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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)

TITLE: Full Circle
By Dr. Sharon Schuetz


Mary always knew this day would come, but she was still unprepared for it. How could anyone prepare for this? This insanity? The vacillating crowd, followed him with cheers of acclamation one day, and the next cursed him with the riotous shouts of the damned.

She remembered standing at the edge of the crowd staring in disbelief at the three bodies. This was senseless! Why did it happen? Surely, the two on the outside deserved this. After all, they were thieves; but Jesus did nothing to warrant this punishment.

In the darkness, Mary rested her weary frame on her mat as her mind traveled back over the past six months without him. So much has changed. His followers are in hiding most of the time. They come out boldly, preaching his message during the day, but at night, they hide among the new converts.

Jesus made many enemies while he was here. In death, he had attracted more. The stories and the lies they concocted to explain his being seen by so many afterwards were just the beginning.

A slight smile tugged at the corner of her mouth as she remembered her little boy running across the square to tell her of his latest revelation. So young and yet so much wisdom. God revealed many secrets to this child He had entrusted to her care. Softly touching his curls Mary looked into the dark eyes that danced with such merriment. His smile never changed. She could see that same smile the last time they were together. He still looked to her like the same little boy who was so eager to share Godís truth with her.

As Mary lay on her mat, her mind was pulled in many directions. Part of her struggled with inexpressible grief. Losing Jesus was the most difficult thing she had experienced since the loss of her beloved Joseph years before. Another part of her rejoiced in the knowledge that Jesus would never be hurt again. Through his death, he had won the battle for his followers and all who would follow them.

The hardest part of all of this was accepting that her son was no longer her son; he had now become her Savior. He was no longer that little boy with curls. Nor was he that young man who came to her so often for counsel. He had fulfilled His Fatherís plan for his life and now sits at His right hand.

Mary lay in the darkness remembering her long battle. She thought on the day that an angel told her that she would bear Godís child. He entrusted His plans into her care. She was so overwhelmed that He would choose her for such responsibility and honor. She had loved Jesus, protected him, taught him, and guided him for most of her life. She had to remind herself often that he was not really hers. He belongs to humanity. He came with a purpose and death was part of the plan.

Now she understood the price God paid when He placed Jesus into her womb. How it must have broken His heart to let him go. Their relationship changed, too. He no longer belonged to His Father alone. Now he belonged to everyone.

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Lynda Schultz 05/05/06
This is a lovely piece of writing. One suggestion: work on your verb forms. That will help the reader to distinguish between the past, present and future in the story. For example: Mary had always known that this day would come, but she had still been unprepared for it. How could anyone have prepared for this? This insanity? The vacillating crowd, had followed him with cheers of acclamation one day, and the next had cursed him with the riotous shouts of the damned." It gives us a better sense of Mary looking backward into the past. But you've done a great job. Congratulations.
Virginia Gorg05/08/06
Very nice, although I agree that the tenses were a bit confusing. Upon the second read, knowing what was being said, it read much easier. This is a good retelling of a familiar story from a mother's standpoint. :)
Joanne Malley05/09/06
You are a good storyteller and will make great strides with your writing. Your talent is evident and with more attention to detail and with work on smoother transitions, you've got it made. I truly enjoyed your story and its meaning. :) Keep writing!
Joanne Malley05/09/06
I also forgot to mention you've accomplished much in so few words. :)
dub W05/09/06
I agree with the comments above (verbs, can't live with'm can't live without'm). Writing a personified story of Biblical people is a practice we all should do - how soon we forget these are real people with real emotions and feelings. You have done a credible job capturing a glance at Mary. Thanks.
Caitlynn Lowe05/09/06
A very nice look at the sacrifice of Jesus through His mother's eyes. Well done!
Rachel Rudd 05/10/06
This is a nice re-telling of a familiar story. I had a difficult time telling when the story was taking place, like before the cross, after the resurrection, etc. But that is probably because of the verb tenses like the others mentioned. Thanks for sharing this!
Rachel Rudd 05/10/06
I also liked the comparison of the changes in Mary's and the Father's relationship to Jesus.
Jessica Schmit05/16/06
Wow Sharon! To be honest, when I discovered you were new to Faithwriters, I braced myself for reading beginner material. You are definately NOT Intermediate material. Your word choices are beautiful. Your talent is evident. I think you could do well in Advanced. The only thing that let your story down was that you changed tenses frequently throughout the story. But your messege, the plot, the word choices, the topic WOW, WOW, WOW. I'm very impressed. Looking forward to reading more of your work!