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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Experiment (02/16/12)

TITLE: The Least of These
By Kim Franklin


It was the perfect day and I was more than a little nervous. Although I had visited the small, friendly church once before, today would be different. As I knelt down to pray, I was humbled and curious as to how I would be perceived. Prayerfully, I asked for guidance and courage.

I had found the tattered dress and oversized shoes at a yard sale . The dress an offensive green color with a musty odor and the shoes were yellow with black scuff marks and worn soles. As I slipped into the dress, I noticed a gaping hole under the sleeve which I hastily fixed with two safety pins. The lipstick that I chose for this day was a bright red and the rouge was equally as bright. As I applied the green eye shadow, I was struck by my appearance. Typically, I dress very conservatively with very little makeup - but not today. Minutes passed as I tried to find “me” in that mirror. Unsuccessful, I grabbed the shoes, my Bible and my courage and headed out the door.

Pulling into the parking lot, my stomach did a somersault. “Maybe this wasn’t one of my better ideas”, I thought to myself. A quick prayer renewed my strength and as I opened the car door, the warmth of the Sonshine flooded over me. I was early and there were several church members milling about in the parking lot. I seemed invisible as I approached the large, ornate wooden doors. Even the greeter seemed to find something to occupy himself as I passed him in the vestibule.

I felt awkward and alone. There was a busy chatter among the churchgoers and the pews were beginning to fill up quickly. Embarrassed, I quickly chose a seat on the very end of the last pew. Many walked by but none seemed to notice me. It wasn’t until the second song that I was certain that I had been noticed as the women two rows in front of me began whispering loudly enough for me to hear. Words are so destructive.

Welcome time came and passed with no interaction from any of the church members. I was keenly aware that they were avoiding me even though I wore my friendliest smile. I watched as the offering plate pass each hand on all of the aisles preceding me and then watched as the usher dismissed me. Disappointed, I carefully tucked my tithe back into my oversized red purse.

The end of the service came with as little fanfare as it had begun. I sat quiet and alone as the members filed out of the church. Rejected and weary, I made my way to the parking lot. The results were as I expected.

How many people had I passed by at my church because they weren’t “just like me”? How would I fare on judgment day for all of those people that I discouraged from coming to church?

“Verily, I say unto you: inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40

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This article has been read 345 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Bucca02/23/12
I feel bad for the MC. Too bad her little experiment yielded such disappointing results. It makes me want to shake some sense into the ones who ignored her.
C D Swanson 02/24/12
WOW - that was packed with emotions on a totally different level. It was a cruel reality check of how others peceive "the less fortunate" or "those who do not fit in."

It makes me sad to realize that this type of thing happens all the time...But, I also believe that there are more "good" Christians in the world then not. So, I may be a pollyanna type, but I will go with the assumption that goodness will ALWAYS prevail over ignorance and evil.

Great job...Excellent use of the topic. Thank you for making us all sit up and think.

God Bless~
Jody Day 02/25/12
Wow, this was amazing. We must make sure this doesn't happen to anyone. Very creative use of the topic.

Not sure "Sonshine" fits where you used it, but otherwise this was well done:)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/25/12
This is an awesome story! It was a brilliant take on the topic and held my attention from beginning to end.

My only red ink might be to be careful using phrases like Sonshine. I knew what you meant but if someone was reading this and English wasn't their first language, they may be confused.

I was expecting the ending to be different. I thought she would reveal herself and make her friends feel embarrassed. However, I like your way so much better. It was so classy to exit quietly even though the pain was palpable. Nice job with this piece.
Amica Joy02/25/12
This is GREAT! So bad it is so REALISTIC. That HURTS.
A well chosen experiment - and it didn't only show that the members of that church were unable to respond to an "outsider" - particularly a weirdo - but it also showed that the "outsider" felt very much like one, even though she was just pretending to be "different".
Laura Manley02/28/12
I love your story! It kept my attention from the first paragraph. Until I got to the end of the story, I had no idea this was an experiment. I like that kind of writing. On a personal note, I believe this would never have happened in my own church. We make a point of shaking hands with everyone who enters our doors. We want Jesus to shine through all of us. Your story reveals, however, that this kind of thing I'm sure happens all the time. What a shame! Again, I love your story. It was very well written, very descriptive. Oh, I did notice in one spot where you put the quote marks inside the comment and they should be on the outside. Re: the SonShine comment, I would agree with one of the former critiques, although it put a smile on my face.
Kathleen Langridge03/01/12
Painfully real. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/03/12
Congratulations for ranking 6th in level one!