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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Expose (08/22/13)

TITLE: Winter, Cold and Bare
By Dave Walker


At the side of the barren field a tree stands stark and bare. A stone wall leads to its base, passes by and disappears over the horizon.

Exposed, naked and defenceless against the icy blast of winter, the tree seems to have died, with its branches stretched, imploring, to heaven.

Yet I have seen it all before, so I know the truth. This is not death. It is necessary; a time of restoration. Soon the icy blast will fade. Fresh new leaves, like the joyful chuckles of a new baby, will emerge and grow, clothing the tree once more with its summer splendour.

I think of the times when I have been laid bare, my sin exposed to the stark holiness of God; the cold winter of self-awareness and self-doubt stripping me naked....

I'm impulsive by nature and, I realise now, arrogant. I disregard, all too readily, the opinions of others, forcing my point of view, insisting I am right. And leading me into winter.

There was a time when my closest friend sensed God calling him to walk into a ministry that would probably mean his death. I was afraid for him. In my selfishness I tried to dissuade him, though he knew it was God's will. Though I made it even harder for him to obey, he insisted. I was left, my selfishness exposed.

Then came the time I cannot forget. People opposed to the message of my friend came for him. I knew they wanted to kill him, and I didn't want to die. So suddenly he wasn't my friend any more. Pretending I was not part of his team, I managed to escape. But with so many regrets at my cowardice. As they murdered him, I died inside.

Exposed. Vulnerable. Wanting to cover up -- but from whom? I have nowhere to hide from myself. Or from God. Holy God. Alone. Like the tree. Eden,fellowship with God,just over the wall, but with me rooted to the spot.

Cold winter. Yet it is restoration time, hidden growth time; a time when I discover who I really am and in doing so, discover who God really is. I know that in me, on my own, dwells no good thing.

Then I hear the sunshine of God, "Peter, do you love Me?'

Oh yes, give me the chance to say it again, to recant my denial. "Yes, Lord. I love you." The tender shoots are forming. Spring is coming. Now that I know who I am, the grace of God can do its work in me.

"Peter, do you love me?"

Oh, my Saviour, You are the God of second chances. "Yes, Lord, more and more as I discover your grace, You know that I love you. Ask me again. Let me say it again."

"Peter, do you love me?"

"My God, I stand exposed before You and yet You still love me. How could I not love You in return? Summer is here. I am ready to feed your sheep"

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This article has been read 367 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Rice 08/29/13
Very interesting version of Peter's story. I like your take on the topic.

Nicely done. Thanks.
C D Swanson 08/29/13
Wow - loved it! Especially the last line. Great account,I thought it was a clever take on Peter.

God bless~
Samantha Arroyo 08/29/13
You paint such beautiful imagery in the mind of the reader. This is beautiful.
Genia Gilbert09/01/13
I love this! I didn't recognize Peter until I came to the denial. I always relate to his character, though. You finished this out very well to the topic. Great entry.
Leola Ogle 09/05/13
Wonderful take on Peter! Congratulations on your placement, David. God bless!
C D Swanson 09/05/13
Congratulations! God Bless~
Bea Edwards 09/05/13
Very powerful imagery. I actually thought this was a self disclosure and was 'Oh wowing' through the murder part until I realized it was Peter's story, not your own. Which made me wonder why the difference? It's still true and much more significant.
Congratulations on your well deserved first place win!
Linda Goergen09/05/13
Congratulations Dave on your win! This story was amazing and so deserving of first place! Great depiction of Peterís story.
Lois Farrow09/05/13
Congratulations on 1st place. Wonderful telling of the story.
Charla Diehl 09/05/13
At first, I thought this was a personal testimony--until the denial of Peter was woven into the fabric of your story. Great retelling of this familiar Bible story and how it can apply today to our own lives. Congratulations on placing first on the EC list with this deserving piece.
Lillian Rhoades 09/05/13
Congratulations, Dave! Because I identify SO much with Peter, "As they murdered him, I died inside," was my "Peter" clue.:-) I loved your phrases like "leading me into winter." Great writing!

A winner for sure!
Francy Judge 09/05/13
Congratulations! This was such a poetic and unique way to tell Peter's story.
Tracy Nunes 09/05/13
I'm glad you won so this was brought to my attention. It felt so fresh and personal that I was surprised when I realized it was Peter. So well written and very worthy of the win. Congratulations!
Danielle King 09/06/13
A wonderful retelling of the story. Congratulations on your well deserved win.
Ellen Carr 09/08/13
Congratulations on this fine piece of writing and its first place win which is well-deserved. I like the tree imagery - exposed and then with tender shoots forming as spring impacts. Well done!