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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)

TITLE: Panic at the Campground
By Coleene VanTilburg


"Where is that kid,” Mom said as she began to call out his name. "Saaaaammmmyy.......Saaaaammmm...”

"Ok, now I'm beginning to panic." How can my husband be so cool when my mind is racing one hundred miles an hour thinking all these terrible thoughts?

"He's probably busy playing with someone," my husband calmly replies. “You know Sammy. I am sure he is fine. Don't get yourself so worked up; it’s not good for you."

"He was just here a few minutes ago...Saaaaaaamy.... Mom continues to call out.

"Oh, Jesus," she begin to pray, please protect my little boy wherever he is right now and give him back to us quickly...like now God...because...I just ...Saaaaammmyyy...


"Mother, have you seen the boy lately? I suppose he is within the caravan with friends."

"Joseph, you are not sure of this? We have been traveling for quite some time, at least a day out of Jerusalem, and now you ask?

"Mother, I will look amongst our friends. I am sure he is keeping company with other boys along the route. Do not worry yourself, Mother."

"Lord, what have we done? You have given us this special child to be our own yet our eyes have not seen to take proper care..."


“Sammy...Here you are. Your Mom is so worried. What have you been doing? Didn’t you hear your mom screaming for you? You are going to be in trouble when we get back to our camp sight."

"Dad, I knew where I was. Why am I going to be in trouble?" Sammy naively stated.

"Son, holding back a chuckle, I know YOU knew where you were, but WE didn't know where you were...and we want to always know you are safe. Things aren't always perfect in this world you know.

Sammy interrupts..."Well Dad, if you got me a cell phone, then you could just call me and then it would all be OK! I would have told you I was helping Mrs. Peterson unload the truck for the general store.

Wait a minute, says Dad...Let’s just get you back to the campground and to your Mom. I don't think the cell phone thing is going to go over too well right now."


"Joseph, we must return to the city. Jesus must still be there. How could we have left not knowing he was safe with us?"

"Yes, we will return now for I have not found him amongst are friends here in the caravan."

"The boy should have spoken with us as well. He is old enough."

"Well, maybe he spoke with the Heavenly Father" ...sometimes, Lord, this is a confusing blessing.


"Mom, here I am. I was just over at the General Store helping Mrs. Peterson...Mom, why are you crying? It’s OK...Mom...I am sorry"

"Sam, I know you are very familiar with everybody and everything up here, but please just tell us when you are going somewhere. You never can be too careful these days..."

Mom, it's OK...Dad already gave me that lecture. God is our protector, right? So, you need to not worry so much and trust me more."

Son, you are still a kid at twelve and you will always be our kid...and God is our protector, but wisdom is something you will get over time when you go through different things and I just hope you are getting a little bit of some now."


After three days searching someone informs the worried parents.

"He is over in the Temple. He is your son? The Rabbis are in amazement at his knowledge. You have taught him well."

"Jesus, son, we have been gone now for almost three days! You have not wished for your parents company on the trip back to Nazareth? What have you been doing? We became frightened at your absence."

"Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” Jesus replied to his parents.

Mary and Joseph did not further question the boy, and did not quite understand his words. He returned to Nazareth with them and continued to be their son. Mary treasured all these things in her heart; her days of being the Son of God's earthly Mother.


The scriptures continue to tell us that Jesus "kept increasing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and Men." (Luke 2: 52). Sammy continued as well, paying more attention to his parent’s Godly advice, gaining more wisdom…and a cell phone.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke09/10/09
I think your idea to weave two different stories together is creative. I think Sammy is an interesting character.

Changing points of view and using past and present tense in the same story makes for very confusing reading. For example your opening paragraph has both a third person telling the story and a first person.

Quotation marks are missing in several areas which can add to the confusion.
Allen Stark09/16/09
Nice attempt at parallelism. I especially liked your last paragraph.