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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Life (05/13/10)

TITLE: All the way from Troy to Rome
By Gregory Kane


It was a love of literature that drew me to the site of ancient Troy. I grew up on Homer, revelling in the Iliad and its companion the Odyssey. I remember grieving for Patrimonius and feeling bittersweet regret for Achilles. Later on Virgil's Aeneid was my text book as I struggled to master the odd-looking letters and prosaic grammar of Latin. My heart went out to Cassandra and I wept with Dido over her tragic end. So when my mother's uncle invited me to leave Antioch and set up a medical practice in the city of Troas, I didn't hesitate.

It was Homer's epic poetry that turned me against the old gods. How could anyone honour deities that squabbled like petty schoolchildren on the plains of Ilium? My father worshipped Asclepius, as befits a man of medicine. My mother bowed before the shrine of Artemis, but I could never forgive the divine huntress for the way she had demanded that Agamemnon sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia. So when Barnabas and Paul came to preach in Antioch, I was numbered among their first enquirers. Their tales of a selfless God laying down his life for mankind were as an elixir to my impoverished soul.

I sat under Paul's tutelage for two years before departing Syria for the shores of the Aegean. I don't know which was more effective- my skill with scalpel and forceps or my insistence on praying for my patients in the name of Jesus. Yet my medical practice flourished and I soon gained a reputation as a healer and a Christian.

When my old mentor appeared at my door one day, I chose to follow him to Philippi, dividing my time between re-establishing a medical practice and pastoring the church that Paul had planted. I spent a pleasant seven years in Macedonia, growing in the knowledge of God and drinking deeply of the Holy Spirit. But when Paul resolved to travel to Jerusalem, I saw it as an opportunity to fulfil an old ambition. I yearned to visit the land of Jesus and see for myself those towns and villages where the Saviour had walked with his disciples.

Paul's long imprisonment in Caesarea provided me with an unexpected boon: the time to research thoroughly the life of Jesus. I visited Galilee and met with many of those who had witnessed his teachings and miracles. Being a physician, divine healing is a source of great interest to me. With my own eyes I have seen Paul heal the afflicted with just a simple word of prayer. But it strikes me that the ministry of Jesus was on another level entirely.

Sadly I was unable to interview Lazarus as he had died (for the second time) shortly before my arrival, but his sisters corroborated his remarkable story. I tracked down Bartimaeus and the delightfully loquacious Lucius who had been a deaf mute. But it was the arrival in Jerusalem of Mark's narrative of the life of Jesus that inspired me to put pen to paper. I hear tell that John Mark has been working as amanuensis to Simon Peter and that the great apostle was his primary source. Now don't get me wrong, I love what Mark's written. His style is just a bit too abbreviated for my taste. That's why I decided to pen my own account of the life of Christ, starting with his birth and concluding with his ascension into Heaven.

James, the brother of Jesus, has been a great help in separating truth from fiction. And Philip the evangelist has excelled as a proof-reader. All I need now is a patron to sponsor the publication of my manuscript. Paul has appealed to be heard before Caesar and I understand that he will travel presently to Rome. I am minded to accompany him there in the hope of finding someone to underwrite the duplication of my book. As God is my witness, I would dearly love to see every church in every town with their own copy of the story of Jesus.

I have also been thinking about a sequel. Isn't that typical of an author who hasn't even had his first book published?!! Yet it seems to me that someone ought to write an account of the history of the early church. Generations to come should know what happened here, how the gospel was carried beyond the borders of Israel. But first, please God, I need to secure a patron...

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This article has been read 568 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Maria Egilsson05/23/10

I'm glad I came back to read this. I must admit that your fist paragraph stalled my reading the first time around.

My favourite line is:

"Their tales of a selfless God laying down his life for mankind were as an elixir to my impoverished soul."

I felt that I had a glimpse into an old and ancient world.

Joan Campbell05/23/10
I love ancient history, so this was a fascinating journey for me on the life of Luke - well researched and conveyed.
Phee Paradise 05/24/10
I loved your first paragraph because I love Greek mythology. But then I was thrown off a little when the story went away from it. But it didn't take long to figure out you were talking about Luke. The best part of your story is the detail. The setting and voice really felt authentic. I've never thought of Luke as a writer and I loved his anxiety about publication.
AnneRene' Capp05/24/10
Well, your first paragraph didn't stall at me at all because I read all the comments first. :)
I was enthralled with all the knowledge that I didn't know and actually felt like Peter was here in "our time" speaking to us. I enjoyed this.
Rachel Phelps05/24/10
Ah, masterful. My inner history buff simply drank it in. Wonderful characterization of a much ignored character group - the Gospel writers. Enthralling. (Can you tell I liked it?)
Susan Montaperto05/24/10
I liked this very much. To read someone write Luke's story and to use all the details you did was very exciting. Thank you.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/25/10
Your details made this a very interesting account, not veering all from the Scripture. I enjoyed the piece very much.
Lyn Churchyard05/25/10
Well researched indeed. I realise you are giving the MC's literary background, but I would have preferred to read this from the second paragraph. I'm looking forward one day to telling Dr. Luke how much I loved his retelling of the birth of Jesus.

Noel Mitaxa 05/25/10
Wonderful research throughout, from the scope of your intro to your colourful, personal glimpses into the characters of the people Jesus healed.
I liked your open-ended close, and I hope your mc receives far more than a Luke-warm response from any editor he approaches.
Excellent stuff.
stanley Bednarz05/26/10
Yes I agree with everyone! Luke the Doctor, Luke the writer. He is fit for the challenge. Amen.