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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)

TITLE: No Womb for Abimael
By Bryan Ridenour


Uncertain of his destination, brilliant light caressed the senses as the newcomer arrived. Much had happened in such a short period of time. In moments, he had been given a name, a home, and a place to be loved and to belong. Darkness to light, he quietly mused.

"You're new here, are you not?" asked a beautiful girl, twirling the ends of her curly locks.

"Yes," replied the boy.

"What name did Father give you?" she asked smiling.

"Abimael," he answered, wondering at his surroundings.

Abimael slipped past the girl and stared in awe at winged creatures zipping back and forth, streaming prismatic light across the sky.

"Don't you want to know my name?" she interrupted his curious observation.

"Yes, of course. What is your name?" he asked, directing attention to his new acquaintance.

"It's Zibiah! It means 'Roe'. Father named me perfectly. He says I was the first!"

"You were the first one here?" Abimael asked, surprised.

"No, no," she giggled. "Father said I was the first to arrive, after another kingdom far away decided they could send me."

"Is that what happened to me? I was sent?"

Zibiah's smile widened and her eyes sparkled. "Come with me," she invited.

Zibiah grabbed Abimael's hand and both ran tirelessly in the direction of rapturous melody. Voices in innumerable parts of harmony praised Father for His goodness and love. Scampering to the top of a grassy knoll, they paused hand in hand. There before them, a choir with members as far as the eye could see focused worship in the direction of a great throne enveloped in light.

"Who are they?" Abimael asked, mouth agape.

"They are like us. We are like them," she responded. "Sit down here, Abimael," she requested, patting the lush vegetation.

Abimael obediently dropped onto the grassy carpet, keeping his eyes on the splendor before him.

"What do you remember about the far away kingdom, Abimael?"

Abimael slowly turned to face Zibiah. "What do you mean?"

"I mean you came from the far away kingdom. What do you remember about it?"

Abimael closed his eyes and fought to remember the land of which Zibiah spoke.

"I know that when I arrived, I was surprised by the light. Wait a minute," his eyes shone with recognition, "I do remember. I came from a dark place, but I felt safe there. There were voices...voices that became familiar. One in particular."

"Your mother."

"Yes, my mother," he affirmed, unexpected knowledge coursing through his being.

"What was she like?" Zibiah wanted to know, leaning forward.

"Her voice was soothing, even though she never spoke to me. She knew of my existence, but it seemed that I caused much concern. She cried often. I once heard other voices tell her that she did not need 'that kind of responsibility'. I assume she meant me?"

Zibiah nodded.

"The last thing I remember is screaming in pain, and then being instantly embraced in light and love."

"Do you remember the far away kingdom, Zibiah?"

"I remember,” she nodded. “My mother considered me an unwanted responsibility also. Her voice seldom soothed; hate filled words were common. I recall screams of 'my body, my choice'. I didn't know what that meant, but shortly after the kingdom sided with my mother, I was sent here. I do, however, have an additional memory."

"Go on," Abimael urged.

"I remember being held."


"Yes. I remember excruciating pain, but then someone, kind and gentle, cuddled and spoke to me until my arrival here."

Both remained silent and then softly hummed the song offered in worship. Suddenly, the melody bubbled up from Abimael's soul and he joyfully raised his voice in chorus, singing each word as if he had composed the song. The refrain ended and a thunderous chorus of hosannas erupted.

“What's it like to be held?" Abimael shouted above the joyous fray.

Without saying a word, Zibiah dragged Abimael to his feet and they raced toward the throne. Abimael noticed one sitting to the right of the great light, whose welcoming smile encouraged Abimael to run faster. He released Zibiah's hand, rushed to waiting arms and jumped into His embrace. The Father's Son swung him round and round, both laughing with delight.

The Son lowered Abimael to the ground, a loving hand upon his shoulder.

"Lord, I have so many questions, but first, may I ask what Abimael means?"

"Abimael means 'God is my Father’. Welcome home, child. Welcome home.”

