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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: Foolishness To The Perishing
By Joanne Sher


“No, it’s not taken. Have a seat.”

“Nice weather we’re having, isn’t it?”

“Oh, sure, a few less clouds would be nice, but I can’t complain too much – about the sunshine, that is.”

“What am I doing here? Well, I’m waiting for my wife to pick me up, and this bench looked as good a place as any. She decided to get some shopping done while I talked to the pastor.”

“The one at the church right behind us. He’s an OK guy, but I tell you, he’s got some weird ideas.”

“I could write me a book. First of all, he keeps talking about a relationship, and how I need to trust Christ to be a Christian. I mean, what does he know? Who is he to tell me I’m not a Christian? I’ve been going to church my whole life – every Easter and every Christmas. Besides, I thought the bible said we weren’t supposed to judge. And what am I supposed to trust Christ about anyway?”

“My wife practically made me go talk to this guy. I figured I’d do it, just to get her to stop asking, you know? He’s the new pastor at this church, you see, and Marilyn just loves him. She’s actually been going to church every Sunday – and on some Wednesdays too! Been acting different too. Had to make sure this wasn’t a cult or anything.”

“Well, I’m not convinced it isn’t, especially the way Marilyn talks about that pastor. He’s been putting some bizarre thoughts in her head. That man’s been telling her that folks have to be born again – whatever that means - and having God as a friend, and Him living inside her. I tell you, it sounds like reincarnation and possession to me!”

“Oh, you think that’s bad. Wait till you hear his take on heaven!”

“I’m sure you can’t imagine. He told me – get this – the only way to get to heaven on my own is to be perfect. ‘Good isn’t good enough,’ he says. Who is he to insult me like that? I’m a decent guy, you know! I pay my taxes. I don’t beat my wife. I do more good than bad, but that’s not enough for Mr. Man of God over there.”

“How does he say we get to heaven? Heck if I know. He started going on about death and confession and believing, but it made no sense to me. He kept asking me to look stuff up in the bible. He’s the preacher – why do I need to read that thing?”

“Oh, no. That’s not all. You wouldn’t believe what that man has to say about my hard-earned paycheck. He had the nerve to tell me that the money I break my back to earn isn’t mine! He said it was God’s. That’s when I walked out of that fool man’s office and found this bench. Bet he was about to tell me that, since he was God’s representative, I should give it all to him.”

“Yeah, he followed me out, but I told him our conversation was over. Then – get this – he said he would pray for me.”

“I don’t get it either. Guess he’s just a holy roller. I’m definitely going to have a talk with Marilyn about this.”

“Well, speak of the devil, there’s her car. Nice talking to you. I’m guessing Marilyn’s gonna be glad that preacher’s praying for me once I’m done talking to her!”

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV

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This article has been read 1486 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Catrina Bradley 12/07/06
Very unique idea! The dialogue flowed and was very natural sounding. In the few places where the MC repeats the "invisible" characters questions, it was a little ... forced? But overall I loved it. Great scripture at the end - summed it up nicely. Well done!!
Jan Ackerson 12/08/06
What a creative way to tell this story! I can just see this conversation, and it's very clever of you to make your readers fill in the gaps. You force us to linger there on the bench with you--good job!
william price12/10/06
Oh, I get it now, I hope. My skull's a lil thick. I thought two guys were talking, but its the same guy. Great job and a diffucult excerise in conversation. It reads very cleaver now that I'm awake.(I do pray I'm right with the one guy thing), but I've sounded silly before. I'll stop now. I enjoyed it. God bless.
Cheri Hardaway 12/11/06
Your title is perfect! And though I had a bit of trouble following at first, the minor confusion well-illustrated this perishing man's seeing all the God talk as foolishness. Left me wondering if Marilyn's hubby ever "gets it." Nice work. Blessings, Cheri
Betty Castleberry12/11/06
This made me think of the George Strait song, "The Chair." I'm a George fan, so that's a good thing. I thought this was creative. I really hope this guy "gets it" before it's too late. Maybe you should expand this piece and let us know. ;0)
Marty Wellington 12/12/06
Quite unique format. While I did get lost a bit, overall I found your article very revealing about the inner struggle we all face with our innerselves over faith issues. Quite refreshing.
Sara Harricharan 12/13/06
A very interesting piece, I enjoyed reading it, and although a little confusing in a few places, overall it was a great read.
Thanks for commenting on An Amber-eyed Adventure!
Shanti Singh12/13/06
I really enjoyed the clever way your approached this one! Thanks for writing.
Suzanne R12/14/06
I bet Marilyn is going to be glad that preacher's praying for her husband! Clever use of the phrase, "Well, speak of the devil...."
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/25/07
This is a wonderful story to illustrate the title. The gospel is presented so clearly in a crative way.
I think the only suggestion I would have would be to put a divider?? of some kind between the paragraphs, just to alert the reader right away that someone else is talking, or maybe the title might indicate it in the title "One Side of the Story-- The Foolishness of the Perishing." (You could probably think of a better title.) The monologue is so realistic. I love it.
Jacquelyn Horne06/25/07
This is interesting and very good writing. The only improvement I would make is in identifying the speakers. I was a little confused there. Good job.
Julie Arduini06/25/07
Thanks for posting a link on this, what a fun read. I agree with the comment, once I knew from your prompt to read it as one side of a conversation, I understood it and loved it. If perhaps you added that to your title as suggested, it would be perfect. I really enjoyed this, you nailed it!
Dee Yoder 06/26/07
I had no trouble reading and understanding this since I knew from your post it was a single voice. If I hadn't known, I may have been confused at the beginning, but I think I would have figured it out by the conversation as I went along.
It's clever and well written.
David Butler06/26/07
Presenting the gospel from the POV of a self-centred husband of a new believer. What a great idea. It would get even the hardest sceptic thinking.
I wonder if the pastor would have been unwise to mention about money at all, but even good pastors can make mistakes.
Loren T. Lowery06/26/07
This was easy to identify with as I've had these same conversations in my head. Your Bible reference was right on and wrapped it up nicely. I did stumble over it being a solitaire dialogue, but feel that could be fixed by something that would draw the reader's attention that the MC appears to be muttering to himself. And, I just bet you could do it in a humurous, entertaining way!
Cassie Memmer06/26/07
Very real and true to life. You made it very easy to visualize the men sitting on the bench. I enjoyed the monologue. It's hard to understand why some people can't see the truth, but this story is all too true. I enjoyed it.