Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Inspiration/Block (for the writer) (05/20/10)
TITLE: FaithWriters' Block
By Tim Pickl
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We're writing this collectively and have quite a story to convey.
Attending the annual FaithWriters Conference normally is an exciting time—a time to hear from several Master FaithWriters, a time to sharpen writing skills and a time to make new friends; or perhaps meet fellow FaithWriters for the very first time.
This year was completely different.
Different? Oh, that’s an understatement.
While we were gathered for one of the FaithWriters Conference Combined Sessions, we were all arrested. Yes, arrested.
An army of heavily armored police dressed in black uniforms rushed in from all sides with automatic weapons drawn. Screaming, they ushered us into several buses parked outside and transported us 16 miles to Ford Field.
Amazingly, Ford Field has been transformed into a makeshift prison. Thousands of Christians and Jews have been rounded up and herded here like cattle.
The FaithWriters were forced to stay in one section of the stadium, so our captors could keep track of us. We’ve formed a deep, spiritual bond and have been writing this story secretly, passing the pen and paper down the rows, so each one has a chance to add something.
We call our section here at Ford Field FaithWriters’ Block. And now I can see why. When it was my turn to write, my hands were shaking so much from the lack of food and excitement, I looked at the paper and drew the proverbial blank stare at the blank page. I apologize for the POV (point-of-view) change, but it was all I could think of.
There is a lot of sadness here. Depression runs rampant, like a virus. You get used to the smell after while; and now all the movies and stories about the World War II prison camps have graphically come home as we struggle to live through this ordeal. It’s extremely hot in here during the day, because it’s still August.
All these people are stuffed in here like rags in a ragdoll.
I wonder what they’re going to do with us.
I miss my kids. I miss my grandkids. I just wish they’d tell us why we’re here. It’s so painful to express how utterly helpless I feel here. I hope I can just go home. I just want to go home, go home.
This is like the SuperDome in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, only worse. We don’t have to be here—we were forced to be here under gunpoint. One of my FaithWriter friends down in the front row has the right idea, though. She’s trying to win the guard to Christ.
Why? Why is this happening to me, to us, to faithful people of God? I just shake my head and wonder.
How could this happen in America? Has the government gotten so drunk with its power to control everything that anything goes?
At home, my father would say something like we don’t fit into their master plan for a new world order. Conspiracy theories run rampant here, too. But I’m trying to focus on what’s true and not just guess at what our captors’ motives might be.
Thank God for Jan. She’s down in the front row ministering to the guards every day. One of them started asking questions. Good for you, Jan. We’ll keep praying for you.
To my Australian friends: enjoy your freedom while you still have it. Thank God for freedom and never take it for granted. What seems like something “that could never happen” has happened.
This is the darkest day America has ever faced, and we fear that it will only grow darker. Our captors are trying to squash the Light of Jesus who shines in each of us. What they don’t understand is that the Light is very strong with all of us gathered here.
Jan started singing Amazing Grace. One of the guards slapped her face out of fear, but she kept singing. Soon, the song swept around Ford Field like a fire in a dry forest. The beautiful sound of wonderful, almost desperate, united worship roared for an eternal moment.
The moment was literally shattered by gunfire. One of the guards yelled, “SHUT UP!” over and over as he unloaded his weapon into several lights in the ceiling.
It’s my turn now, and I don’t know what to say.
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