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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)

TITLE: Gettin Stomped
By Dianne Janak


Some preachers don’t mess with me. They’re nice enough to be ticklish, and don’t stomp through the tulips. Not my preacher. He stomps hopin to catch some critters who want to eat the tulips. This was one day he was stompin and messin and I almost ran outa church with wet mascara.

It was the parable about the sinner in church who was repentin, and the Faira See so happy he wasn’t that sinner ‘cause he’s all perfect. Lookin at that sinner cryin and carryin on that day, he was boastin to God about how lucky he was to be a righteous man.

I thought to myself, how disgustin, didn’t he know God says we ALL sin and fall short? How stupid bein an church man and all, and he didn’t even know God seen his heart.

Then I saw it. In 3-D livin color a flashback of my cousin Connie’s funeral. Connie the Con I used to call her. Cause she’d lie to the Pope and steal from a baby. Connie was a mess. My cousin Connie, only born a few months after me, so we were always bein compared by people.
I loved that, ‘cause she was a mess and I was the good girl. She was a rebel, and I said “yes ma’m and no sir” with a polite enough smile to make them think I was happy to do whatever.

Connie didn’t care about school, even though she wasn’t dumb, and I cared. I got good grades in all subjects, and my parents gleamed at me and scowled at her. She hated me, even though I pretended to be ok with her. I turned that other cheek so many times, my neck was hurtin.

Connie got pregnant way too early and not even married. She was 14 and he was 15. They tied the knot, but none of us thought it could last. It didn’t.

She ran off to be a drug dealer and sell herself. Left her man and baby for the streets. The whole family got ashamed, and it made me look even better. That was all I ever liked about her really. Next to her, I shined a lot, like a new car, and she was the wreck that never got fixed.

Looking at her in that casket, I felt nothin but disdain. She had it comin, didn’t she? An early death at age 40… her body burned out. She abused it, and punished her mom for years and didn’t make it. She just gave up. I never understood that kinda thinkin. My aunt acted angry at my mom a lot, and I think it was cause I turned out so much better.

And here I was at church hearin all this stuff and its making me turn red, wanna cry, wanna run, wanna tell God I am so sorry.

“Listen people. Wake up. Do you really think you are better than the worst of sinners? Do you measure yourself to others and think you come out all clean and sparkley? WAKE UP! You and I and the serial killer on death row have one thing in common. One thing that binds us to each other. Do not be deceived. WE all sin. We all have need of a Saviour. No one, no one, no one gets outa of this truth. Repent. God sees us for the sinners that we are.”

Now, you may get turned off by all this kinda preachin. Personally, I like the castor oil now and then.

My heart was warmin up hearing his words. My ears were perky. My soul was havin a fit restless as a hungry cat watchin the dog get fed.

I was that Fair a See. That was me. All high and mighty lookin at Cousin Connie and not even mournin her early death. Who does that? Whose heart is that cold and indifferent?

Drivin home from church that day, I did business with God. I told Him what I just told you. I told Him I was that Fara See.

To top it off, my aunt told me later, Connie the Con got saved in rehab the year she died, and I didn’t even know it. Here I was all judgin and comparing and feelin so superior, and she was dancin with Jesus at that very moment.

God help me.

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This article has been read 619 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw05/29/08
What an entertaining voice in this story, and you wrote it well. I love this line:
I turned that other cheek so many times, my neck was hurtin.
Well done!
Jan Ackerson 06/04/08
I love that in just 750 words, this character underwent a significant transformation. That you made it seem so natural and unforced is a testament to your ability--and I love your narrator's voice. Great idioms, really super read.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/04/08
Your voice here is just perfect...as is your message. It's difficult to be entertaining and convicting at the same time, but you managed very well.
Deborah Engle 06/04/08
Well done! This was a very entertaining read, and yet so different and creative, as well as convicting.
Debbie Wistrom06/04/08
I loved everthing about this. The voice, the message, the coming clean with God and with the reader. I hope this message reaches others and I hope it gets a ribbon tomorrow. Thanks for the brick or I may have missed it this week.
Cheri Hardaway 06/04/08
This was wonderful! Great idioms, great POV, great lesson!

You used "Faira See," "Fair a See," and "Fara See" to refer to the Pharisees. I understand the wrong spelling to be in keeping with the "voice" of the speaker, but I think I would have misspelled it the same way each time.

That one criticism aside, I LOVED this piece. Awesome job. Blessings, Cheri
Shirley McClay 06/04/08
Great story... I especially loved that I could hear her voice... the way she talked. I kept thinking she was man for some reason. Not sure why.
LaNaye Perkins06/04/08
I love the voice of you MC. This was a powerful story with a powerful message. Great writing.
Sara Harricharan 06/04/08
Hmmm, great way of puttin 'stomped' I loved the voice of this piece and especially that "fairesee" Very creative twist here, especially at the end. The italics sort of cinched it for me. ^_^
Joshua Janoski06/04/08
I loved the MC's accent and how you took a topic like "cousins" and actually put a really good lesson in it for all of us to absorb and carry with us.

I really enjoyed this. It was a blessing to read.
Beth LaBuff 06/04/08
You always have the greatest phrases in your entries. I love these, "Cause she'd lie to the Pope and steal from a baby" and "I did business with God." Your lessons "cut to the quick." Great work on this, Dianne.
Peter Stone06/04/08
Great job in presenting the character's unique dialog, and effective story at illustrating the parable of the 'Faira See.' I think many people need to hear this. Note that you spelt 'Faira See' in three different ways. Was this deliberate?
Aaron Morrow06/04/08
Fabulous voice Dianne, I thought the "stompin the tulips" piece was masterfully done.

Great work!!