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This article has been read 2144 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst03/19/09
This story grabbed me & pulled me right on thru. Well told. It is one that could be passed on to someone who's had an abortion & regretted it & repented of it later. I think it would be comforting.
Kellie Henningsen03/19/09
This definitely pulled me in and kept me there. I enjoyed the ease of the dialogue and the reference to "Father" instead of "the Father" making it all so much more personal.
Julia May03/21/09
This is beautiful....
Norma-Anne Hough03/24/09
Very and beautiful. You had my attention right from the start until the finish.
Excellent piece of writing.
Christina Banks 03/24/09
What a wonderful story about the love of our Father for the innocence that die needlessly for someone else's choice. Thank you!
Jan Ackerson 03/24/09
Beautifully written!
Teresa Lee Rainey03/24/09
This is such a beautifully told story. Your characters became real to me as did their surroundings. You held my attention to the end and I feel rewarded for having read this.
Mona Purvis03/24/09
I love the interaction between the two. She is pulling him around, showing him the ropes, full of delight.
The question of 'what is it like to be held' made me stop and think a bit. We never get too old for that, do we?
Loved this POV.
Connie Dixon03/24/09
Great writing. You didn't give it away until the end, causing me to want to read more. I liked this a lot.
Gerald Shuler 03/24/09
Powerful storytelling. This is a good one for church newsletters to publish.

The only minor (VERY minor) red ink I could offer would be that I knew from the title that this was going to be an abortion story. You built it up so well in the story itself that I actually regret that the "Ah ha" moment was in the title.

Like I said, very minor observation about a great entry.
Sheri Gordon03/24/09
Very good dialogue between the two main characters--it flowed naturally.

The title, combined with the little girl's name, gives away the story "punch" too soon.

Love the POV, and you did an excellent job with the topic.

Carol Slider 03/24/09
This is a poignantly beautiful pro-life story. Well done!
Karlene Jacobsen03/24/09
Oh my, what an incredible piece. This somewhat reminds me of Frank Peretti's "Tilley". So touching and beautiful. I love that Father God takes those children directly into His own arms when they are cast off. Thank you.
Sharon Kane03/24/09
A tender and touching story. I liked the interaction between the two characters. I'm glad too that you portrayed the difference between the mothers. Many women having abortions feel they have no other choice. By giving voice to that sense of feeling pressured you managed to write this in a way that is not condemnatory. Nicely done.
Chely Roach03/24/09
This was very emotional and tender...I loved the atmosphere and the dialogue. I love that you stepped out to broach this subject...well done.
Dee Yoder 03/25/09
Wonderful! I wish more people would think about what their "choice" means.
Joanne Sher 03/25/09
This is an incredible reminder of what abortion really is. Excellent storytelling.
Jeffrey Snell03/25/09
Quite touching. I really enjoyed the perspective of the children and the "far away kingdom." A very creative work painted around a familiar (but no less important) message. Nice job!
Kimberly Russell03/25/09
I really enjoyed this story- it grabbed me from the start and held my attention. One observation I would make is that I found the names of the main characters distracting because I am unfamiliar with them and weren't sure how they were pronounced....probably because I couldn't wait for the outcome of the story. Wonderful job!
Eliza Evans 03/26/09

Huge Congratulations my friend!!!

Way to write!
Dolores Stohler03/26/09
Ah! What a beautiful story! Loved every minute of it. Congratulations!
Sheri Gordon03/26/09
Congratulations on your EC. Very good entry.
Charla Diehl 03/26/09
The following paragraph was my favorite part of this beautifully written story. Congrats on your EC win.

Abimael noticed one sitting to the right of the great light, whose welcoming smile encouraged Abimael to run faster. He released Zibiah's hand, rushed to waiting arms and jumped into His embrace. The Father's Son swung him round and round, both laughing with delight.
Holly Westefeld03/26/09
Even though I knew the direction this was heading from the beginning, you spun this tender story beautifully, and brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations!
Rachel Rudd 03/26/09
Beautifully written! Congratulations on the win! I really liked the line "I remembered being held."
Catrina Bradley 03/27/09
I don't know whether to cry with sorrow or smile with joy. A very creative idea, and a wonderfully written story. Congratulations on your EC - I DID smile when I saw your name on the list. :)
Cassie Wells03/27/09
It was so GOOD!! I couldn't stop reading it. You could get alot of money from your stories. It made me cry at the end.
Ingenious! Very unique!! Its a great piece. Well done! Congratulations!! Keep it up!!!
Breea Schutt03/30/09
I love this, Bryan!!!! You're so good! Congrats!
Stevie McHugh04/11/09
Congratulations! I appreciate that you've written so beautifully about a topic that I believe is very much the heart of God.
Peter Stone04/13/09
Your article portrays very well the absurdity and tragedy of a situation that should not exist. What should be the safest place in the world is now the most dangerous, a mother's womb.
Thanks for commenting on my pro-life article too. I am hugely concerned that as scientific advances are made, genetic screening of unborn children will result in even more abortions.
Can I also suggest that you list this article under the 'free reprint' section, that way you can get the 'word out there.'