The Official Writing Challenge
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What a sad story, and an all too true one in many Christian families. The children's names didn't fit for me... they felt at odds with the African heritage. Otherwise I liked the way you wove the past and present together.
07/23/09
Poor Kaylee. This is so sad, but I'm sure it is so true sometimes. We just always happen to miss what's right smack in front of us. I really felt for her. Good job here.
07/26/09
A big OUCH factor here. I felt for all the players. The parents caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of how to treat Kurt. The kids growing up with unreasonable expectations upon them. Kurt not having anyone to pour out his heart to, and Kaylee torn between the halves of a fractured family. You left out nothing of the pain in this unfolding family tragedy.
The ending hit me right between the eyes. I so hope and pray this is not our family in a few short years' time.
PS. I didn't have a problem with the Western names. I assumed they were missionaries?
07/27/09
The opening drew me right in to the story. A few of the middle paragraphs seemed a bit confusing to me. Not sure if you deliberately wanted that effect to show the girl's confusion. I loved the ending, with her thoughts to God.
07/27/09
I also found parts of the story confusing. At points there seemed to be extraneous words. But at another level this added to the sense of loss and confusion.
I could identify with the parents, looking to fill their days with activities so as to block the pain of a lost life in Africa, yet unable to respond with understanding to the same aching within their children's hearts.
07/27/09
A very tragic but all true tale. Harsh commentary, yes, but from the POV of a teen, that's what you get. A little dark, but darkness needs exposing to bring it to light and you did an expert job. I don't need any more christian parents children in my jail. I do more counseling and ministering with parents wondering where they went wrong than with the children just desiring the truth of a authentic Jesus. Real writing about real life. Excellent job.
God bess.
Great commentary on what happens when strict rules and legalism replace spirit. I enjoyed this, and its message.
Wow, great storytelling. I've seen legalistic families push their loved ones away, and refuse interaction because of one who wanders from the truth. I wish we all could be more like the prodigal son's father...one who waits and faithfully prays for the child to come home.
The title is as profound as the writing itself. The inner conflict was palatable, and the end result for both Kaylee and Kurt due to the "blindness" of their care takers, seemingly inevitable.
07/27/09
This is one of those stories that would be interesting to hear from all four perspectives... because I suspect that Kurt and the mother and father would all have different takes on it--and perhaps all of them know things that Kaylee (as perceptive as she is) cannot see. Superb job of conveying Kaylee's turmoil, frustration and grief!
Excellent writing, the way you always do.
07/27/09
This story cut like a knife. I'm sure there are those in the ministry who can't see the forest for the trees. No matter what we do in life, we should NEVER forget our children. They are our future. Excellent story!
07/27/09
I like this. You have a great story, for sure.

I had a bit of trouble with the "memory" part at the beginning. Even though I knew she was telling about her past, the voice felt "too young" for me. And I'm not certain how I'd change that.

Good job overall though, and I think you did the overall story justice!
07/27/09
The first two paragraphs described the experience of an MK or TCK very well. I was expecting a different story, but the rest of the story also describes some MK's experience. It wasn't mine, but I've known a lot of bitter, angry ones.
07/29/09
Raw. Real. And sad. I'll be sure to pray as you asked in Hinting.
07/29/09
"When God was kind" is the line that really captures my attention in this haunting and too real piece.
That line puts a deeper thought into the story and is a POV all its own. Powerful and connecting.
Mona
07/29/09
You know I'm praying. (And the writing was awesome, too.)
07/30/09
Didn't get the connection of the title with the story. I can understand a teen thinking it, but not from what was conveyed in the story. The jumping of the tenses was distracting also, caused the reader to go back and reread and I don't think that was necessary. The ending was slightly confusing also. The last sentence said, "God would know how to find him", wouldn't it be them? Or did I miss something else?
I love how your story addresses something that has bothered me for many years. You, as always, did a fantastic job with this. It was raw, it was real, it was fantastic.