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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)

TITLE: Glass Walls And Rubber Hammers
By Lynda Schultz
04/24/07


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Dear Alice:

I have fallen in love with the only woman I know who enjoys being single. To be honest, Janet seems like the kind of person who doesn’t need me — I only know that I am quite sure I need her. She is on the shady of middle age, but blessed with an ageless spirit, full of life, energy, and fun.

Her colleagues and friends hold her in high regard. She is successful in her career, independent and talented. She is committed to the Lord, and to the ministry she feels He has called her to. People tell me Janet is always “up” — I certainly have never seen her otherwise, though she honestly shares her struggles and weaknesses.

The only flaw that I can see, if you could call it one, is the invisible barrier that keeps anyone from getting too close to the “real” Janet. Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t “standoffish,” but there exists a reserve, a glass wall that allows you to see her, but not touch her. That’s my dilemma — how do I get past the guard at her heart’s gate? I’ve met the woman of my dreams and I have no idea how to approach her.

Hopeless Romantic

Dear Hopeless Romantic:

Janet sounds like the kind of gal who would set her table with crystal and white linen, make a gourmet meal, light the candles, and then happily have a RO-TIC evening (that’s Romantic without the “man”) all by herself.

However, all is not lost. While it is true that there are some people who are called to singleness for the sake of the Kingdom, you obviously believe that Janet isn’t among their number. One of you must be wrong. Nevertheless, let’s assume, baring Divine intervention, that you are right and that Janet is the one God has for you.

Glass walls need to be approached carefully. They are fragile — too much pressure and someone is going to get badly cut. Not enough pressure and neither of you is ever going to find out who’s got the inside track on God’s will for your relationship.

First of all, respect Janet’s ministry and calling. Be interested in what interests her: not simply as a source of information or curiosity, but dig a little to find out how she feels about what she does. Don’t give advice or criticize, simply listen and support. Her wall may be built of insecurity. Others believe she has “all her ducks lined up,” but Janet may not be so sure that she really does, and fears to let anyone get close enough to discover how she judges her own abilities, and why God has blessed her life. When she trusts you, the crack in the wall will begin to widen.

Ask her to tell you her story. Find out about the experiences in life that have made her strong. Share your story with her, especially where your histories might come together. I’ll bet she is looking for someone who understands where she has been.

Be honest and vulnerable. By being vulnerable, you are not being a wimp: you are showing Janet that she is as safe with you as you feel with her; that she doesn’t need to compete to gain your respect. She sounds like she has learned to succeed in a man’s world — no easy feat! She needs to understand that you are not looking to deny, or to denigrate, what she has earned. Treat her as an equal. If she’s the woman you think she is, she’ll return the respect, and respond with interest.

Last, but certainly not least, if her commitment to God is as high a priority as you think it is, she’ll need to see that same commitment in you. As a person content with being single, she won’t consider giving those privileges up for anybody who is simply “warm and breathing.”

And hey, no woman, no matter how independent is adverse to flowers and the like. Just be sure that the gift reflects the woman. She’s obviously no pansy; so don’t give her any of those. She’s strong, so don’t give her roses, — they won’t last as well as she has. Try Birds of Paradise: exotic, flamboyant, and tough!

Remember, cracking glass works best with a rubber hammer.

Let me know what happens. I’m willing to bet that Janet will discover that she needs you as much as you need her (DV).

Alice


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Member Comments
Member Date
Betty Castleberry04/26/07
Points for creativty here. I really like the ending and the flower comparisons. Nicely done.
Cheri Hardaway 04/27/07
I LOVE your title and how you have captured the very essence of vulnerabilities that can glue or unglue relationships. Great work. Very creative approach. Blessings, Cheri
Sara Harricharan 04/30/07
Very creative! I love the letter/column format. Your title hints at an entirely different scenario, but you tie it all together very nicely with 'Alice'. I can see lots of other letters pouring asking for her sage advice. I especially liked the touch at the end with the flowers. Just something about it that makes me smile. Very well done! ^_^
Jan Ackerson 04/30/07
Great title, creative structure, really entertaining, and the masterfulness of it is that you help us to feel as if we know this woman, without a single word being told from her POV. Wow!

What does the DV at the end mean?
Bryan Coomes05/02/07
I really enjoyed this. The title was great and I liked how you tied it in with the story at the end. I also liked the manner in which you conveyed information about Janet through the letters as it was effective. The advice seemed realistic especially the bit about the type of flowers to get her. Nice job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/02/07
I want to know more...Does the rubber hammer work?? I like how this is presented with a good message. The DV brought back lots of memories, as that's how my dad used to write about his plans in all his letters to me!
Jacquelyn Horne05/02/07
Interesting the way you built-in good sound advice into a romance.
Joanne Sher 05/02/07
Definitely creative - and I enjoyed the advice, and the letter format. Enjoyed this!
Pat Guy 05/02/07
This would make a great romantic devotional! ;) And every man should read it. :)Yes - great structure and voice. And like Jan said - we got to know someone without even meeting her! Kudos on your writing!
Julie Arduini05/02/07
This was amazing, one of my favorites. I loved the format, the creativity and the lesson you presented wtih the glass walls and rubber hammers. I loved this!