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

TITLE: Dream of the peripheral man
By wil Twynstra
12/10/05


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We are boys; boys wrapped in men’s clothing, who are shown the open door that leads from security to the unknown world; from warmth to the cold, from peace to chaos. We are simply boys who are looking for the answers, and must reach them and understand them before we are torn apart by our own fears, and ambitions. We run the race without ever seeing ahead of ourselves. We strap on shoes of hope, and pray that we know the way, and become bigger tomorrow, than we are today.

To say that we are more than we are, without a legitimate claim, is to be an orphan who claims to have been adopted by the orphan beside him. We walk out into the mist of the world, not knowing where our next steps will fall. Is it wrong to assume that blind faith requires the miracle of spiritual sight as we travel on our journey? We are made to be passionate, and inquisitive, destined for great horizons that cannot be dreamed. Beyond that realm of our understanding, beyond this first floor existence, we also live, waiting to be discovered; waiting to be claimed.

We are men, who fall prey to our own vision, we forget there is far more this space around us. We are a forgetful circle of schoolyard boys. Take away the outer layers, strip from us the callus years, and there we are, the child whose vision is uninterrupted by semantics and metaphor. Rather a child remains who plays with his faith with cunning ability.

I am a man, who forgot the world, who played the king, and looked the fool. I am a man who had it all, with bells of gold, and the silver whistles. I sat with providence and danced with chance. My companions were desire and want. We drank of the cup that never refreshed, yet the spring overflowed, so we drank. I charmed my way into many hearts. My hands befriended confidence. I was a man I could not see, for I had created a monster.

I see now, a man before me, one who is disguised. I realize that there is more truth, in the peripheral man, whose shadow I barely see. I search for him, I remove my tie; this man I see in the mirror cannot be a man at all. Statues never cry, they simply fall and shatter. This stoic being I see is not the man that I thought I would be. He is a character in a play, a Falstaff to himself. I am the statue that never speaks, and grows no more. The race has been won, but not by me; I have fallen so much, that I forget how to walk, and fear grips my lonely self.

Am I alone in this field of half-truths? Do I have brethren who are like me? I seem to remember a day in my youth, perhaps a hallucination. I ran from my house without care or a need, but with the strongest desire to know. This simple vision comes back to be as I stand isolated, immobile in this field of confusion, and I contemplate that desire. I search out this oasis of the mind, but the mind as well has dealt its own tricks, fear sits with her and smiles.

I am boy, wrapped in men’s clothing, draped in this statues' façade. I am a forgotten relic, whose name echoes no more through the ages, the race, or the open door of my youth.

I am frozen.
I am cold.

I am suddenly aware that my arms are stretched upward. I turn my head, and I see.
I see my brethren, standing beside me, in this field where I thought I was alone. And as my eyes begin to see past reality, I see the peripheral man before me. I am awake for the first time, and the field has become a forest. I no longer have the shackles of mortar, rather roots of truth.

I am a boy; we all are boys, wrapped in men’s clothing, and statues of our own making. We fail to see, what our Father sees, until we meet our peripheral man, and change from stoic statues, into living trees.

I am awake…


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Member Comments
Member Date
Steve Clark12/12/05
Wow. Great candor! I understand the struggles of errant manhood and see your piece as a testimony to the truth of what we seek in days of failing. Yet, it is my hope that the awareness created in writings like yours will inspire men to reach toward the "man of God" that He sees in each of us as His sons.
Beth Muehlhausen12/13/05
Deep stuff! I can't help but think of the female counterpart to this discussion....the softening of the heart to expose the Real Woman of God. Would love to eavesdrop on a group of men as they discussed this - !
Julianne Jones12/15/05
This is so honest and thought-provoking. Liked the way you linked the whole piece by repetition of the opening sentences at the end but then introduced hope. Thanks for sharing. God Bless.
Sandra Petersen 12/17/05
I was reminded of Ecclesiastes and Solomon as I read, especially the lines "We are men, who fall prey to our own vision, we forget there is far more this space around us." and the paragraph that begins "I am a man, who forgot the world, who played the king, and looked the fool...."
One statement that chilled me: "Rather a child remains who plays with his faith with cunning ability." So many Christians, maybe even I, do this so well!
Another saddening statement: "I am the statue that never speaks, and grows no more. The race has been won, but not by me; I have fallen so much, that I forget how to walk, and fear grips my lonely self." But there is hope in the Father who picks us back up and encourages us to fulfill His dream, His purpose that was present when He made us!
Very profound meditation! Thank you!
Linda Watson Owen12/18/05
I hear much poetry in this soul baring piece.
Val Clark12/19/05
So sad that so many of us, men and women, will not venture to find their real selves in Christ. Very well written. Poetic language that works on many levels. Fav line: 'We drank of the cup that never refreshed, yet the spring overflowed, so we drank.' Yeggy.