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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)

TITLE: Those Eyes...
By Jeff Lambert
02/02/11


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I woke up that morning with a single thought in my mind; one more day. I have just one more day to think about my life, about what I would do differently if I could do it all over. You know? Like a second chance. Most of the guys in here say we all had our chances, plenty of ‘em, and we blew it. They say this is the end of the line for losers like us. Speakin’ for myself, I’m getting what I deserve for the things I done. All my life I made excuses for the terrible things I did and I blamed everyone else for my gettin’ into trouble. Even though I knew what I did was wrong I could never bring myself to say that I was guilty. But that was before I looked in those eyes . . .

It was real strange, the way it happened. One of them religious guys, they call ‘em chaplains, came around and asked if he could talk to me. I didn’t have nothin’ better to do, so I told him “Go ahead, it’s a free country.”

Now, I was never much for religion. Mom took us kids to church once in awhile, when she wasn’t too hung over, but I left home when I was fourteen and a church was the last place I wanted to go. The preacher was always talkin’ about sin and goin’ to hell, stuff like that.

Anyway, this chaplain, he knew we was all on death row, so he starts askin’ me if I know where I’m goin’ when I die. So I tells him “Yeah, I’m goin’ to hell with all my buddies!”Real cute, huh?

But this guy, he doesn’t care, he just keeps on talkin’ and sayin’ how no matter what I done or how bad I’ve been, God loves me and would forgive me. He told me that Jesus Christ paid the price for my sin and all I had to was, what were them words…confess my sin, ask His forgiveness and boom! I would go to heaven.

Well, like I said, I never could bring myself to say that I was guilty and I had enough of this preacher’s talk. So I says to him “I’ll think about that” and then I walked away without a thought.

But that night, before I went to sleep, for the first time in I don’t know long, I prayed. I said “God, I done some awful things in my life, and I wouldn’t blame you for just ignoring me, I never asked for your help before. But I know I’m gonna die soon, God, and if what that chaplain said is true then I’m askin’ you to take my sin away and please take me to heaven when I die.” “Oh, amen.”

Nothin’ happened. I didn’t hear no voice or anything, so I went to sleep. But I had a dream, and in this dream I saw these eyes just lookin’ at me, only they wasn’t lookin’ at me, they was lookin’ inside me, and I knew those were the eyes of God!

He showed me how awful and hopeless I was, and every terrible thing I had ever done flashed in my mind. Then he reminded me that I had asked him to take my sin away, and just like that I knew I was clean, forgiven and that I would be in heaven with Him when I died! When I woke up there were tears of joy and thankfulness in my eyes and I knew, even though I was going to die, everything was gonna be okay.

“It’s time.” Those were the only words the guard spoke when he came to my cell. The chaplain was with him and I smiled at him as they opened the door and led me to the place from where I was finally going home forever.

As they fastened those straps,I closed my eyes for the last time, and I saw those eyes one more time…


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This article has been read 186 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Adele Butler02/03/11
What a touching story and a reminder that God's grace extends to everyone once they go to Him in faith. Sin had put this man in prison but forgiveness and salvation set him free.
Mary Toll02/06/11
Juat like the two thieves on the cross, there was no other religous thief dying who could trumph what Jesus had told the one who was coming into His Father's kingdom.

Well told.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/07/11
What A clever take on what would you do of you had 24 hours to have idea. I liked the voice of your MC. He seemed real and credible. Although I often think the dream part of a story is an easy explanation, this is one of those times when it really works. God does talk to us in our dreams. Nice job!
Nancy Bucca 02/08/11
This one brought me to tears. Boy is it good! Keep writing and keep up the good work!
Bonnie Bowden02/08/11
Touching piece of writing. I liked your phrasing of his words, they made him seem so real--saying anything to make the chaplain leave.

I am so glad that God is willing to forgive us, even that last moment before death.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/10/11
Congratulations for placing 11th in level one!