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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)

TITLE: Starting Over
By Pamela Calhoun


How in the world did I end up here? Lannie looked around her, everything looked pleasant enough. She liked the tree in the corner with the tiny white lights. The room was filled with big comfortable couches and chairs, enough room for everyone. She looked at some of the other faces there with her. I wonder what their stories are?

Sitting at the end of the table during dinner she had kept to herself. Listening to the chatter and laughter around her she observed that the others actually sound happy to be here in a Women’s Shelter, where only people with absolutely nowhere else to go end up.

Now, in the living room on the big comfortable couches they are about to listen to some lady, with her life all together, tell them how they should just “get it together.” I wish I could disappear.

The lady is playing a guitar and singing. She handed out pages with the words of the songs and these other crazy women are singing the songs and acting like they enjoy it. A couple of them have their eyes closed and look like they are singing to someone they really love. One gal, over in the corner is even crying as she sings. I never really believed there was a Twilight Zone until now.

The lady is looking at us and smiling. Here it comes.

“Good evening gals, My name is Marcia, I’m very happy to be here and I’d like to start by praying and asking the Lord to bless our time together.”

She’s got a nice voice and she sounds sincere. I don’t know about all this religious stuff though, are they going to try and make a ‘Jesus Freak’ outta me? Now she’s talking again but nothing she says really makes any sense to me. These other gals seem to be hanging on her every word though. They’re probably just playing along, maybe you get points around here if you look interested in what they say.

“So the bottom line is this ladies; No one can ever be good enough to get into Heaven, but I’m going to show you how you can get in, and it’s really simple. Each of you has a canvas with a cross drawn on it. I want you to take your pencil and write on the cross all the things you’ve ever done that you’re ashamed of. No one but Jesus will ever see what you write, so just put it all down there.”

Well if you get points for playing along, here I go. I hate this, I hate seeing all the awful things I’ve done written here on this cross. I wish I could just erase it but there’s no erasers on these stupid pencils. Now what is she doing, she’s taking each person one at a time over to the corner, I can’t see what they’re doing, but each one comes back crying. Oh man, I don’t want to have to go with her. Geez, here she comes to get me, I just want to disappear!

“May I ask you to come with me for a minute?” she asks me. In the corner she doesn’t even ask to see my cross with all my horrible things on it. Now she’s asking me something, what is she saying, come on Lannie, concentrate.

“On this same cross that you wrote all your sins, Jesus died. He paid the debt for all of them. Would you like to see them all erased away?” How did she know what I was thinking?

“As I pour this red paint onto your canvas you can see that all your sins are covered. This red paint represents the blood of Jesus. He paid for all your sins by dying for them. If you accept the payment Jesus made on your behalf, then when God looks at you he sees you as clean and forgiven.

I’m watching the red paint flow down over my sins until I can’t see them any longer. “I can be forgiven everything, I can start over?” I ask her.

“Yes Lannie, you can. Would you like to pray and ask Jesus to be your Savior and walk with you, guiding you through every day of the rest of your life, until He takes you home to be with Him?”

Later, laying in my comfortable warm bed I feel myself smiling. What a wonderful place this is! Thank you Jesus for bringing me here!

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This article has been read 524 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shilo Goodson10/08/09
You have a very nice object lesson in your story. Plus, it was well-written and drew me into the story.
Robyn Terry10/08/09
Wow, powerful! Thank you for sharing.
Ruth Brown10/09/09
Good story.I hope God has a witness like this at every shelter.Forgiveness and hope are wonderful gifts.
Lisa Harris10/10/09
Your story flowed really well and it had such depth to it. Great writing!
Jan Ackerson 10/11/09
Nice story, that would be good as a handout in a women's shelter, with a few edits.

You start out with the main character as "Lannie", but toward the end, she becomes "I". And you occasionally switch from past tense to present and back.

Give it a quick fix, and this is a real gem! I love reading Lannie's inner thoughts.
Charles Eldredge10/11/09
Excellent description of just how easy it is to be saved and become the Lord's child.
diana kay10/13/09
this is good. I like the way you have put the characters thoughts in italics and the story is very well told and engaging. There is some repition such as @big comfortable couches@ that grated a little but that is only a tiny thing. This deserves to be a winner! and I look forward to reading more of your writing.