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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)

TITLE: The Weirdest Hospital on Earth
By Dianne Janak


I’m on the brink of quittin church, and wonderin if anyone’s gonna care why…

This may turn into a rant, so hold onto your seats. I just got some things to get offa my chest.

My momma was a Sunday school teacher for fifteen years. She was a regular, dependable, and always prepared. She loved teachin fifth grade, sayin to me that fifth graders are fascinatin. When I was younger, I was in her class and proud of her. Not even embarrassed. Not once.

But this is what I knew, and no one else did. There was tons of trouble at home. Dad’s drinkin was outa hand, and there was a lot of yellin and screamin and slamm of doors, so I just hid in my room with loud music to drown it out and cried so nobody would know.

They didn’t need to worry about me, cause there was too much trouble inside of them. We needed help. We needed it bad, but no one knew. No one to talk to, to go to, to counsel us. Church was supposed to be the safe place, like a hospital, I kept hearin.

Well, this is what I want know. I have never heard of ANY emergency room, where people sit around waitin for the doctor pretendin there’s nothin wrong. Sittin there bleeding with a smile on their face. Sittin there in pain, and laughin about it.

If church is supposed to be a hospital, then that means there’s either all well people comin in OR there all a bunch of liars like the world says they are.

What is the truth? Why if they are sick and in need of help do they put on like they are all ok?

Do you know what that does to a kid whose home is fallin apart? Makes him think they’re the only one. Makes him think everyone else is ok but them. Makes him angry at God. Real angry.

Why do my parents put on all nicey nice faces when they’d just been yellin bout gettin a divorce an hour before? Cause they start lyin like the rest of them.

Cause now that I’m grown, I know that about them. I know lots of church people, and all of them carryin some kind of pain. None of them is whole like Jesus, not yet anyway. I know that we weren’t the only ones. All that pretendin made me bitter about church, but not about God.

After hearing “Jesus loves me” as a kid, and learnin all the Bible stories, that stuck with me. What didn’t stick and I’m thinkin about not getting my new family into church, is that it’s a safe place. Mine wasn’t, but maybe yours is. I dunno, cause I don’t know everythin.

All I know is we were wounded, but no one cared. No one saw the pain in our eyes. No one tried to help the people who couldn’t ask for it, cause everyone was at the charade dance. Everyone wearin their masks. If we were to take off ours, we’d a been kicked out.

No, thanks. I wanna keep the God part. I’m a believer. But when I found out my momma did go cryin to the pastor for help once, and all he told her about her bad marriage was “ you made your bed marryin him, now you gotta lie in it..” , I understand why she got bitter, turned her back on God, and walked away forever.

Died in fact an angry, lonely woman. How many others like her out there?

So that’s my rant. If church is really a hospital, what are we so scared of to show our wounds? To let people know we’re bleedin? To ask for help?

To be that help….

Jesus loves me, this I know. Cause the Bible tells me so…

That’s what I take to the bank. The rest I’m just not so sure yet.

You can pray for me, if you wanna. I’d like that.

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This article has been read 582 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/21/08
GREAT voice--love the dialect, and the realistic monologue. My favorite so far at this level.
Kimberly Lane08/23/08
This struck a chord with me. Excellent writing.
Sunny Loomis 08/25/08
Very well told story. Sees the truth of many churches but also knows the Truth. Good descriptions and realistic dialect.
Nicely done.
Emily Gibson08/25/08
I think this is brilliant and right on topic. Well done!
Cheri Hardaway 08/25/08
This was a great line: "Well, this is what I want know. I have never heard of ANY emergency room, where people sit around waitin for the doctor pretendin there’s nothin wrong."

This piece was brilliant and poignant. You've hit the nail on the head. I applaud your POV and the lesson it teaches.

Cheri Hardaway 08/25/08
Don't know what happened to my keyboard or why my name looks like that on my previous post...

I also wanted to add that I liked the dialect of your MC.

Nice job,
Beth LaBuff 09/03/08
A heart-breaking charade that we all play at some level. I like your conclusion "that's what I'll take to the bank, the rest I'm not sure of." This is an excellent illustration for the topic. Excellent writing Dianne! (and thanks :)