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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)

TITLE: Freed From Prison
By Corinne Smelker


“And so,” concluded Amanda, “Romans explains to us God does not show favoritism. Any questions?”

The women shuffled their feet and a couple of throats were cleared, but no one raised a hand. “All right,” Amanda said. “Let’s end in prayer. However I’ll be here if anyone has questions.” With that, she lowered her head and prayed.

There was the usual scraping of chairs, muffled laughs and greetings as the ladies stood. Erica, one of the long-timers stood, sat and then stood again. Amanda glanced over at her – Erica was one of the quiet ones, but she drank in the Word each week. Amanda knew a little of her background – she had knifed her father, wasn’t that it? Amanda motioned to Erica who timidly approached. She killed her father? She looks like she wouldn’t say boo to a goose!
“Erica. How are you?”
“Fine.” Tersely, nervously, Erica stood rigid.
“Do you have a question?” Amanda asked.
Like a scared rabbit, Erica froze. Amanda led her to a chair, “Come sit. Do you want to talk?”
Erica nodded almost imperceptibly. Amanda’s trained eye could see Erica didn’t know how to begin. Holy Spirit, give me guidance and wisdom, she prayed. “So, what did you think of today’s topic? I love teaching on God’s Favourites, because then I get to show He doesn’t have any!”

A sob escaped Erica’s clenched teeth. Bingo, I’m onto something. “Do you have a question about that?” she gently coached.
“Only that I’m so glad to hear my heavenly Father doesn’t show favoritism! I hated being my father’s favorite!”
“What do you mean?” Amanda prodded.
Erica took a deep breath, “Mom died when I was eleven. There was just my Dad, Tom, my younger brother and I.” We were all devastated, couldn’t believe Mom had abandoned us like that – I know, it was not her fault, but we were all so alone. Anyway…”
Erica paused and Amanda thought, I know where this is going, but knew she had to let Erica speak for herself.

“After about a year, my father entered my room and asked if he could talk. He sat on my bed, chatting about the good times he and mom had, and how much he missed her, and then he started sobbing. I reached out to hug him, and he kissed me!”
Erica shuddered, and instinctively wiped her mouth. “It was not a good kiss, and then he put his hand under my nightgown…when I told him to stop he just ‘shhh’d’ me, warned me not to wake Tommy, and then he…you know…did ‘it’.” Erica stumbled to a halt.
Amanda gently took Erica’s hand, “And?” she encouraged.
“And, he told me not to tell anyone. He said I was his favourite, and Tommy would be jealous if he found out that Daddy loved me in a special way.” I didn’t know what to think. And so I did keep quiet. I tried locking my door after that, but Daddy removed the lock. I prayed he would find a nice lady to marry, but he never did.”

Erica leaned back and closed her eyes. “He said I was special, and he loved me, but it wasn’t right, and I knew it. I hated it! He even made sure I took a pill every morning, my ‘love pill’ he called it”
“So what happened?”
“I was in my senior year and realized I couldn’t go on like this. I should have reported him, but I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I took a kitchen knife to bed, and when he came into my bedroom and started ‘it’, I stabbed him. I didn’t mean to kill him, but I got him in the heart.

“I got Manslaughter One. I don’t mind, this place isn’t too bad, and I get out in a few years, and it was here I met Jesus and He has changed me. But I was always worried about the whole favorite thing! I never wanted to be God’s ‘favorite’! I wanted to be invisible, not get His attention in any way.”
Amanda was stunned – normally it was the other way round – people clamoring to be God’s special person!

As Erica left the room, with new life to her step, Amanda thought, The devil is such a liar! Thank you Lord for opening her eyes to your truth. Thank you that she can now relate to you as a true Father, not one who shows ‘favoritism’.

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This article has been read 1260 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kathy Bruins03/07/05
It's always hard to read about these types of tragedies, but to see God's outcome is worthwhile. Thank you!
Dave Wagner03/08/05
Interesting how something can be so difficult to read, and so easy to read at the same time. You really nailed this one - it could have been botched in any of a number of different ways. Nicely done.

The dialog had a nice, clear ring to it - it wasn't forced (for the most part), which is not easy to do, especially considering the topic.

Thanks for posting this. It's obvious the care you took in constructing it.
Nancy Hardy03/09/05
Thank God for His enduring mercy. Impactful reading is found in this tale the is so painfully real. - Nancy
Sally Hanan03/09/05
Brave of you to take this on, but well done on your delicate handling of it.
Catherine Pollock03/09/05
Wow... as was said before, excellent handling. I enjoy reading authors who take on difficult subjects with delicacy and grace, and you've certainly managed it with this.
Debbie OConnor03/10/05
So excellent! You really captured the topic and drove a great message home. Great writing. My heart was pounding!
donna robinson03/10/05
The title said it all. It's difficult to show people sometimes who've commited crimes after crime was done to them. How they battle God's love for it didn't free them from the pain when it happened. Here you show that sometimes their biggest fear is what we least expect. Well writtened.
Kathy Cartee03/11/05
Wow ! I love this story.
I am a prison evangelist and know from experience how true this story is in so many lives.
Written from your own experience or not it is a job very well done.

Deborah Porter 03/14/05
So happy to see you in the winner's circle again Cori! Congratulations - you are obviously on a roll with your winning front page story in this month's FaithWriters' Magazine. Love always, Deb
Joanne Malley03/17/05
I thought I congratulated you last week; I see I haven't yet. Very nicely done - a round of applause! or its it applesauce? Joanne :)
Dixie Phillips04/13/05
What a great story that can help bring healing to so many who have experienced "favoritism" in this way. Bravo! Excellent! A++++
B Brenton11/24/05
A wonderful win. Heart-wrenching truth. Wow.