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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)

TITLE: Forgotten Father
By william price
11/20/06


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The male parent stood alone in the dusty haze of a new day waiting for his son to say goodbye to his mother. The eastern horizon was washed in a sea of red hues, a mirror of the father’s bloodshot eyes. He had been up all night.

“Come, Son. The journey is long.”

The father watched his mate kiss their boy before she nudged him to go. The parents’ eyes met. In a silent plea the mother asked, ‘Are you sure?' The father bravely nodded his head.

“Where are we going so early, Dad?” The son was bouncing up and down.

“On a trip. Did you tell your mother you loved her?”

“Oh yes, and she told me how much she loved me.”

The father looked back at the mother before he turned to leave. He could feel the bleating of her heart. He lipped, “I love you” and turned to his son and smiled. “Are you ready?”

The two traveled on the hills above a rutted road below them. The father didn’t know exactly where they were going, only the region. He gazed at his offspring prancing out front. The male child was perfect in everyway. Not like his father. He had a limp. The father wished his son had a limp, or any defect. But, he was spotless.

On the second day of the journey, the son looked down on the road.

“Hey, Dad, there are humans walking below. Isn’t that Abraham and Isaac?”

“Yes it is.”

The father looked up to the hills before them and tried to blink away his tears. He then felt the warm presence he had experienced the night before they left.

“Just try to stay out of sight, Son.”

“Why? Are you afraid they might see us and get hungry?”

“No, Son. I doubt Abraham has much of an appetite. Just stay over here and walk with me.”

On the third day of the journey, the father saw in the distance the place they were going. He looked and noticed Abraham loading kindling wood on his son’s back. He watched him walk slowly behind Isaac carrying a knife and the fire.

“Where are we, Dad?”

“Near Moriah. Let’s go over there, out of sight.”

“It looks like they are going to sacrifice, Dad. But they don’t have an animal. How’s that going to happen?”

“God will provide, Son. God will provide.”

The two rams stood on a nearby hill and watched Abraham set up the sacrifice site.

“Dad, Abraham is tying his own son on the wooden altar. That’s not supposed to happen. Can I sneak over and take a closer look? This is very weird.”

The father couldn’t speak. His heart ached. He wanted to cry out so loud the hills would shake. But, he knew he had to remain quiet and hidden. He again felt the warm presence of the One who visited him the night before the journey began. He gazed again at his only son.

“I love you.”

“I know you do, Dad. But, can I get a closer look? Please. I‘ll be careful.”

“Son, you are the best thing that ever happened to me and your mother. We really, really love you.”

“I know that. I just want to go down by those thickets. They won’t even notice.”

“Give me a kiss and you can go.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

They kissed.

The father turned around and closed his eyes.

He heard a loud familiar voice from the nearby hill.

“Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy. Now I know you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

The father could hear the rustle of the thickets and the obedient bleat of his son. He was about to collapse when he felt the arms of the One he knew as his creator around his body. It seemed, to the ram, they trembled as one.

When he was able, the ram turned and watched Isaac laughing and jumping as he ran back down the hill. He was surprised to see Abraham was crying. Then the old ram realized that Abraham had spotted him. Their eyes met. Abraham quickly dropped his bloodied knife. Not a noise was made or a muscle moved between the two fathers. Only Heaven knew the communication of their silent stare. Abraham humbly smiled. The old ram nodded his head, turned and limped away.

Footnote: Based on the accounts from Genesis Chapter 22.


