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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)

TITLE: The Walmart Greeter Saves the Day
By Donna Howell


In June of 2004, hurricane Ivan taught me the meaning of “weary.” I am a Floridian and this hurricane devastated the coastal community I lived in. When the wind is gone and the rain stops, it’s time to rebuild. Our home was spared, but the damage had to be repaired. The temperature must have been 100. Humidity 100 percent. The question my husband and I asked ourselves over and over that day was "where do we begin?"   First, we needed supplies.   My husband is one of those people who insists on being prepared with cash after a storm, and we were.   Leaving him sitting on a hot roof, I went in search of a tarp. Most of our town, including the local Walmart was without power, except for their generators.  The cash registers would not run, and cash was the only option.    For security reasons, we were allowed to wait in a line, as groups of 8 to 10 were allowed to enter the store, find what they needed, pay cash for it and leave.  It was a long line, on a hot day.  It was also very odd. No one was talking.  They were sweaty, and disheveled, (as was I)  and in no mood for idle chit chat.  The sadness was hanging in the air like a huge weight. Then it was my turn to go in. I walked through the doors and what I saw next, brought me to tears and very nearly, to my knees.   A beautiful, 70 something, gray haired, eyes glistening, with her hands outstretched, lady who was making an effort to look into each of our weary faces, SMILED, and said;   Welcome to Walmart.

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This article has been read 196 times
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Laury Hubrich 05/11/12
Ahhh...I love this Walmart greeter! You have lots more words you could have used. Nice job with the words you did use but you could do so much more with this story. You should try! You just wet our appetite:)
C D Swanson 05/12/12
You've Beautifully captured, what a kind heart, and smile, can do to a "weary soul." Loved this.!

Great job. And, praise God you weren't hurt. A house can be repaired...a life cannot.

Kudos to you. Thanks for sharing.

God bless,

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/13/12
This is so sweet. I loved how you showed the despair and really set the scene up.

You may want to break it into smaller paragraphs and also double space between the paragraphs. Also be careful you don't give away the ending with the title. I'm terrible at not reading titles so I didn't see it until the end. However, I think if I had the ending may have lost that glorious surprise for me.

This reminds me of a sermon my minister does. He asks everyone how would you feel if you found out your soul purpose in life were to smile at the store clerk? Of course most people feel shock and horrified that God wouldn't give them a greater purpose. However your story really showed what a difference a smile can make. It likely will spread and one smile may touch countless people. Lovely message.
Mildred Sheldon05/14/12
I've never been in the path of a hurricane and from what I've heard and seen I never want to. I loved your short to the point story and how one person can change the MC 's outlook from gloom and weary to one of joy. Thank you for sharing and God bless.
Cheryl von Drehle05/17/12
You have an amazing experience here to practice creative writing...could develop in a number of ways. Think about the "show versus tell" concept. For example, instead of beginning with a statement of fact (there was a hurricane) have your first sentence show what you and your husband were experiencing at the height of the storm... and then proceed along those lines. The juxtiposition of the walmart greeter versus the devastation that is depressing everyone around her is a wonderful concept.