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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Beautiful (11/07/05)

TITLE: Sassy Doesn't Live Here Anymore
By Crista Darr


Staring down from my sixth floor window, I watch them scurry through the dirty streets like cockroaches. My apartment walls are closing in around me. I think I’m losing my mind, cooped up in this room as if it were my prison. I thought I was supposed to be free. Sure, I’m not down there swimming in the cesspool with the other roaches, but sometimes, God help me, I want to be.

The church missionary committee will be calling today with their final decisions for the Cambodia trip. I have never wanted anything more in my life. I don’t think I can survive another day in this ungodly city.

Hiding my hair under my hat, I put on my sunglasses and leave for the store. After six flights of steps, my heart is pounding in my chest. Exhaust fumes fill my laboring lungs as I venture into the Jones Avenue war zone.

I hear a car slowing behind me. The familiar black sedan pulls up. “Hey Sassy, you lookin’ for a date?” He wipes the snot from his mustache with the back of his hand.

“No, man, I don’t do that. I’m saved now.”

He laughs. “Saved from what?”

“From nasty old men like you.” I walk away, cringing that I lived up to my sassy street name again.

He speeds up next to me and spits out the window, “Ugly whore!”

Ugly. I hate being ugly. Even my dad called me a dog. Only the heroin could quiet the insults ringing in my head.

Delva’s Inn looms ahead on the next corner. The windows are covered with plywood, but the front door is always open. Abandoned for more than 10 years, the motel does more business now than when it was up and running. I could turn a trick, score some dope, and fly all in the rooms of this No Tell Motel.

“Hey Sassy. Where you been, girl?”

I ignore her.

“What, you too good to talk to me now?”

I muster a smile, “How’s it goin’ Breezy?”

“I’m gonna fix. You want some?”

Oh, how I want a fix. When I’m high, I’m not lonely and I’m never ugly.

I hesitate for a moment, feeling the pull. Then, remembering the God who saved me, I turn back toward home and run. Stares and laughter follow me.

I burst through the door of my building and race up two flights before collapsing and crawling the rest of the way. My apartment prison becomes my sanctuary. Wiping tears from my face with dusty hands, I fall at the feet of my Savior.

Oh Lord, please get me out of here. I can’t stand it anymore. Please let me go to Cambodia. I want to be a missionary. Please God, let me be chosen.

The answering machine blinks red. It is the long awaited call. Maybe my prayers have been answered.

I am not going to Cambodia. They must not want ugly girls. It’s the story of my life. I kick off my shoes and plop into my window seat. Opening the Bible, my only comfort, I refuse to look at the utter madness beyond the curtains.

His words pierce me like a sword, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” John 4:35-NASB

Pushing aside the linen curtains, the light streams into my room and into me. I rest my hands and forehead against the glass and look out into my mission field.

The postman is scowling again. Breezy hops out of a red sports car and hurries toward the No Tell. Only seventeen, she dropped out of school after her mom was killed. Joe is sitting on the curb with his whiskey, cursing everyone who passes by. Mrs. Tamal is hitting herself while arguing with the demons inside her.

Sorrow rips through my heart. These people are hurting and the mouth of Hell is enlarging every day. Jesus, help them! A great flood of tears bursts forth – tears of compassion rather than self-pity.

Slipping my shoes on, I head out the door with the gospel of peace. There is work to be done, while there is still time.

Somehow, I am not ugly anymore.

“How beautiful are the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace
and bring glad tidings of good things!”

Romans 10:15-NASB

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This article has been read 1247 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie OConnor11/14/05
Strong, gritty, realistic story. I love the mission field being right where she was and the connection between the topic and Sassy's woundedness. Excellent dialouge, great description. I love it all! :) Great job!
Pat Guy 11/14/05
Great dialogue and inner turmoil that paints the picture of the truth the surrounds us eveyday - the world is our mission field. Great job!
Lynda Lee Schab 11/14/05
I love this. Very well crafted, from the title to the last word - a compelling read.
Blessings, Lynda
Daniel Owino Ogweno11/15/05
Great job! This is truly realistic and awakening. The image of God may be more the inner beauty than the outward fading beauty.
Phyllis Inniss11/15/05
Very realistic picture. I like it that Sassy realizes that she has work to do just where she is, without going to Cambodia.
terri tiffany11/16/05
I always wonder how sometimes people forget out biggest mission field is sometimes right in front of us..and this girl would know even more how to do it from being there. You had a great message and wrote it in a clear way.
Val Clark11/16/05
Yes, a wonderful, tightly written story that takes the character through an impressive journey in such a short time. Well done. Yeggy
Shannon Redmon11/17/05
Sometimes God uses our painful experiences to witness to the people right in front of us. Good writing!
Beth Muehlhausen11/17/05
A great encouragement to pursue whatever mission God gives us. Sassy is a convincing character; I almost want to peek in on her in about 6 months to see what the Lord is up to in her life. :-)
B Brenton11/19/05
B Brenton11/19/05
Marilyn Schnepp 11/19/05
What can I say? It's a great story and very well written! Tears dim my eyes as I try to type. A Winner, for sure in my humble opinion! It touched the depths of my soul... Thanks for sharing..
Helen Harris11/20/05
An Excellent write.

Mt. 9:37 NIV Then He said to His disciples,
“The harvest is plentiful but he workers are few.”
A ministry in our every day life, I just love the ministry of this article.
Thank you, Helen
Dan Louise Mann11/21/05
Congratulations on your well-deserved win this week. Kudos to you!
janet rubin11/21/05
This was wonderful! Congratulations.
DeAnna Brooks11/21/05
Oh, Crista, the harvest truly lies right outside our own window. Who will go to them, while we are so busy looking towards other fields? Would that I, that each of us, grasped the beauty our feet are called to. Jesus was called to His house as we are called to ours. God bless you for this heart rendered reminder of our calling. Congratulations.
Laurie Glass 11/21/05
This is fantastic! Your words drew me right in. Congrats on your placement.
Helen Harris11/21/05
Congratulations Crista! No, “Sassy Doesn't Live Here Anymore”
“Slipping my shoes on, I head out the door with the gospel of peace. There is work to be done, while there is still time.”
Somehow, I am not ugly anymore. Congratulations, a Deserve Win. Thanks for Sharing. Helen

Linda Germain 11/21/05
It's almost as if you had a camera focused on "any town-anywhere" . Your dialogue and perceptions were a page our of the truth. Yes, the mission field can be right where we operate and survive.
Suzanne R11/23/05
Beautiful - just beautiful! In every way. And congratulations, too.
Mark Drinnenberg11/25/05
God bless you for that beautiful story. It is well written with strong imagery, and it is dripping with the love of God. What a blessing it was to read it.
Deborah Porter 01/13/06
Crista, I thought this was brilliant - as I've come to expect from you.

I'm just re-reading the winning entries now as I go through and do the minor editing for the next FaithWriters' Anthology. What a blessing for me to have that job.

Crista, I'm so glad you didn't tie it up with Sassy being accepted for the missionary trip. It would have been an "ahhh" ending, but it also wouldn't have been as perfect. The ending you chose was exactly right. This is such a wonderful addition to the book.

Could you send me a quick note to let me know if you're happy to use the same bio note in this anthology? Thanks so much.

Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator and Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine)
Maxx .02/14/06
Wow ... absolutely fantastic. This had a very real feel to it... the story ran itself, natural, unforced. Then the message built in ... you really showed the truth. It's a message we all need to hear on so many fronts. Sometimes God says "no" to our wants. Sometimes we are called to the very people who know our every fault. You played every angle just right. So, where are you going to sell this piece? It needs to be "out there."