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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: Det Bortkommet Sau
By william price


The superficial bleakness and desperation of a fiddle solo weaved its way through the deafening din of downtown Manhattan like warm blood being pumped from a lonely heart.

The familiar, quirky melody was cruelly drowned out by crashing waves of honking cars, squealing tires and whistling winter winds. Every now and then though, a few notes would break through brief slices of semi-silence.

In the midst of masses of flowing pedestrians, a young college student wearing a red duck down jacket grabbed his girlfriend by the hand, yanking her to a halt.


“Do you hear that, Brenda?”

“Hear what, Jason?” a slender female coed asked as she brushed strawberry-blonde hair away from her ear.

“A violin.”

The young man strained to listen, trying to recapture the beautiful tune that had tickled his attention.

“No, I didn’t. I was praying before we got to the conference.”

Jason scanned high and low, but could not locate the source of the music. Finally gazing at his watch he said, “I guess it was nothing. We better get going; don’t want to miss worship. It is suppose to be fantastic.”

The two began walking again with Brenda praying quietly in the Spirit. Unexpectedly, Brenda blurted out, “Det Bortkommet Sau. Det Bortkommet Sau.”

“What?” Jason asked, puzzled by the strange words coming out of his girlfriend’s mouth.

Brenda could not stop the utterances. Her body shook as she continued to repeat, “Det Bortkommet Sau.”

The couple was familiar with speaking in tongues, but never standing on a public avenue.

Brenda kept getting louder.

“Det Bortkommet Sau. Det Bortkommet Sau.”

Sensing the Lord was trying to tell them something, Jason prayed for an interpretation to his girlfriend’s utterances.

All the surrounding clamor appeared to cease for Jason as he sought the Lord in prayer. He heard the fiddle again. A chill danced up his arms.

A Norwegian man in his early twenties, also in Manhattan for the International Youth Conference, was walking by when he heard Brenda speaking in his native tongue.

Bjorn Reiersen asked Jason, “Why is your friend repeating, ‘The Lost Sheep’, over and over?”

“The Lost Sheep?” Jason asked.

“Ja, that is what she is saying alright.”

Brenda finally quieted and began crying as she spoke in the natural, “I can hear the music too. Isn’t it the theme from Fargo?”

Bjorn smiled.

“Not so much. It was based on an old folk song from my country called, The Lost Sheep. It‘s a poplar piece for the fiddle. Ja, I liked Fargo.”

Jason spoke up. “Well, we have to be hearing it for some reason.”

The three visually scoured the concrete walls of the cavernous concrete valley they were in searching for the violin.

“Look!” Brenda shouted, pointing at a building across the street. “That open window on the sixth floor. The music is coming from there. Let‘s go, now.”

Bjorn looked puzzled.

Brenda took off running. Jason grabbed hold of Bjorn. “Come on. Trust me. She’s never wrong. She has the Gift of Discernment too.”

The trio dodged caravans of taxi cabs and dashed into an art studio, finding a staircase in the back. On the sixth floor they followed their ears to a closed door.

The music abruptly ended as soon as they knocked. There was no answer. Brenda tried to open the door, it was locked.

Out of breath, Jason asked, “What now?”

“We break in,” Brenda said, bouncing her body off the wooden apartment entrance.

“Out of the way,” Bjorn ordered and he kicked the door open.

Brenda rushed in first, crying out, “Jesus loves you. Jesus loves you. It’s not your fault.”

A young Hungarian woman looked shocked as she sat with a black revolver aimed at her temple. She spoke slowly.

“Jezus szeret en?”

Bjorn answered, “Ja, Jesus elsker du.”

“Igan?” the shaken woman asked.

“Yes, Jesus loves you,” Jason assured her.

The pistol dropped to the floor. The woman looked at the fiddle on her lap and then at the open window allowing the screaming sounds of an uncaring city to rush into her barren room. She glanced at Jason, Brenda and Bjorn as tears streamed down her sunken cheeks.

“Jezus saeret en.”

Hours later, Jason, Brenda and Bjorn were listening to Orsolya play Det Bortkommet Sau on her anointed fiddle in front of thousands of young Christians from around the world, all praying simultaneously, for the lost sheep.

