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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)

TITLE: Heaven Waits
By Sarah Dirk


Vultures fly high over the battlefield. Beady eyes cock back and forth, watching, waiting.

The battle rages. Swords clash together. Shields protect bodies. Feet trample the dead. Blood waters the field, once beautiful before it swam in red.

The kings of old are battling. The standard has been raised. It flies strong in the wind, as the knight on white charges toward where the fighting was fiercest.

It was his job. The knight who held the banner had one job alone. Ride to where the battle raged. His companions would protect him. The banner heralded what side he was on. But so that every man on his side knew where the centre battle was, he flew the standard high for all to see. It was expected. He cared not for his life, he only cared that all knew where to run. All those who see the banner must race to where it flies.

An arrow splits the air, piercing through a crack in his armour. He tumbles off his horse, sprawling toward upraised spears. The standard spins for a moment, then starts spiralling down.

It must not hit the ground.

The army must know where to go.

It must not hit the ground.

A sword drops. A grunt is muffled by the sounds of battle as another soldier springs toward the saddle, grasping the pole of the banner in his hand.

It must not hit the ground.

It rises again.

Eyes turn. Soldiers are expected to race to where the fighting is the hardest, where the battle rages. Only a coward will forsake his duty and fight on the sidelines.

One by one they charge toward the banner. The battle can not be won on the sides, it must be won in the centre.

Soldiers stumble on the left. It is too hard to fight near the standard. Arrows pierce a knight battling under the banner. He stumbles. Falls. Feet trample him, unconcerned for anything except their own safety. Another goes down, and then another. Soldiers want to flee, but they cannot leave the standard. It would be something a coward would do. They are enlisted, and are expected to fight until the standard drops or is heralded in triumph.

So they fight on. Until the battle ends.

* * *

A child crouches starving on the dusty street. Her eyes bulge out with malnourishment. Across the street, a young girl, old beyond her years, tries to hide from the lustful arms of men. A boy limps by with one leg and a crutch. A wife weeps over the dead body of her husband, no longer wanting to live. A battle must be fought for their lives.

On the sidelines, a young Christian sprawls across a sofa, her eyes glued to a romantic movie. A husband lets his eyes trail lazily over inappropriate magazines, while his wife waits at home. Facebook posts bragging about the latest sports champion rank up “likes”, burning energy on the sidelines. Christians spend money on the newest electronics, forgetting... forgetting... not seeing...

The standard is falling. The banner droops, slips from its pole and starts spiralling downward.

No one is fighting the battle. No one raises the standard. The banner hits the ground.

Heaven waits and weeps. Soldiers are expected to go to where the fighting is thick. Where the banner waves. It must not hit stay on the ground.

It must be raised.

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This article has been read 279 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virgil Youngblood 07/19/13
Outstanding. This is a compelling read, with an ending deserving reflection and action. Well done.
Theresa Santy 07/19/13
This is a very strong and powerful piece. I loved your intense, action-packed opening line, and in the first half, I loved how the main character's sense of duty was portrayed.
Genia Gilbert07/22/13
This is well written and thought provoking. The standard indeed is falling, and faithful soldiers are needed. Good job.
C D Swanson 07/23/13
A great and powerful commentary that is profound in its entirety.

There is a great "falling away from God" and it is transparant in all areas of the news, and in the streets...the reality of Jesus' words and warnings coming to fruition.

This was a brilliant piece of writing!! Congrats, this will surely get the judges attention...it did mine.

God bless~
lynn gipson 07/25/13
Congratulations on your fine 1st place win! Keep up the fabulous work.

Blessings, Lynn
C D Swanson 07/25/13
Congrats! God bless~
Pamela Reed 07/25/13
Tears are flowing from my eyes. If it were only a made-up story and NOT the true story of too many of our American Christian lives. Congratulations on your 1st place and your bringing this to our attention!
Bea Edwards 07/25/13
Magnificent, compelling and convicting! Thank you and congratulations.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/27/13
Congratulations on ranking !st in level 2 and 11 overall! So close--keep writing and you'll get that EC in no time! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.)