The Official Writing Challenge
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04/12/07
I think I know who wrote this. But, whether or not I am right about that, this is a wonderful piece of writing. I wish what it says weren't true, but I suspect it is. It only leaves me to say: "May God have mercy on us for our arrogance and neglect."
04/12/07
Wowsers! From the wonderfully ironic title to the last word, this is a work of art! What a creative way to write on the topic!

04/13/07
Beautifully done! My heart aches...
04/13/07
Well, I'm going to baffle everyone and admit that I didn't write this one! But I DO love it!!! Yes, the face of AIDS has so many facets and the effects are far-reaching. I hope this story gets a lot of attention so more people will consider their part in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Well-done!
(P.S. - even the names are culturally correct. Either you did your research well, or you have some experience here.)
04/13/07
Powerful writing. This story packs quite a punch and the message is one that will stay for awhile.
I agree, this is powerful stuff! Professionally done...think this will place high.
A powerfully written story that is such a reminder of our personal responsibility as Christians!
04/17/07
Terribly written nonsense, from a very humanistic, holier-than-thou perspective rather than a Christian one. I find it interesting that the father "could not help himself" in his affair, but the secretary passing on notes is guiltier than a nazi? Remove the beam before you remove the mote.
04/18/07
I was somewhat taken aback, this is a reality reflection of the logic in certain cultures, this story could be told again in Latin America. While this may be fiction, it is the face of the only hope we have at that crisis time. An interesting read. Thank you.
04/18/07
Oh, Helen - this is amazing! You had me holding my breath (and looking VERY closely at my own motives) all the way through. An absolute masterpiece.
04/18/07
Masterwriting from beginning to end! You're a writer I read so I can grow as a writer!
04/18/07
This is an incredible piece of writing. It is a show-stopper. Wow! You have done a masterful job.

Pay no attention to the one negative comment you received above; seems to me this man has a beam to remove from his own eye before he comments on anymore entries. This is not the first comment I've seen from him this week; comments that do more to tear down good efforts rather than bring constructive criticism. Many blessings, Cheri
04/18/07
WOW! This is dynamic and exceptionally well written. The names and dialogue just shine here. This is a gem, an absolute gem. Great work!
Helen, I'm shaken. This was excellent writing, and you know why? Because you got the response you did, from the negative (which I think it nonsense in and of itself) to the positive. Evidently you reached many people, and that's the goal of writers.
This is profound in that it reminds us that each of our acts have consequences. As Christians we are blessed that God sees the intent of our hearts.
Very creative, and beautifully done. This deserves recognition, not tearing down. The message is heard loud and clear as well. Big thumbs up to you.
I had to comment again to say the harsh criticism is wrong, wrong, wrong. Your mystery is a challenge to all of us to examine our attitudes in the view of God's love.
04/18/07
Wow...
04/18/07
Pierces my heart. You really made an impact. yeggy
04/18/07
An excellent example of how every move we make has consequences. A heartbreaking, but enlightening piece. And beautifully written, as always.
Cat
I'm touched for different reasons. You poured yourself into this... allowing yourself to be an instrument God could speak through. His heart breaks when He sees the way His creation treats one-another.

Trying to defend others, you yourself were attacked in the worse possible way... public humiliation before your peers. Apparently words you penned were for your attacker to read. They cut too deeply so he lashed out at you (which was safer than being angry at God). Your work was not critiqued, you were assassinated.

Just as in your piece, the heart of God has again been broken, as I'm sure yours was too, dear Helen. Heal quickly and forgive ignorance liberally.
04/18/07
I'm proud to be the 200th reader of this literary rubbish:)
Kidding. One of the best I have read this week. This is why I like to read. A true gem. God bless.
04/18/07
Great lesson on how our actions effect others. I also enjoyed the culture clash. Wonderfully written peice.
04/19/07
Congrats on a wonderful entry and win! ^_^
04/19/07
WAY TO GO!!
04/19/07
Helen, I just wanted to come back and say congratulations. God has found favor in your work, and I sure hope this beats anything else you endured this week. Congrats!!!!
04/19/07
CONGRATULATIONS! I am sooo thrilled you won!
Congratulations! What a wonderful win. And well deserved.
04/19/07
I echo what one person said, "my heart aches" from this story. So well done, very deserving of this win.
Certainly your double win is well-deserved. I am so impressed with the quality of your entry, and all your writing for that matter. You challenge and inspire me as a relative newbie to know what I am writing about and do so concisely.
Congratulations to you, Helen. I agree with all but one of your commenters and would like to echo that surely God's favor is upon this creation.
04/20/07
Moving and effective. I believe the criticism we give here must be directed toward improving the author's skills, not challenging their views--except perhaps in terms of Christian essentials. So be encouraged! You plunged everyone into a present reality and caused all to consider where we stand! What better outcome could there be for us writers?
04/20/07
Wow. What a challenge. I'll not forget this piece for a long time. What an impact!
What a gripping, powerful message here. Your 1st place win is well deserved.
Wow, powerful story. I had a moment of confusion wondering where this was set, so a small comment explaining that may have been helpful, but that is a minor thing in a awesome story. Well deserving of the win.
Hey Helen!
I like to pop in once and a while to see how your stories are coming along. WOW!!!! Loved this one. You tackled my favorite subject. This story reminded me of "The Constant Gardener" meets "Babal." (the movies)

The only part I didn't like was the end. I thought you didn't need the push on the forgiveness. I think you drove that message home by the entire story. Beautifully written. Awesome job and I'm so proud of you!!!
06/03/07
This is--no doubt--an article that could tweak a lot of people, mainly because it reminds us of our own barely-noticed hypocrisies. What I like best is the way you connected the dots between our "innocent" little actions and the end result. If we set a cause in motion, then certainly we bear some responsibility for the effect. The central message of this piece is very good, in my opinion, and hope that readers don't focus so narrowly on the particular "political" points that they miss the larger message. Good writing!
Oh Helen, not only are you a doctor, but you are a preacher. MY! MY! MY! I am over here in the U.S.A. reeling from this profound story. This really should be in Sunday school take-home papers so help expose some of those dark crevices in each of our souls. This was a grand prize winner HANDS DOWN... INTENSE APPLAUSE!!!!
03/12/09
I'm writing this comment almost two years later. But what an emotionally charged and incredibly challenging story. Loved it.
Living in Africa, I can identify with the themes raised by your haunting tale. And I can see why that one man took offence - although I also felt that several of the later commentators were unduly harsh.
Speaking from a position of some understanding, I feel slightly uncomfortable with your use of the term 'killer.' True, many contributed to the girl's death, but the one most culpable in my opinion was the father. I do appreciate however that the idea of murder fitted in well with the theme even if it's not strictly the case in law.
That's my tuppence worth. I'm so pleased that this came first. Maybe one day I'll be as good a writer.

12/30/10
I like your ending, about how Jesus forgives all the sinners that are responsible for the child's death.