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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: I've Tried Everything
By Sally Hanan


She fell upon her young knees;
her right hand grabbing the armrest of the sofa
as her tears dripped
onto the Siamese cat that had just had his royal rest disturbed.
ďI canít do this anymore Lord.
I canít stop smoking.
Iíve tried everything,
And nothing has worked.
I give up.
I need you to come through for me.
Please, help me.
Youíre all I have.Ē

A rush of peace filled her heart, and the desire left her.

The pastor sat at his monitor,
his lip quivering,
his entire body sullied
with more judgments that spouted from yet another e-mail.
ďIs this the end of the road for me?
Iíve tried everything I could
and I still canít get it right.
Where are the saved?
Where are the sacrificial members
who would lay down their lives for you?
God, I give up.
Thereís nothing left in this old man to give.Ē

In the quiet, a small voice whispered, and he finally received.

She lay alone in her bed -
hugging her pillow and
clenching her teeth to stop the wails from exploding
into the darkness,
as her husband clicked his way through
more provocative flesh.
ďFather, I am so empty
so worn out
and abandoned.
Iíve tried everything:
read every book,
tried every method of communication.
How can I go on?
I can only give up.Ē

Wholeness blew in, and she began to pray in trust instead of desperation.

His whole body sagged in exhaustion,
his weakness evident to all.
Heavenís doors were closed,
and the Father turned his back
as Jesus died in his weakness...

so that we could live
and go on
each day
in his strength.

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This article has been read 1273 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter04/27/06
Very good - really earthed the reality of Jesus' death in contemporary situations. WOuld make a great magazine article, I reckon
Maxx .04/27/06
I like the variety of characters, I like the real world issues they dealt with. I like the conclusion built around Christ. Powerful message. I know it was an artistic usage, but the immediate resolution of each issue was just a touch forced ... I think that stood out only because the issues were real world and earthy, then the resolution was **poof**. Aside from that very little nit pick (and I doubt that'll cost you with the judges) I think you have a very competitive piece here!
Melanie Kerr 04/28/06
I liked the way that you created some very real pictures of the situations people experience when they pray for inner strength. The contrast between Jesus' weakness and our strength was very effective.
Purity Snowe04/28/06
This is right up my alley... I like the format and the resolution. You are an inspiration!
Suzanne R04/29/06
The cat's 'royal rest disturbed' was a lovely touch.

Your ability with words is very impressive.

Great job.
Marilyn Schnepp 04/30/06
Very nicely done. I enjoyed this piece immensely. It brought inner peace to me...thank you for sharing.
Alexandra Wilkin04/30/06
'Wholeness blew in and she began to pray in trust instead of desperation'. That line touched me powerfully. Strong piece this, and loved the build up to the conclusion. God bless.
Jan Ackerson 05/01/06
Your last nine lines are stunningly beautiful. Thank you.
Rachel Rudd 05/02/06
Very well written! I liked the comparision between what we experience and what Jesus experienced. The format was very unusual because I'm not used to reading that kind. However, it was definitely fitting for the topic.
Well done.
darlene hight05/02/06
Sad and yet hopeful. The imagery was strong for the difficulties. I want it to be just as strong for the resolution.
janet rubin05/02/06
Beautiful Sally. There is only One source. Oh that we would learn to go to Him BEFORE we try everything else!
Jean Elizabeth 05/02/06
Beautifully done! You captured very creatively something we all have to do - surrender to the Lord. I needed the reminder. Thank you!
Debbie OConnor05/03/06
Great message! Sometimes we need to stop trying everything and just receive. Well done.