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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)

TITLE: Spears To Love
By Debbie Rutter


Whilst attending church this morning, I was taken into a place of reality and expectation, of a hopeful future renewed through the blood of Jesus. The entrance procession strode solemnly up the centre aisle with the rugged cross leading the way and the Holy Bible was held gently in reverent hands. Here I could see the body of Jesus, where the Holy Bible rested.
I found myself in a place, set in the moment with the personís focus upon the Word of God. It was a blend of love, respect and adoration and it powered into my heart to the reality of this Lenten Season.
A hurricane of images and thoughts, history and present swam within a whirlpool of leaves of time, as pages strewn upon the waters. These pages were images of Jesus and of my life, broken into times of denial and rebellion, when I struggled between the desire for a strengthening of faith and a weakness for the world. How many spears have I driven into the side of Jesus? How many times have his wounds been torn apart by my sinfulness? How many tears must be shed to blend with the water and blood of Jesus?
It only takes a second to acknowledge the reality of our actions when impressed by the stark reality of Jesus. Jesus didnít turn away from pain and suffering, he didnít refuse the task set before him and he didnít abandon our salvation. Rather, he welcomed it in the knowledge of Godís will and wove the passion of unconditional love from God through himself to us, upon the cross.
The striking contrast of one personís love gently supporting the written Word of God processing up the church aisle, to the Living Word of God draped upon the cross, pouring out not only his blood but also his love for us.
Gather up the spears that we have plunged into Jesusí side, refuse the bitterness a tongue can speak and become the cup absorbing the love of Christ. Look forward to the renewal of ourselves in Jesus with expectation and let your eyes see the reality of Jesusí passion and your world today.

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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/14/13
I think this is a powerful devotion. I like how you started out with the real life situation. I could feel the feelings you described as you sat in the church. Your transition to the Biblical message was smooth. Sometimes articles like this can come off as preachy, but yours didn't do that at all. Good job.
C D Swanson 03/14/13
Lovely devotion...touching.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/20/13
This is a beautiful devotion. You snapped a picture for me and it will be forever embedded into my heart. I really liked how you used the first person instead of the second. Many writers fall into the trap where they might say How many spears have you driven into the side of Jesus?
Just by your use of the word I instead of you, makes such a huge difference for me. often when asked questions like that in the second person, it can come off feeling preachy or sanctimonious. You did't do that. Instead, I felt love and a passion for Jesus.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/20/13
(I know I commented earlier, but as I was reading through it again, I felt touched in a different and deeper way than the first time. That's proof that the Holy Spirit is using your words. Have you considered going to the message board and throwing a brick (which means you leave a direct link to your story) here's the page if you're interested in receiving more feedback from different people.
Christina Banks 03/21/13
Thank you for sharing your heart with us. This was a truly moving piece. I'm so glad that you threw a brick so I would find it. I might suggest adding an extra space between paragraphs for easier readability. Thank you again for moving me this morning and giving me much to ponder. Nicely done!
lynn gipson 03/21/13
I was deeply touched by this. Your love and devotion came through with flying colors! Spaces between paragraphs was all I could find wrong with this beautiful piece of writing. Great job!
lynn gipson 03/21/13
The words "swam within a whirlpool of leaves of time" is most impressive. That is a phrase I have tucked away in my memory, I have not seen that one before. You have a gift of expression that is beautiful.