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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Risk (05/17/12)

TITLE: A Tempting Compromise
By JoAnne Nanton


“For what shall it profit a man, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or, what would a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Mark 8: 36, 37 (KJV)

Those words taunted her–especially the latter part. While she knew that she was saved, the challenge to compromise was a nagging presence.

She was captivated by and carried away by the attention that was constantly given to her. She did not know how to handle it: the years of childhood abuse, the search for attention and literally falling through cracks on the journey to adulthood did not prepare her to handle such situations.

When a handshake, stealth in its exchange, brought conviction, followed by oppression to her spirit, she knew that she would have to risk and confess her dilemma, if she were to have closure and have peace within her soul. Supposing to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, she decided to make the dreaded phone call.

The phone rang at least four times on the other end…then picked up…

“Good morning, Pastor. This is Lacey. How are you?” she stuttered.

“Hi Lacey, how are you today?” he returned with a calming southern drawl.

“I’m okay (then a longer than usual silent pause, but I need to speak to you about something,” she said hesitantly.

“What is it, Lacey?” he pressed

In the blur of the moment, with millions of thoughts racing in her head and with the queasiness in her stomach, without thinking, she blurted…

“I don’t know, but I think I have a crush on you.”

She continued, “…but I am sorry! PLEASE forgive me!” she agonizingly poured out.

“Don’t worry, Lacey; I forgive you,” he admitted.

“Okay,” she stuttered before saying thanks and putting an end to the call.

She did not mean to say the word “crush”. In her heart she had an attraction, but not to the point of a teenage fascination. The thought of this mix up in words made her feel guilty and dirty, and the condemnation was too much to handle, but it was too late to turn back the clock now. The memories of Shakespeare’s line: “There are four things that come not back... “replayed on her conscious; the spoken word and the neglected opportunity were at least two such lines; she could not retract her unguarded statement nor retrace those forbidden steps she had taken. She had become a self-tormented castaway, whose recluse lay bound within a conscience that would not let her peaceably lie. Her justification lay in the finished work of Christ and what punishment were to be meted out lay in the Hand of a God who is just in His dealings.

Pills of compromise and condemnation do not promote good spiritual health. Rather, it is the bitter pill…the hard-to-swallow pill that becomes the necessary pills which, “after a time, yield the peaceable fruit of the spirit”.

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This article has been read 236 times
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/24/12
This is an interesting story. You intrigued me with your air of mystery in the beginning.

My only suggestion would be to do more showing. For example show the extended pause with an end quote and a narration like - She clamped her mouth shut and shuffled her feet before she mustered the courage to continue.

I enjoyed your last sentence. There is quite a bit of truth in those words. You covered the topic in a fresh and unique way. Good job.
C D Swanson 05/26/12
Wow - this was clever and well crafted. I enjoyed the story, the meaning and the powerful conclusion. Thank you. God Bless~
Laura Manley05/29/12
As I read your entry, I thought about the diverse entries that are compiled weakly. Each and every one is unique from the next. And I find this piece very unique. This was nicely written, however, I would have to agree with Shann, that you need to do more showing in the story. I am certainly no expert in the field of review; this is merely my thoughts on this entry. I found your writing and subject matter very real and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.
Edmond Ng 05/29/12
The inward feeling and conviction of the MC are expressed very well in your writing. Well done on a nicely written piece.
Earl G Donaldson05/29/12
Intriguing story. I found myself wanted to know whathappened next and what the pastor's reaction was, which is what a good story does. Thank You.