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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Our Mutual Friend (not about the book) (09/15/11)

TITLE: Two-Sided
By Mildred Sheldon


My parents had been killed in an accident and although I could take care of myself at 16 I’m still a minor. I moved in with my Aunt Jennie and Uncle Earl. They invited all my relatives to their home to introduce me to my extended family since the death of my parents. There was one particular aunt who came in, everybody gave her a hug and kiss on the cheek. She withdrew from them sitting quietly in a corner. I felt so out of place living with my relatives whose values and outlook on life were so foreign to me. Mom and Dad loved God and I was raised in a church that taught us how to live our lives pleasing to God.

I was holding Muffin, my little dog and I started talking to her quietly.
“I wish I had someone to talk to Muffin. I feel like a stranger and my cousins treat me like a leper. Is something wrong with me?”

I heard a quiet, ‘no’ and turned to see my aunt standing behind me.

“Yes child I said no to your question. There is nothing wrong with you. They are of the world and you belong to God. They don’t know how to answer your questions, and your cousins don’t want to associate with you because of your values. Come sit next to me and I’ll do my best to answer all your questions. My name is Mary and your mother was my sister. Call me Auntie or Aunt Mary child. You must be Sarah. Your mother and I wrote letters telling each other all about our lives. I loved her dearly. Now what would you like to know?”

“Well Auntie, they attend church every Sunday and the Pastor tells them to ask God for everything. He tells them God loves all his children, and will give them the desires of their hearts. There church is not like the church I attended. They have no love for others and all they want is money, money and more money.

“Child, they run after money. They more of less worship money. God said in I Timothy 6:10, ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.’ The Pastor tells them what they want to hear. II Timothy 4:3-4 describes them perfectly. Your relatives belong to the world and they surround themselves with like minded people. I call it a worldly admiration society. We are the opposite side of the coin. We belong to God.”

“Auntie, I’m now beginning to understand. They are wrapped up in themselves, and their Pastor although he reads from the Bible he picks certain verses that makes them feel good. They have a form of godliness but deny its power. Auntie, I’d like to live with you, because you love the Lord like my parents did.”

“I’ll talk to Earl and Jennie. They will probably agree that it would be best if you come live with me. I’d love having someone who loves Jesus as much as I do living with me. You never know what God has in store for us. We are the light of the world, and just maybe by our examples we can save some of our relatives whereas they too will spend eternity with the Father. There are two sides to every coin. The worlds side and the Gods side, and I think we are on the winning side. As Psalm 27:1-2 says, ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation----whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life---of whom shall I be afraid?’

“Auntie, how would you like to start a group of like minded people in the community. My church did that and we started with just a few families, but it started growing and before the accident we had 20 families involved in an outreach program to helped the community. We had all kinds of programs such as MDO (Mothers Day Out), KFC (Kids For Christ) and once a month the Seniors went to different places and spent the night. They saw all kinds of shows and enjoyed each others company.”

“Sarah, my child, I think we will have lots of mutual friends in this community. Your mother was right when she said your love for the Lord was infectious. I look forward to our new adventure and thank God for sending you into my life.”

Scripture NIV.

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This article has been read 441 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Wilma Schlegel09/23/11
I'm glad your characters found each other. Your story was very believable. Nicely written.
Helen Curtis09/25/11
I think I really like Aunt Mary. I'm so glad Sarah went to live with her. Well done.
Linda Goergen09/25/11
It did seem a bit strange to me, that at sixteen the MC would not have heard about or known her aunt, but then I come from a close family so it is hard to imagine. But, I liked the story and the truth is shows that not everyone who goes to church or calls themselves Christian, has a true relationship with our Lord. Enjoyed the read. Blessings!
Jenna Dawn09/26/11
Nice story.

I believe this story would have more interest, however, if there were more showing. Show the reader how the MC feels completely out of place, sad and lonely by her actions. You might even begin the story that way, since being thrown into the action is always a great way to begin.

Here's an example:

"I sat, huddled in the corner of my aunt's house, surrounded by people, yet completely alone. Clinging to my dog, Muffin, my stomach ached for my parents, though I did my best to hold back tears."

Just some thoughts.

It was nice to know the MC would be able to move in with a family member she had just met, but connected with.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/27/11
This is a nice story. I liked your characters. You did a nice job with the dialog although at times it felt a bit formal. Listen to how people speak and try to imitate the nuances. Near the beginning, you used the wrong word. You wrote there and should have written their.
I liked the message.It's true that some churches play it safe. We all need an Aunt Mary in our lives.