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This article has been read 1284 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilee Alvey11/23/06
An unforgettable tale. I thought I knew early who the two were, though my mind struggled to remember a limp on Abraham. "That was Jacob," I thought...but I was totally wrong. I thought it was going to be another tale about the strength it took for Abraham and Sarah to offer up their son. It's a story rich with potential. However, this story came out of left field, giving me a lump in my throat and an ache in my heart. What an apt title, as well. This is, without a doubt, one of the most touching tributes to a parent that I have ever read. Exceptional work, here! I probably will never be able to read it again. (I only watched Old Yeller once) but that is because it's just too moving for me. Congratulations!
Lynda Schultz 11/23/06
I agree with the previous commentator. What a unique take on the subject and superbly done.
Shanti Singh11/24/06
This one also caught me off guard. What a creative way to approach this subject. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Wow, absolutely powerful. Thanks so much for writing this.
Sue Dent11/25/06
Oh now this is really weird! Because I had the very same story and decided to go another route. Only I didn't think to have it from the Rams vantage point. Although because I already had the story in my mind I almost figured it out ahead of time. Very unique perspective. Great minds think alike! Grand job!
Joanne Sher 11/25/06
Loved loved LOVED this! But I already told you that, didn't I? ;) Amazing detail and such a UNIQUE and wonderful perspective!
Laurie Glass11/25/06
Unique perspective here. Great detail. What an awesome piece.
Helen Paynter11/27/06
Gosh, this is amazing. I cottoned on pretty quickly that they were animals, but to be the mirror on the Abraham/Isaac story - and an immensely powerful type of God the Father's perspective at Calvary - Wow - I'm blown away. Really.
Donna Haug11/27/06
That was great. I was wondering about the mother 'bleating' at the beginning and thought it was a typo ... Ha! What a great point of view! Terrific.
Venice Kichura11/27/06
Excellent piece on a behloved Bible story teaching total surrender & trust in God. Well done!
Jan Ross11/27/06
What inspiration! Your perspective on this age-old story is incredible! So wonderfully crafted, complete with deep emotion. At first I was sure you were talking about Abraham and Isaac, but the limp threw a curve at me. Wow! So moving, so wonderful, and so on-target! AWESOME!!!!!
Ann FitzHenry11/27/06
Okay...I wasn't expecting THAT. :-)

What a wonderful twist!There's a reason for a Master's category. This story is it! Thanks!
Bonnie Derksen11/27/06
Well, I can't really add anything to what has already been spoken. Incredibly well done, amazingly creative and makes me beg the question: "Can we have Masters I and Masters II so some of us don't necessarily get compared to the greats like yourself???" Thanks for this great writing.
Edy T Johnson 11/28/06
Absolutely a Masterful tale. You manage to find the unique approach to give your reader a new vision of the old story. I love it, even though it breaks my heart.
Debbie Sickler11/28/06
When I first read, I thought I'd figured out the story right away. I thought, oh, he wrote about Abraham, well at least the writings really good. So I kept reading and was very pleasantly surprised. This was such a great twist to the old familiar story and a great take on the topic. I enjoyed your version so much and am glad that I read it tonight.
Jan Ackerson 11/28/06
Your best yet. *applause, applause*
Cheri Hardaway 11/28/06
Left me speechless as I read and realized the identities of Who I was reading about! Masterful. Thank you!
Blessings, Cheri
Stephen Paynter11/28/06
Hah, you totally got me! This is great writing. I could rave for hours about it! It simply MUST place. If it doesn't, try to get it published elsewhere. Many many people should read this. Brill!
Jen Davis11/28/06
Wow! What a wonderfully creative perspective. This really touched my heart. Great writing!
dub W11/29/06
Interesting, very creative approach. Thank you for sharing this.
Sara Harricharan 11/29/06
What a creative twist! I thought I knew where the story was going, but the surprise ending was wonderful! Good job, I loved the end when the two fathers 'met'.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/29/06
Bravo! Wonderfully creative and written. Absolutely LOVED the ending. One (tiny) thing that popped out at me. Since I am a stickler about beginnings, I might have started it, "He stood alone..." "The male parent" seemed a little awkward to me. But other than that very small detail, I loved everything about this one. Excellent work!
Valora Otis11/29/06
An thread of faithfulness and all encompassing love, was woven throughout your story. It was a blessing to read.
Donna Emery11/29/06
I read this earlier today and was struck silent with its creative eloquence. Absolutely amazing! I was very touched by this and I admit I never considered this aspect of the story before. I enjoyed reading this very much. Thanks for sharing this.
Ruth Neilson11/29/06
the beginning was actually a little confusing for me but by the end of the piece everything made sense.
thank you for sharing
Shari Armstrong 11/29/06
Very cool! I loved the different perspective.
Preacher Johnson11/30/06
Wow! It's not often that a person reads something that will leave him speechless and thinking about it as he goes about his business, but this does. Outstanding, Excellent!!!
Suzanne R11/30/06
The title works really well too. Very unique perspective. Excellent writing.
terri tiffany11/30/06
Congrats on your win Bill! It was great!!
Helen Paynter11/30/06
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! Told ya so! Now I'm off to read the pieces that beat you :)
Debbie OConnor11/30/06
Wow. I'm a fan, too.

This is beautiful. You had me crying--I had to read it twice. Congratulations!
Pat Guy 11/30/06
Wow, William - this is awesome. It truly is. Congratulations. I am moved.
Betty Castleberry11/30/06
I don't know how I missed this one. It is just wonderfully and powerfully done with a very unique perspective. I am teary-eyed. Congratulations on your win.