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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Funny (10/04/12)

TITLE: A Peculiar Behavior
By Deborah Sampson


In the midst of the well shaded garden stood Timothy Bottoms. He appeared to be hiding among the ostrich ferns.

“That’s funny.” Elaine commented to herself as she twisted herself out of her small car. Over the years Elaine went from a slim young lady to a pleasingly plump one. What was easy for her at one time now became a chore.

Elaine glanced again toward Timothy before she hurried up the five steps to the side door of the Cavalry Church. She’d tell Pastor Gregg and Pastor Harold what she just saw.

“Hi, Elaine, Pastor Gregg greeted her. "Glad you could make it. We are all here now."

Elaine plopped her purse and book down on the table as she spoke. “Did anyone see Timothy Bottoms out by the ferns as you came in?”

“No-no. Pastor Harold said. Missed him.”

“What was he doing?” asked Belle as she set about getting out her notes on last meeting. Belle was the church secretary and thought she knew it all.

“He appeared to be hiding! No one saw him?” she asked again a little miffed that no one thought that it was strange.

“Let’s see.” Pastor Gregg commented as he appeared in great thought. “Timothy is Elsie’s oldest boy isn’t he? The one who is still living at home. Goodness, he must be thirty now, right?”

Elaine agreed. “The same age as my son, but Timothy never finished high school, some say that he was just too slow. He never married and is still a check-out boy at Dunn’s Grocery.”

“It’s too bad that the family never came to church. Did Timothy keep them from coming? We need to invite them again.” The Pastor continued. “It might do them some good. Do you ladies get a chance to talk to Elsie?”

“Not me.” chirped Belle, tapping her long slim fingers on the table. She appeared a little bored over this conversation.

“I can talk to her.” Elaine said. “She works at Sam’s Dairy. I go there often.”

After the meeting, Elaine headed for her car. No sign of Timothy this time. She had the time; she’d stop now and talk to Elsie.

Pulling in to the store’s parking lot, something at the corner of her eye caught her attention. There stood Timothy at the side of the store. That’s indeed funny, two times in one day? What was this about? She thought as she maneuvered herself from the car.

Elaine walked up to the store, she glanced at Timothy, but he looked the other way. She walked in and back to the meat department. “Hi Gladys, is Elsie working?”

“Yah just a minute.” She said, as she wiped her hands on the dish cloth. “Hey Elsie, come out here a minute.”

A petite and attractive brown headed woman appeared from the doorway.

“Hi Elsie.” Elaine spoke first. “It’s been a while since we talked. I am here to ask you to church again, my dear, I really think you’d enjoy it.”

Elaine saw a slow smile appear on her face, before she burst out in laughter; she made such a joyful sound. But Elaine was puzzled.

“Sorry Elaine.” Let me explain. “Only this week Timothy wanted me to go to church. Pestering me was more like it, so I told him he needed to talk to you, you’d had asked us before. He said he would, but Timothy is so shy; I figured he had given up.”

Elaine told her about his being at the church hiding in the ferns, and now being outside as she came in. “I wasn’t sure about what he was doing, and all the time he wanted to talk to me.”

“Timothy watched a program about Jesus, and he had a lot of questions that I couldn’t answer.” His mother said.

“That’s great. I might not have all the answers but I know who could help.” Elaine smiled at Timothy’s mother.

“Hi, Timothy.” His mother called out, peeking around Elaine. Come say hi to Mrs. Evers.”

Timothy’s smile was delightful “See mom, God answers prayers. I get to go to church. He sent Mrs. Evers to me! Wow! Sometimes things work out in a funny way.” He said as he glanced at Elaine.

Elaine smiled at Timothy. “He sure does, he loves us so much he’ll go to great lengths to reach us.”

The big smile on Timothy’s face was one to cherish. He already believed in God as one is supposed to, as a child.

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This article has been read 298 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 10/11/12
Interesting entry, and a good message at the end. Nicely done. Thanks.
God Bless~
lynn gipson 10/12/12
Delightful story...God does work in mysterious ways...thank you...keep writing!
Marie Hearty 10/12/12
Good story. You did a good job with the characters and you had me wondering why Timothy was hiding... it was a total surprise at the end. I look forward to reading more from you.

God Bless!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/13/12
This is a delightful tale. You did a great job of developing the characters. I also enjoyed the suspense and you did a nice job of building on it and keeping the mystery going.

One thing I would suggest is to use more narrative lines than taglines such as he said. For example in this sentence:
chirped Belle, tapping her long slim fingers on the table. She appeared a little bored over this conversation. You really don't need the chirped Belle. I'd write it like this Belle tapped her fingers on the table and yawned. That way you are showing the readers who is talking as well as showing them she is bored so you don't need to tell the reader that last part. Also if you do use taglines make sure you put quotation marks around all parts that are dialog but not around the tagline. For example. "I'm hungry," said Tim. "Is there anything to eat?"

I think you did a wonderful job of writing on topic. You covered it in more than just one way which I always think is a clever thing to do. I'm sure people referred to Timothy as odd or funny. Then you covered it again with him in the bushes. Then once more as we begin to see God's hand in this. He does work in mysterious or funny ways. I think you did a nice job of bringing the story full circle too. Your message is one we all need reminding of from time to time. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece.
Adele Threadgold10/14/12
Hi, I really liked your story: short and sweet and to the point. Gave me a warm feeling inside.
Judy Sauer 10/17/12
We never know the people around us may be angels in disguise. That's the message I sensed after reading your entry.

Nice story. Keep up the good work.