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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)

TITLE: No More Running
By Jack Taylor


No more running

It was the water dripping off his goatee that caught my attention. A small silvery stream glimmering and glowing as it spilled onto his fleecy white raiment. His hairy arms raised in triumph over his head while his smile threatened to split his face in two. Could it be real?

I knew this man. Restless since the day he was born. Pushing the limits. Betraying his friends. Bringing heartache to his mother. Cursing his father. Challenging the nights to swallow him up. Running. Always running.

No amount of water could wash away what he had done. I’d seen the look in the face of the angel he had abandoned. Fighting in Afghanistan was no act of patriotism. This was no hero. The medals in his drawers were no compensation for the nightmares in his head. I’d seen those hollow eyes filled with terror.

I knew the children left orphaned in another land. Their cries twisted his thoughts and reached for his soul. The bitterness and humiliation of being out of control wrapped itself around his throat. The shadow of the angel of death had narrowly passed him by too often. And not always by his choice.

The scars on his wrist caught my attention. Who was this coward? This pseudo-saint who stood soaking in the pulsating strains of “Amazing Grace”. This survivor. This lost one now applauded by the smiling sheep.

Authorities had been mocked and defied. Reckless acts pursued like the wind. Meaningless words spewn like lava over friends and enemies alike. No amount of confinement had touched his heart. Now he was here. Standing serenely as if all was well. Unafraid. No longer running.

The 99 polished cherry prayer beads left behind marked him as a child of another faith. One who didn’t belong. One who had stumbled long and hard and often. Purging his spirit and falling short. No water before had ever purified him in the way he longed to be pure.

I knew he had bowed the knee. I knew he had confessed the Name. I knew he had embraced the Son. I knew the arms of God were wide.

Grace had won. Freedom lived. Forgiveness reigned. Joy flowered. Obedience danced. Trust smiled.

I looked at myself in the mirror of the baptistery. The rivulet on my goatee trickled to a stop. The peace was real. His Word was true. There was no more need to run.

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This article has been read 807 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 10/25/07
Amazing, amazing, AMAZING! You DEFINITELY got me in the end. I don't know what else to say, other than this is masterfully done. PLEASE keep writing.
Jan Ackerson 10/25/07
Debbie Wistrom10/26/07
Wow,what peace and finally freedom for this man. Thanks for a great story.
Seema Bagai 10/27/07
My favorite at this level. Wonderful writing.
Lynda Schultz 10/27/07
Wonderful. The short, clippiness of the phrases and sentences perfectly portrays the soldier. Glad he found peace.
Peter Stone10/28/07
Wonderful perspective, and you got me with that great ending, that added a whole new dimension to the article.
c clemons10/29/07
Very good. The only critique I have that threw me a little was in paragraph 4. The MC went to first person and which sort of gives the end away or is confusing. I like the ending punch, so fix that one little thing and it's a winner.
LauraLee Shaw10/29/07
So beautiful and moving.
Patricia Todd11/01/07
A great piece of writing. Congratulations!
Sheri Gordon11/01/07
Congratulations on your EC. This is a very powerful piece. Nice job with the topic.
Paula Titus 11/01/07
What a powerful picture of transformation through Jesus Christ, your story touched my heart. Thank you.
Mo 11/01/07
Congrats on your Editor's Choice win! The ending makes this more thought provoking. Good job!
Laury Hubrich 11/01/07
Congratulations on your 1st place entry!
Jacquelyn Horne11/03/07
Congrats on the win. Very good piece. I see your heart in it.