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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Holiday (04/05/12)

TITLE: Cracks in The Coating
By Sherry Castelluccio


Krista stomped through the front door and slammed it closed behind her. Throwing her purse and keys on the counter, she snarled at the sink full of dirty dishes. “Boys! Who left all these bowls in the sink? The dishwasher is empty and I am not your maid!”

Bill tiptoed in behind her. “Rough day, hon?”

“You could say that.” She tucked her hair behind her ears and filled a glass with her favorite iced tea.

“Wanna talk about it?”

“I just have one question. What gives people the right to judge me? Do I have a sign on my forehead that says, ‘Open Target’?”

“That was two questions, actually.”

Krista glared at her husband.

“Sorry. What happened?”

“I got the most scathing email today. I’ve never been so insulted!”

“What did it say?”

“You know how hard I’ve been working on John and Allie’s home restoration project, right?”

“Yes, of course. You’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately. I was actually starting to worry about you. I’m sure John and Allie are thankful for all that you’re doing.”

“I’m sure they are too but that’s not what this is about. I have poured my heart and soul into making sure they get what they need. I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose everything you own in a fire…”

“Go on.”

“Apparently this woman whom I have never even met really disapproves of my website.”

“What did she say?”

“She told me that I have no right to take advantage of the church this way and that I should be ashamed of myself. She said it’s people like me that make the church look bad. She actually accused me of running a scam!”

“No kidding!”

“Bill, she was vicious! I know I listed a lot of items but I had no idea how it would look to everyone else. Of course nobody needs a baby grand piano but Allie is a musician! I was only trying to help them recover what they lost!”

“You know what I think? It sounds like this woman was looking for a holiday.”

Krista raised her eyebrows. “A holiday? What are you talking about?”

“It’s a term we use in construction. In order to protect a building from water damage we apply a thick coating to seal out moisture. When the coating is applied incorrectly or too quickly, that’s called a holiday.”

“Why is it called a holiday?”

“As you know, a holiday means ‘time off, or a break from work’. In construction a holiday reveals a break in the coating, allowing significant damage to occur.”

“How do you fix it?”

“Many times you don’t even know it’s there. In fact, most holidays are found by accident. Because you don’t know how much the damage has spread, the only course of action is to re-coat the entire area. A holiday is a bad thing. It shows lack of integrity and hard work.”

“So she felt like she had the right to call my integrity into question. Great.” Krista rolled her eyes. “Now what am I supposed to do?”

“Well, the first thing you need to do is forgive her. Like you said, she doesn’t know you and she’s clearly unaware of how much you’ve blessed that family.”

“I agree. I’ve been in prayer all day asking God to make me willing to make the choice to forgive her.”

Bill smiled. “The second thing you need to do is remember.”

“Remember what?”

“As Christians we are constantly under a microscope. There will always be someone looking over our shoulder for that crack in our coating. The crack could be anything-a curse word, a white lie, a few too many items listed on a website. Once the crack is discovered, our testimony is weakened and our voice becomes muffled. For some reason we seem very adept at finding fault with each other. I suppose if you’re always looking for someone else’s holiday you won’t have time to deal with your own.”

“Sort of reminds me of that verse in Matthew about the speck. ‘Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye when you ignore the plank in your own eye?’”

“That’s about it.” Bill said.

“Well, thanks for the construction lesson.” She kissed Bill’s cheek and walked away.

“Where are you going?”

“I need to get started on my re-coat. I might be a while.” As she picked up her Bible, Krista winked and padded softly to her bedroom.

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This article has been read 316 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/12/12
Oh I enjoyed this. What an original take on the topic. Very out of the box. This kept my attention the whole way through. I really enjoyed how the husband supported his wife without tearing her down or making her feel stupid. This was a fun and educational read.
C D Swanson 04/12/12
Nicely done. Great job of making one stop and reflect on things that happen in our lives. The husband was a darling and so patient and loving to the wife. Everyone's dream "hubby." LOL.

This was a lovely story. Thank you. God Bless~
Sydney Avey04/12/12
I love a challenge entry where I learn something new. I especially love and entry that turns the challenge word on its ear. You've done all of that, and nicely.

I would have liked to have gotten to the point a little sooner, but it was well developed.
Genia Gilbert04/12/12
Good writing, and quite unique. I enjoyed learning and following your point.
Leola Ogle 04/12/12
Different, but great take on the topic. An excellent read. Loved the dialogue. Good job! God bless!
Joe Moreland04/14/12
I really like this slice of life you've drawn for us here. Your characters are real and your dialogue is excellent and believable. And I learned something new. Great job! Thanks for sharing it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/19/12
Congratulations for ranking 12th in level three! (Actually you and I tied for 12th and for me that was a compliment because I REALLY liked your story :)