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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)

TITLE: The Facade
By Lucile McKenzie


“Isn’t he wonderful?” gushed single ladies, hostess, business associates. “So outgoing! So entertaining! So self confident!” That’s how he appeared to those who only saw the outer person. They had no idea how frightened and tormented he was inside. How at night he lay awake in the dark, trembling.

He recently had a node removed from his lung. Fortunately it wasn’t cancer, but rather than feeling relieved, the terror that had descended when he received the diagnosis and on through the operation still clung like the sticky, persistent strands of a spider’s web. Nightmares often filled his nights and many mornings he awoke with sweat streaked across his forehead, the bed sheets wet and twisted. He was terrified of dying. What would happen then? Nothing but oblivion forever? That thought alone was frightening. He remembered how under the anesthetic, he was unknowing, unaware. He could not bear the thought of being like that forever. No, no, there had to be more.

He knew that some people did believe there was something more. People who were religious were sure there was something wonderful afterward. If you were good, that is, or believed in someone called Jesus. But that wasn’t at all logical. These same people also said that there was a hell where you might go and burn forever. That wasn’t a comforting thought, either. How could you know where you would go? What assurance could anyone have? What proof? No, no, that whole chain of thought was pure fantasy. No rational person could believe any of it. But, what then was the answer?

One day he walked past a small, white church. The doors were open, the choir was singing, accompanied by the clear, pure sound of the organ. He decided go in just for a minute and listen to the music.

He slipped into a back pew. Several people smiled at the calm, self-assured stranger who had entered their little church. The music was glorious. Then the pastor announced that the topic of his sermon would be, “The Assurance of Inner Peace.” Yeah, right. Cynically, he leaned back in his seat to listen.

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Member Comments
Member Date
DK Landers09/16/10
I enjoyed this story. Aren't we all capable of putting on a facade, rather than showing our fears or shortcomings? It is only through God's grace that I have the confidence to go boldly without fear because I know he will equip me. Great example of what it is like to live without knowing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/17/10
You did a nice job in describing the man's anguish. I know for me in my times of doubt I'm terrified of the thought of there being nothing after I die. Logical people tell me if that's true I won't know, but it never helps alleviate my fear. Maybe that's because I do believe in Jesus and if there was nothing that would mean I would be separated from the One who loves me that much. It can mess with the mind if you over think it.I choose to believe and trust in Jesus.
Mildred Sheldon09/17/10
Loved your title. If people were open and honest what a wonderful place this would be. People wear facades for various reasons and we cause ourselves so much grief. Thank you and God bless.
Mildred Sheldon09/17/10
Loved your title. If people were open and honest what a wonderful place this would be. People wear facades for various reasons and we cause ourselves so much grief. Thank you and God bless.
Nancy Sullivan 09/17/10
God is always seeking us out and opening just the right doors at the right time. Great story!
Sarah Heywood09/18/10
I enjoyed this very much. My favorite part was where you compared the MC's fear to the "sticky strands of a spider-web" - what a visual delight that is and so apt a description!

I hope faith breaks through his cynisism.

Very good writing!

Christina Banks 09/20/10
We all have some kind of facade that we wear. I hope that your MC opens up his heart and mind to what he is about to hear.
Colin Nielsen10/30/10
Very good. I wanted more. Your are a rat for stopping.