out the words still hung, like a pestilence above the crowd. The demoniac still scowled in his doorway. Paul knew that his King was waiting for a mightier sign than the words of an emotional crowd. But no one knew what was missing, so they kept on as before.

Suddenly everything stopped. Slowly every head in the crowd swivelled toward a tall dark man in a flowing sorcerer’s robe. The pages in the book of spells fluttered in the breeze, but to all present it writhed like a thousand serpents held against a knife. The mage drew a breath and spent another minute deciding what to do. Finally with a sigh he said, “I have served the wrong god for twenty-eight years! I shall not for one more minute.” Then he grasped the mass of snakes by their collective heads and ripped them apart, the precious, evil papers floated into a pile, to be held down by the stiff wooden case. Then with a perfectly material concoction he conjured up a fireball and lit the pyre. Everyone else followed suit, and the blaze grew to an inferno when Statues of Artemis and other gifts were hurled into its roaring mouth. Even the gilding that melted and merged with the black ash was considered profane and abandoned to be trampled to dust.

As the flames finished devouring the amulets; a second, purer fire filled the meeting place. Gusts of crystal wind gave the bonfire one final chance to rear its majestic head before starving and dying out, with only a pile of cooling, charred embers to show the remains of the devil’s stronghold in the city. The demon behind the Artemis statue shrieked and fled the tiny taste of hell that its old servant had conjured up. Benzeball was also freed, since his tenant fled with the superior fiend, Then the Holy Spirit heeded the call of the citizens, who had pleaded with thoughts and words and finally with great actions, to guide the young church through the trials to come.

Based on Paul’s mission to Ephesus, Acts 19

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin02/29/08
Great descriptions of actions, imaginative. :)
Laury Hubrich 03/01/08
This was a great story of the early church. Looks like you did much research. Good job!
Lynn Jacky 03/02/08
Interesting, great writing and story on the early Church. Keep writing.