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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)

TITLE: A Different Shade of Yellow
By Terry R A Eissfeldt


Somesmalltown, Somestate

Letter to the Editor:

Iíve discovered that you donít have to be Amish to experience shunning and that shunning is bullying, bullying is cowardice, cowardice is fear and fear is pride. Everything always come back to pride.

Recently my husband was on the front page of your paper. He was convicted of child pornography. I wonít go into the pain and shame that caused me. No, that is but the beginning, now I'm at the end.

Iím a Christian. So is my husband. He was caught in his sin in a very public way and is now paying for it with his freedom. Of course his reputation, job and our home are all lost. But not our marriage. I took a vow: for better or for worse...till death separates...

Whatís the point of this letter, youíre asking? Iím not sure. I think I stated it at the beginning...the shunning...the cowardice...the pride

The Ďsiní wasnít mine, however, Iím connected to it by marriage. I guess that makes me guilty or like an untouchable or something. Very suddenly, after the conviction,( at least they waited to see if he would be convicted ) the shunning began.

Iím not talking about the town folks, no not them...

Jerry, at the grocery store, was so nice to me the other day. He carried my groceries out. He gave me a hug and told me that he and his wife were there for me if I ever needed anything. His kindness almost stopped the great tide of shame and sorrow that Iím drowning in....almost.

No, the shunning has been from my church family. Phone calls ceased. Email updates ended. And when Iím spotted, like at the mailbox, people hurry in the other direction. Even the pastor.

Friends, at least I thought they were friends, said tthey loved me, were there for me, were praying for me....such hollow words like dandelion flowers turned to seed, blowing in the wind...

I know what Iím about to do is viewed as cowardly but I canít go on. The pain is too great. I guess I have too much pride.

Iím sorry Momma and Daddy.

Bury me in my yellow dress.

Name withheld


It is with great sadness Mr and Mrs Anders announce the sudden passing of their only child, Belinda. No service is planned. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Cancer Daffodil Campaign.

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This article has been read 584 times
Member Comments
Member Date
larry troxell 11/19/09
a couple of typos but things like that can be corrected in your writing. the important thing is the message you conveyed. oh, how judgmental we church folks are. thanks for this thought provoker.
Carol Penhorwood 11/20/09
Very powerful and thought provoking! Great job!!
Allen Stark11/21/09
Wow! This story is truer than most think. And it is so sad that some who claim to be Christian see themselves as "power over" instead of "power under" people. Kingdom of God Christians have no right to judge others.
Mona Purvis11/25/09
A dear friend and her husband are in the midst of this right now. He is guilty of child molestation. It became known to us that he is a pedophile and has been 'given chance after chance" by pastors. We didn't know. The latest was a molestation in the Christian school where he was working. Ask me how I feel when I learned this. How I feel when I know of many children he has interacted with over the years...in church. Ask me how I feel about his wife who was my best friend. She knew. They adopted a little girl 7 yrs ago. Oh, yes. she's been molested as well. He's not in jail. Justice is not always swift.
The Christian community needs to have zero tolerance for child molesters. Forgiveness...yes. What to do about the wife who "hid" it?

Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse11/25/09
I thought this was a very powerful message with a very interesting medium (letter to the editor and obituary). Well done. What a tricky and heated topic within the Christian realm! And, oh, how we love to argue! The Bible is very clear about judging one another, and I think you did an excellent job of portraying the negative kind of judgment. They did not lovingly pull her out of the mire (though it is questionable whether she even knew about her husband's sins and was, therefore, in the mire herself), and instead shunned and condemned her, which was never their job. The Bible advocates a positive form of judging, but some of us forget the purpose of that judgment: to reprove, correct, discipline, love, and bring back to the Lord. Our job, as vessels, is to do our best to ensure each and every one of us sinners (for we all are) makes it to heaven someday. That is our goal. So when someone sins, it is with love that we go to them and tell them a better way. Remember Jesus drawing in the ground while a sinful woman was dropped before him by sinful men. He made his point simply by saying, "I am not here to judge you, but don't sin anymore." It is God's job to judge whether we receive condemnation or mercy in the end. It is our job to lovingly correct one another so that we all might receive mercy rather than condemnation. I applaud you on a message well-written.