Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)
TITLE: Pass or Fail
By Virgil Youngblood
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“I couldn’t finish reading this” she said. “It gave me nightmares. I slept very little. Don’t ever submit anything like this again.” A shudder racked through her body as she tossed five sheets of Big Chief writing paper covered with poor handwriting onto my desk.
Oh, what music to the ears of a junior-high boy. The teacher’s reaction was everything I could have hoped for. The story was about a mountain lion that pounced from an overhanging limb upon a woman and ate her. It was heavy on the details of the organs consumed and full of blood and gore graphically expressed with descriptive sounds and smells. The setting, of course, was in a dark shadowy forest.
My mother, if she read my story, did not keep it. At least, it was not among the bits and pieces and clippings of my life that she accumulated in a folder that eventually came to me. What a pity, for it was a masterpiece.
Years later and married with three small children, I received the ultimate rejection a Christian writer could receive. It seemed that way at the time. The worship service that day was filled with a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. At the conclusion of the service many responded to the invitation to follow Christ. Some invited Him into their life as Lord and Savior, others committed to full time missionary service; I came dedicating my writing ability.
The pastor introduced each respondent to the congregation, publicly affirming their decision. Each, that is, except me. My name was never mentioned. I left church that day questioning God’s calling in my life. Was it so unimportant to be not worth mentioning? Was full-time missionary service the only calling having merit? God must not have given me talent to write if the pastor did not recognize it. Or, I wondered, was God testing my resolve?
If God has called you to write, you must write. Today, I know that. And so I have. Along the way the scripture stating “iron sharpens iron” has often been confirmed. Red ink on writing class papers, helpful comments from friends and associates, and rejection slips have honed my commitment to write.
Someday I will stand before a Holy God who will review my work. Will he say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”?
Our God is a refining fire. I am very much a work in progress.
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