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This article has been read 1339 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 11/29/07
Excellent job of building the tension and suspense. Your descriptions are very, very vivid. Excellent.
Sheri Gordon11/30/07
Wonderful suspense. I felt the trio's sense of urgency. The dialogue flowed smoothly, and was very realistic. Good job with the topic.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/01/07
A wonderful story of God's guidance. Your descriptions are awesome.
Janice Cartwright12/01/07
This is so authentic. It's how the Spirit works, how He brings all things together for His glory and our good when we are sensitive to His gifts. Just beautiful, wonderful writing.
Kristen Hester12/03/07
Wow. This was captivating. I love it. It's a perfect story for the topic. Your descriptions and imagery were indeed masterful. Wow.
Betty Castleberry12/03/07
This should be a movie. I could see the scenes so clearly. Loved the writing, loved the message. Wonderful job.
LauraLee Shaw12/03/07
Impeccable, masterful writing here. You captured my imagination and held it tight to the end.
Patty Wysong12/03/07
Wow. This was in full color and surround sound for me! Excellent job! Hugs!
Dee Yoder 12/03/07
Beautiful story of the gifts in action. Love the characters and the setting.
Joy Faire Stewart12/03/07
Great opening paragraph and the rest of the writing did not disppoint. Excellent!
Temple Miller12/04/07
I'm covered in goosebumps. Excellent, excellent storytelling from sensory details to suspense and resolve. I loved it!
Shelley Ledfors 12/04/07
Wow. Very suspenseful, well written, great message. Wonderful!
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/04/07
This is a truly masterful story in every way--hope it places high.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge12/04/07
This is more than a story, it's a testimony of how the gifts of the Holy Spirit still empower ordinary yielded vessels to accomplish the supernatural. I've heard of foreigners hearing their native tongue before, but never so compellingly told. I want to share this one...
Temple Miller12/05/07
I just re-read it, and I love it even more than the first time. It's just beautiful!
Jan Ross12/05/07
Excellent in every way. Such a compelling story in so few words. A Masterpiece, for sure! I love the way it shows how God uses the supernatural to show His sovereign love and compassion for His people. Excellent!! :)
Kristen Hester12/05/07
I stand by everything I said before. This is WONDERFUL! Since you requested, here are the nit picky things I could come up with:
The first time I read it I was a little confused when first introduced to the characters. However, on second reading everything was crystal clear. Are Fargo and The Lost Sheep different titles for the same song?

Technical things: I think it should be "supposed". Also I think "It was locked" should be a new sentence or you should add "but" in the sentence. However, I am not the expert in this area.

My main thought for improvement was the ending. I think it was a little rushed for the lady who was about to kill herself to be playing at the conference hours later. Perhaps it was testimony time? I would have liked more reason or explanation for this. You might could have ended your story in the room.

Just my thoughts. Again, I thought it was EXCELLENT. And that's the HONEST truth.
Sara Harricharan 12/05/07
Oh, this gave me shivers here! The title, the way everything was tied togethere in the end. WOW! This was just GREAT! Awesome writing-this is powerful stuff.
TJ Nickel12/05/07
masterful entry. great plot and use of the topic.
LaNaye Perkins12/05/07
I was so wrapped up in this I felt like I was running right along with this trio. I could see myself running across the street and breaking the door down with them. It was hard to find anything that needed red ink my friend. The only suggestion I would have would be the ending. But, I'm not sure I know enough to recommend anything, I'm only in Level 2!

In all honesty, I really thought this was fantastic writing.
Pat Guy 12/05/07
Wow! What a story! This is awesome!

Now for the Red Pen ;) ... I felt your two opening paragraphs were a tad too descriptive which was a little distracting and the ending a tad rushed, but that's all.

I loved the whole story line and the feel of this piece. It comes though very well and you did a great job of caring the reader all the way through. I loved this.
Jan Ackerson 12/05/07
Wow, look at all the nice comments, Bill!

This is gorgeous writing, and I agree with everything Pat said about the beginning and the ending--she just beat me to it.

I could definitely feel the heart-pumping suspense...you had me rivited to the page.
TJ Nickel12/06/07
Mr. Price, you asked for red ink, and as my short critique mentioned before, I have none for you. Excellent opening, great positive ending, loved the seriousness of what was at stake, and the pace of the story.
Sheri Gordon12/06/07
Congratulations on your much-deserved EC. This was one of my favorites.
Cathi Hassan12/06/07
I really loved this essay! Wonderful use of the gifts. I like the way you brought the elements all together, but began with such mystery. Kept me involved all the way.
Peter Stone12/06/07
Congratulations on your EC win. Here's my 'red pen' comments. I don't think it is supposed to be a 'tree' piece, but a pop(u)lar piece. Also Brenda had already been introduced, so I think it would read better if you said 'the' slender female, not 'a' slender female. I would have liked to have seen Bjorn Reiersen's name introduced when we met him, it seemed out of place later. But overall, I found this to be a beautiful, stiring piece, about tongues, interpretation of tongues, and a word of knowledge about the woman's past. This is also one of the few articles to address the Gifts of the Spirit.
Catrina Bradley 12/06/07
Now those are some powerful gifts! Captivating writing. Congrats, my friend. Love, Cat