The Official Writing Challenge
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02/17/11
Wow! This is a winner for sure! A favorite for me! Masterful writing!
02/17/11
Very strong writing. I'll comment more later after pondering the POV. Very interesting piece. I shall return.
02/18/11
Wonderfully clever piece!
02/19/11
This is nicely written and I can imagine some of the soldiers getting fed up with daily weirdness.

But hang on, weren't these the same people who grew up from infancy in the desert, being fed and led miraculously on a daily basis by a pillar of fire...?

Still knowing human nature, your's is probably the more realistic scenario.
02/20/11
Love it! How often do we think God's ways are 'stupid' and try to do them our own, 'grown-up' way! I've never actually thought about what the Israelites may have been feeling during that time, great perspective.

Can I ask, are you thinking of maybe doing 'Stupidity: the sequel," showing that their stupid, childish game actually brings them victory? (Will it help if I beg and plead for you to do a sequel?!).
02/20/11
I'm glad I read your hint first, so I would stop and think. My take: This is what might have happened at Jericho if the soldiers didn't have faith - and also how we pray and think sometimes. We ask out of routine with no real expectations; we grumble and do what is expected of us with no hope, let alone reassurance, of supernatural intervention. I don't know if that's what you intended to sow, but it's what I gleaned. :)
02/20/11
@Helen: Yes, faith looks "stupid" to those who don't understand it, but in the end it is the only thing that makes any sense.
I don't think I'll be writing a sequal. I employed a little poetic technique that I don't use very often, but I think it can be really powerful if it is used right: that is, taking knowledge that readers already have (such as what happens after the Israelites shouted at the walls of Jericho), and leaving them to "finish" the poem in their own hearts. I end the poem with a question; the reader should know what the answer is, and hopefully be inspired to step out in faith themselves, even when it seems "stupid".
02/20/11
@Cat: I like your interpretation! I was thinking along the same lines, though my focus was more showing that when we do things that look "stupid" out of faith, God can still use them in amazing ways. Your thought that so often we really lack faith as we try to follow Christ is a good interpretation as well.
02/20/11
Oh, but they weren't games of boys, but of obedient men to the Word of God. More than walls fell on that day, so did those thoughts that may have been doing battle in the mind of those warring for the Lord. I liked the approach. Very strong writing, bold. These weren't whispers men were dealing with, but anti-faith thoughts that had to come down. The voices were as loud as the walls high. It was a mighty victory that day, corporately, and individually in the hearts of each "boy". Internal walls fell as a result of their obedience as well. Great job.
02/21/11
@Henry: Exactly!
02/21/11
Excellent! Your point is well and richly made. Well done.
02/22/11
Even though the Israelites were obedient in their march, in that large of a group, there had to be murmurings and doubts. (Murmuring was one of the things the Israelites were good at.) The younger generation...this was their test. And their faith would have been much stronger after the shouting was done. Lots to ponder and think about here.
02/24/11
God often chooses the "foolishness" of faith to confound the "wisdom" of the world. Great approach to the topic and to the story of Jericho! Forgive me, but it partially reminded me of Veggietales when the "pea" guards of Jericho are singing at the Israelites, "It's plain to see that your brains are very small to think walking will be knocking down our wall!" (But your poem was a more "grown-up" version. ;) )

Amazing job and congratulations on your win!
02/24/11
Glad to see this on the EC list. Excellent work!
02/24/11
I knew this was a winner straight away. Well done, Ben. You are really hitting your artisitic stride. Each entry seems more and more mature. Glad to see your EC.
02/24/11
Congratulations on placing, Ben, with this really excellent poem--well thought out and well presented.
02/25/11
Loved this on the first read a week ago; but didn't have time to comment. I'm so glad it's been recognized. Clear, concise and filled with a fresh creativity that makes its message worth listening and pondering upon. Congratulations, Ben.