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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Vines (11/21/05)

TITLE: Will you obey?
By Karen Ward


“Oh Mum, you should see the pergola out the back covered in wisteria! I think that’s what convinced me to buy the place! It’s so pretty. The townhouse is nice too, fairly up-to-date, nice kitchen and bathroom, not dark or dingy. The rest of the townhouses seem well cared for. I move in on Saturday.”

Jane held the phone between her shoulder and ear as she folded her washing and told her mother about the place she had bought.

“I can’t wait to get in there and make some friends and invite them to church. I hope it will end up like that community near your church where the complex is all Christians. Living with Aunt Liz has been great, but I’m really longing for some space of my own, and you know she’s not open to God Mum, it will be good to have a new mission field.”


Saturday morning, Jane arrived at her new home with her small U-haul truck and a team of helpers from her new church. The first thing she spotted was a couple kissing each other goodbye in the doorway next door.

How sweet!

The man pulled away and walked to his car. The woman stepped outside the door to wave to him.

Woman? That’s a MAN! Oh yuck yuck yuck! No! Oh Lord NO.

She looked again to be certain.

That is definitely a man. Women do not have biceps like that, and that is a man’s butt. Oh God! What have I done? How could you let me move in next to a gay couple! How will I ever witness to them? You know I came here to witness for you. Couldn’t you have helped me out just a little?

Jane turned abruptly from the scene. Her internal tantrum continued as she started directing her helpers, but she kept it to herself.

Once her furniture was all in the right rooms, and her boxes neatly stacked where they were labeled to be, Jane farewelled her helpers, assuring them she wanted to unpack alone. She went to the kitchen, grabbed a glass from the labeled box on the bench, filled it with water, and went to her back door, ready to stand under her pergola and restore her peace of mind by admiring her wisteria.


Eyebrows raised, mouth wide open, Jane felt herself blink in disbelief. The wisteria had shriveled, the leaves had dried up, and the flowers had dropped to the ground. She looked in horror at the vine, and realised that it had been sawed through at the base.

Why would someone do that? This must have been years old! God! You know how I loved this wisteria! This is why I bought the townhouse in the first place. What is going on God? First I find out there are gays living next door and now my wisteria is dead! Just what exactly have I done wrong? I came here to do good for YOU!

Jane lay down on the carpet and wept, banging her fists on the ground. First, her mission field had been destroyed, then her wisteria. Both things that she had thanked God for! Why would He let them be taken away! She let a guttural cry escape from her lips. She wanted to lie down on her back and flail her arms and legs like a two year old denied chocolate.

Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?

She stopped still. Where did that thought come from? Her spine tingled and she turned to make sure there was no one there. No one was. Looking back to the wisteria, her anger returned.

Of course I do! I bought this house because of the wisteria. I have every right to be angry. I’m so angry I could die.

You are angry about this vine, even though you did not help it to grow. You saw it once, considered it yours, and now you are angry that it is gone. You were attached to it for a few days. There are millions of gay people in the world. I have watched them grow from infancy. They need my salvation just as much as any other person on this earth. Will you fail to witness to them because of your prejudice? Or will you obey my call and witness to ALL people and love them as yourself?

Jane heard the thought, and began to consider it…

*Inspired by Jonah Chapter 4, NIV.

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This article has been read 1329 times
Member Comments
Member Date
B Brenton11/28/05
What a message!
This is very good. A wake up call to many Christians out there... even me... :(
Well done!
dub W11/30/05
This is a wonderful story, I like the way it is poised. So many Christians fail to realize the truth of themselves. Thank you.
Jan Ackerson 12/01/05
A marvelous, modern "take" on Jonah and Ninevah. I don't think you need to worry about it coming off as a "gay rights" piece. It did just what you intended it to do--focus on your protagonist and her need to obey. Nicely done.
Anita Neuman12/01/05
Karen, I think you've done a great job tackling this prejudice! Your character is very realistic, and the message can easily be applied to other prejudices.
Amy Michelle Wiley 12/01/05
Wow, this helps me understand Jonah a little more... Great peice! Well done.
Julianne Jones12/01/05
I'm thinking there's probably a lot of modern-day Jonah's: "Give me a mission field Lord, but may they all be just like me!" I agree with other comments - it does not come across as 'gay rights' but highlights all the more strongly our own prejudices. I doubt anything else would have been able to portray your message as well.
As usual, extremely well written and held my concentration to the end. Well done!
Cassie Memmer12/01/05
Very good! We certainly have to avoid that judgement mind set and "eat with sinners." Great story!
Garnet Miller 12/01/05
God came to save everyone who was lost not just certain people. We as Christians must remember that. Good story!
Val Clark12/02/05
Yup, openly Gay people can really rock the socks of some Christians and we fail to see they, too, need Jesus. Lots of prejudices we fail to see and deal with. You’ve written this in a non-judgmental and thought provoking way. Love your character! Wonder what the neighbours thought of her tantrum? Yeggy
Shari Armstrong 12/02/05
Nice twist on the topic -I thought I saw a bit of Jonah in there (we recently watched the Veggie Tales version lol)
Sally Hanan12/05/05
I liked the way you did this too, and I would also love an apartment with a wisteria climbing up it (if I were single).
Suzanne R12/05/05
CONGRATULATIONS Karen!!!!! And this is excellent. I can totally identify with the main character - could easily think the same ways.
DeAnna Brooks12/05/05
Terrific piece ... awesome reminder of misplaced values we all struggle with, at least I do. Congratulations.