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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)

TITLE: The Ivory Face of God
By J. C. Lamont
10/17/05


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It was raining.

Falling in torrents. Pelting the pavement. Beating down on the gravel. Overflowing potholes with murky water. Merging with sewage waste; its rancid odor permeating the night air. Cold, October rain.

It didn’t matter to me that I was soaked to the skin; damp clothes sticking to my body, soaked hair clinging to my face. A flash of lightening streaked across the sky, illuminating the dark, empty parking lot in a brief flicker of light. Stretching out my arms, I tilted my face up to the sky and yelled into the storm.

“Here I am, just take me!”

But my screams were lost in the eruption of thunder. The pistol trembled in my hand. Though tears burned behind my eyes, I refused to let them fall. Disconnecting my brain from my body, I slowly raised the gun to my forehead.

“Please, God, just let me die.”

Again, the sky lit up in a blaze of light. But this time, I saw him. Lowering the gun, I stumbled across the parking lot and stared up into the ivory face of God. Raindrops cascaded from his brow, trickled across his sculpted wounds, and dripped from his pierced feet into a shallow puddle on the ground.

My voice was barely a whisper. “Don’t you understand? I just want to be with you. There is nothing for me here. Please, let me come home.”

As the ground rumbled beneath my feet, the mud dissolved into blood splattered stones and the muddy puddle into a pool of blood. I could hear a raspy, guttural panting and every muscle in my body tensed as I realized it was the sound of tortured breathing.

A chill tore down my spine and I forced myself to look up.

His face looked nothing like the handsome carved stone; severely beaten and swollen, with missing chunks of beard exposing raw flesh. His hair matted with sweat and blood. His eyes lost in anguish. Blood oozed from his wrists, flowing down his arms, spilling across his body, mingling with the fresh stream seeping from his feet, drenching the wood, pooling onto the ground laden with stones.

My stomach wrenched in agony. I couldn’t breathe.

He heaved against the nails, scraping shards of tattered skin against the cross, as he pulled himself up for a breath of air. Swollen eyes turned to the blackened sky and through cracked and bleeding lips, he cried out, his words choked with blood. “God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

His words slammed into my chest and I fell to my knees, but instead hitting the blood splattered stones, they sank into mud.

I backed away from the crucifix in horror. The pistol slipped through my fingers, sinking into the sludge.

I wanted to speak but the words wouldn’t come. My soul so desperately wanted to apologize for having felt forsaken by the One who was truly forsaken. If I had taken my own life, would I not also be guilty of forsaking him? Could I really stand before him and tell him his promise to never abandon me wasn’t good enough?

Though there was no end in sight for the rain that drenched my world in despondency, I would persevere. If, but for no other reason, then to stand defiant in the midst of life’s storms, beside my God, neither forsaking, nor being forsaken.


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This article has been read 949 times
Member Comments
Member Date
janet rubin10/24/05
Intense. Great descriptions and a good messege.
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/24/05
Wow. Well done!
Cassie Memmer10/25/05
Excellent! Well written; suspensful; revelation!
Lori Othouse 10/25/05
I loved the intensity! And a very real ending. Great job!
terri tiffany10/26/05
Very good! I think intensity is a good description of this piece for sure!
Jan Ackerson 10/26/05
Yikes. Masterfully written, indeed. I find myself wanting to pray for this person! This isn't hearts and flowers, but it's heart-wrenchingly real, and beautiful in its effectiveness. I'll be reading this one several more times.
Linda Watson Owen10/26/05
Yes, intense. Very descriptive--I actually feel like I need to get a towel to dry off! and you drove the point home.
Jeffrey Snell10/27/05
It's been said, but--intense! :) Your descriptiveness and way of showing her agony with the Lord's on the cross is riveting.
Anita Neuman10/27/05
Wow, JC, you outdid yourself here. This is AMAZING! That last sentence sent shivers down my spine. GREAT job!
Katherine Douglas10/28/05
(applause...applause...clapping and cheering) this is a really good piece, and at the risk of being redundant INTENSE!!!!
Garnet Miller 10/28/05
What suspense! I loved it. I had to keep reading until the last word had sunk into my brain. Well done:)
Shari Armstrong 10/28/05
WOW! this is very powerful. Wouldn't be surprised to see this in the winning ranks this week
Helga Doermer10/28/05
The intensity of this piece . . .
Brandi Roberts10/30/05
Powerful. Very very powerful. And very beautiful. I know the feeling.
Maxx .10/30/05
A great contender. Excellent visuals. SInce it's so strong let me point out that there were a lot of passive "ing" words. Could be tightened up with direct action. But aside from that I'd be clearing a spance on the mantle! :-)