Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: April
By Chris Janzen


Sarah held her newborn daughter close as she watched the news from her hospital bed. She could not believe what she was seeing.

The day was April 20th, 1999, and the horrific events at Columbine High School were unfolding before her eyes. The news grew worse with each passing hour, and every channel was covering it in all its gruesome detail.

She turned the TV off and tried to rest. She was so exhausted, but as she lay in her bed she could hear two voices in the hall saying, “...they found more bodies in the library.”

Sarah squeezed the covers tightly and began to pray. “Why Lord? Why would they do this? They were just kids...like me, still in high school. How could this happen, God?” Sarah cried into her pillow, trying desperately to understand.

She remembered the poem, “The Wasteland,” by T.S. Eliot, she had studied in English class just a few days prior; “April is the cruelest month....breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with Spring rain.”

“April is the worst month ever,” she thought, “this awful thing had to happen on the day my baby was born. This will always be the focus instead of my sweet little girl's special day.”

This is not how she imagined the birth of her baby. She wasn't sure what she'd expected. She certainly never planned to find herself pregnant at 17. She didn't expect the boyfriend she loved with all her heart to run scared when he found out. Most of all, she never, ever thought her parents would react so harshly and be so judgmental when she told them.

She felt like she was in a waste land; so cold and empty. Shouldn't she be happy? She'd just taken part in a miracle; brought a healthy baby into the world.

Sarah had always tried to find the good in things, but where was the good in this? She was alone and scared.

“How am I going to do this Lord? The parents of those boys in Colorado really screwed them up. I don't want my kid to end up like that.”

She heard a knock at the door and a smiling nurse peeked in and said, “You have a visitor.” As her baby girl was placed in her arms she felt so many swirling emotions. She loved this baby so much already...but she was so afraid.

For nine long months they had been growing together, and now her baby was here...with her, looking up at her, depending on her. She felt an overwhelming urge to protect this child from all the ugliness in the world. But how?

As Sarah nursed her baby, she flipped the TV back on. A news show was talking about one of the girls involved in the shootings. Her name was Cassie, and she had apparently been killed when one of the gunmen asked her if she believed in God. She said, “Yes I do,” and the trigger was pulled.

Christians and others were hailing this girl as a hero and martyr. Sarah hugged her baby tight. “Oh Lord, bless that girl's family and give them peace. You are the God of all comfort, please comfort them now. I can't even imagine what they are going through. Please help all the ones who are hurting right now.”

She felt the Lord speaking to her... “It's all right, I'm always going to be with you. I was with Cassie and all those other kids, and I'll be with you and your little girl. After all, I'm the One who gave her to you. You know I would never give you more than you could handle. Your baby could turn out to be like that girl. You have no idea the amazing plans I have for her.” You can do this with My help.”

A little later Sarah and the baby were ready to go. She had decided to go again to her parents and ask for their help. She gave her tiny daughter a kiss and said, “You're so precious, they could never say no when they see you, Cassie.”

She thanked God again for her healthy and beautiful child, held her head high, and walked out into the warm April sunshine. She smiled as she thought, “April is definitely my favorite month.”

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE

JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 374 times
Member Comments
Member Date
diana kay07/30/09
this peice is lovely! Such a mix of emotions as is often the case for a new mum. How clever to mix the tragedy of a day of destruction and death with that of the date of a new birth AND to get T.S Eliot The Wasteland in as well. Amazing and all within the word count! Thanks I enjoyed it.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/01/09
Your 'Title' speaks of Spring, but your story is more about the horror of what happened in that month, and the effect it had on Sarah...than the Season itelf. At first I thought perhaps her daughter's name was "April"- but it was Cassie. Your entry brought mixed emotions to mind - but it is definitely a tender and touching story nonetheless, and nicely done.
Brenda Welc08/01/09
I just Knew you were gonna name the baby Cassie:) Good story, sad, poetic, emotionally good.....
diana kay08/06/09
well done on the highly commended placement!