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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)

TITLE: Too Great for Words
By Rachel Burkum


What about those who come after me? What will they know of the past? How will they face the future?

These were the thoughts of Wesley Darkman as he stared at the paper in front of him. A low rumble shook the house, making his desk vibrate. Another bomb. They were getting closer. His pen hovered over the journal in anticipation of the words that would flow from his mind. But the task seemed too great.

How will they know the truth? Will they even find these words?

A bead of sweat slipped from Wesley's brow, scattering tiny drops across the page. His hand swept the paper in an effort to keep it dry. The earth shook again, his lamp rattling and making shadows dance to a frightful growl of a plane overhead. They would be here soon.

Wesley knew he needed to write. He needed to complete his journal and lay it in the awaiting safe. It would be buried, but someone would find it...eventually. And when they did, they must know what happened here.

His journal had begun the same day the Great War had erupted. He had kept close tabs on all that was happening so that he would not forget. Friends disappeared without a trace. Neighbors were ripped from their homes. Wesley's own wife and children were snatched from his very grasp. The militia had mercy on no one.

Caught in a stare, Wesley jumped as an explosion less than a mile away lit up the sky. He had heard the bombs for so long, yet they still evoked fear. It was a fear for those he loved. A fear for this nation. A fear for those who served a God that was no longer "legal."

If my country is destroyed, how will they know of God's great power? How will they know of His love? I must write. I must.

Wesley had been kept alive only by the grace of God. It was his rank in government that had saved him from being imprisoned or killed along with other Christians. He had seen appalling numbers denounce their faith. And he had been made sick at the sight of the faithful few being slaughtered. He had screamed in the faces of the enemy that he too should be killed. But for him to suffer alive would be better, they had decided.

The truth must survive. But how can I possibly put a message so precious into mere written words? My vocabulary fails me.

Barriers had been broken. Lines had been redrawn. And the bombs were coming nearer. Wesley knew his time was short. Oh, if only his pen would not disappoint him now. He had recorded the past few years' events in this little book. But now when it really counted, he could think of no words that would suffice.

The children must know. An entire generation cannot be left to the wolves. They need to know of the wrath and the love.

Again, the pen hovered over the page, prepared to spill forth its ink in one last victory. But the words...what words? How could any words possibly even begin to tell of that which was tormenting his heart?

A sudden and thunderous explosion ripped apart the side of the house, sending debris in every direction. Siding was blown to bits, glass shattered into fragmented projectiles and wooden beams snapped as if made of twigs. Fire rained down and smoke billowed through the half-demolished residence that had once held peace and joy.

Wesley's lungs heaved and burned under the strain of dust and smoke - he had not been fast enough. Pinned under a beam, there was no escape. There would be no burial of his journal. There would be no brave last stand in front of the enemy.

Pain shot through Wesley's body. Coughing and squinting through the thick air, he spotted his journal only inches from his hand. He pulled it near and flipped through the smoldering pages to find the pen still nestled in its place.

Words will never do justice. They can never portray such a vicious world, corrupted and turned against He who made it all. But one day, they will know. Whether tomorrow or years from now, or on Judgment Day, they will know the power of our Lord.

Wesley's pen slowly began to trace the letters of his final sentence. One sentence they must know.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul..."

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This article has been read 629 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Patsy Hallum06/17/10
"precious message" Yes, it is hard to condense it but the last sentence does it. Well Written. Love It.
Seema Bagai 06/17/10
A riveting piece. Good work.
Lori Othouse 06/18/10
Very thought-provoking! Makes me realize how all of our words, in a certain way, outlast us and serve as a testimony to our faith. Loved it!
Catrina Bradley 06/20/10
At first I thought the setting was a past war, but as I read on I realized it was our possible future. Gripping action - I experienced every rattling bomb blast and the writer's angst over needing to record the important Message.
Colin Swann06/21/10
This is trully precious and a brilliant piece of writing. Wonderful! Thanks - Colin
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/21/10
Spellbinding story, leaving much to think about.
Joanne Sher 06/21/10
Your descriptions were incredibly vivid, and the struggle so real. So powerful.
mick dawson06/21/10
Loved your ending! If we only had one breath left to give as a warning, that should be it.
Patricia Turner06/23/10
Chilling and possible - very possible here in America, any day now... Let's keep writing and show God's love right down to our very last breath. The last line is perfect!
Connie Dixon06/23/10
A stunning revelation of things to come. So thankful that this author can still say, In God We Trust. Skillful writing.
Carol Slider 06/23/10
A very powerful and moving story. So true: if you could only write one sentence, you really couldn't choose a better one... and sometimes words really are inadequate. Well done.