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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)

TITLE: Sincerity
By Larry Elliott


The authorities came and escorted our instructor away the other day.

They gave him several warnings which he chose to disregard.

His crime? He talked about God.

At first I considered him merely a foolish religious fanatic, but the more I actually listened to what he had to say the more I wanted to hear. Then I actually began to like him.

Eventually I realized he truly cared about his students, all of them, even me.

I used to consider myself a lost cause- maybe I still am- but his genuine concern for me has given me cause to reconsider many of the beliefs I have about myself.

I hear they arrested him. Maybe he will have a chance to talk to my older brother. He has been in trouble with the law since he was fourteen- my age. This is his second time in jail- or is it the third? My parents are afraid I will follow in his footsteps. They are probably right, I think- or maybe not. They do not talk about my brother when I am around, but word on the streets is that he killed someone this time. I hope the rumors are just that.

Some of the teacher’s statements cause me to wonder if I actually have another choice. At least now I want to believe this is true.

I stayed late one day to ask him a personal question in private. I told him I had already been involved in some petty crimes like stealing small items from some of the local merchants. I wanted to know if his God would forgive a young boy who knew that what he was doing was wrong. He said yes, most certainly. All I had to do was ask.

Later that night while alone I did ask. I instantly felt something inside, something I still cannot explain. It is like I just somehow knew I had been forgiven of all those poor decisions.

I believe there is a God, but this idea of a personal savior, I am just not quite sure I understand it all.

I am on my way to the jail to visit my brother and tell him about the teacher.

As I approach I notice some sort of commotion. A large crowd has gathered on the court house lawn.

I push my way toward the front and I can see my brother on the second floor balcony.

To my surprise standing next to him is the teacher.

I wave but neither notices me.

The crowd is shouting and chanting my brother’s name.

“Barabbas! Set Barabbas free! Give us Barabbas!”

I join in, crying out his name to the limit of my youthful lungs.

I ask a stranger why the teacher was standing silent beside my brother and looking so sad.

After he explained it all to me I realized just how much I loved the teacher.

I ran into the hills and hid and wept.

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This article has been read 659 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Suzanne R11/05/06
What a unique approach. It was really effective to get to the end and realize that this was set back 2000 years ago and who the characters really were.

Well done!
Dawn Dale11/05/06
Agreed...what a unique approach! Very creative! Makes me think of how this, perhaps, gets played out in our day to day lives...someone getting an undeserved promotion at work, etc. You made this a "today" story, though it's 2000 years old. thanks!
Phyllis Inniss11/07/06
I like your approach to this subject. You made it relevant to today and yet it happened so long ago. Well done.
Beth Muehlhausen11/08/06
Surprise! Wow, I didn't see it coming! Nice way to bring history right up front and personal. :-)