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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)

TITLE: Do Not Linger Here
By Jan Ackerson


It is not beautiful.
Standing stark on a
rugged Judean hill,
it mocks the blue
skies. Even framed
in azure, there is no
loveliness here, but
splinters and stains.
The surrounding air
is thick with smells:
vinegar, blood, salt.
With a cry, a raucous crow flaps and lands, pecks at one darkened spot. Just yesterday,
its beams groaned with the mighty weight of suffering. It is silent now, but if it could
speak, it would surely mention misery—it would surely speak of sorrow. A tattered scrap
of cloth clings to the tree, as if held captive by the power of passion. On the ground, a
piece of wood proclaims: King of the Jews. This is not a proper banner post for a king.
It is not beautiful.
No rose will spring
from this tear-soaked
ground. The echoes
lingering in the air
are shouts and jeers,
not angels’ songs.
But look again! In
this place Love was
sacrificed by Love,
in order that Love
might live. Shadows
of innumerable sins
are fading now into
the weathered wood.
Do not linger here
at the foot of these
besmirched beams.
Look away—away.
Your savior is not
here. Turn around
and follow the path
to a stone-sealed
tomb. Wait. Wait.
Wait. Soon you will
see the end of death,
the birth of Grace.
Now—grasp Grace.

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This article has been read 1981 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Malley08/24/06
Very ingenious to form the cross with your words; beautifully written.
Pat Guy 08/24/06
Bravo! Great creativity and words. Lovely!
Jen Davis08/24/06
An awesome work of art both in shape and prose. Brilliant and lovely. Exceptionally well done.
Lynda Schultz 08/24/06
Love it!
valerie chambers08/25/06
This is so awesome, SO AWESOME did I mention that this is AWESOME forming the cross with your words is very captivating but your message WOW--- GREAT WORK
Brenda Craig08/25/06
Awesome! I love the perspective of non lingering in reference to the cross. There are so many good descriptions. I love the part about a piece of cloth hanging on in passion. There are so many lines I love, but this is my fav. because it says it all.

Love was
sacrificed by Love,
in order that Love
might live.

Now let us go and grasp grace. Simply beautiful. Blessings Brenda

Brenda Craig08/25/06
Sorry, I forgot. I also love how you shaped it in the form of a cross. Very clever!
Lynda Lee Schab 08/25/06
I'm breathless. What a powerful and creative entry, filled with death and life and love. The words forming the shape of a cross was a brilliant touch to a masterful entry. Truly perfection.
Amy Nicholson08/25/06
Nicely done.
Venice Kichura08/26/06
WOW!! This should place high for creativity! Awesome job!
Tabiatha Tallent08/28/06
This was beautiful!
Marty Wellington 08/28/06
Simply breathtaking! Praise Him and His work in you!
Sue Dent08/28/06
Okay, Jan, I found it. I think I like your cross better. Got right to the heart of the matter too, didn't you! Grand job!
T. F. Chezum08/28/06
Excellent Job. I like the message and the lay out.
Trina Courtenay08/28/06
Beth Muehlhausen08/28/06
Wow, amazing! Of course the formatting is incredible but the message is strong as well. Love the ending with its admonition to GRASP GRACE - I mean what else is there when we define Life in Him??

"Turn around
and follow the path
to a stone-sealed
tomb. Wait. Wait.
Wait. Soon you will
see the end of death,
the birth of Grace.
Now—grasp Grace."

Jan Ross08/28/06
In this place Love was sacrificed by Love, in order
that Love might live. Shadows of innumerable sins
are fading now into the weathered wood.


Yep … I liked it! I opened the page and it took my breath away! You are soooo creative! I love how you think, how you write, and how you attack your work with excellence! :)

Deborah Bauers08/28/06
The word pictures you have painted in this piece are incredible. Wonderful! Simply wonderful! Kudos to you!
Virginia Gorg08/28/06
well done - I love the way you picked the words to fit exactly into the cross. This has a great flow and packs a lot of grace into the picture. :) :)
william price08/29/06
I would only be repeating the others before, but I will say, "Bravo". This is why enjoy your writing. I love running into creativity, courage, freedom and anointing. And I do that regulary with your entries, but this...this encourages me, creatively and spiritually. Thank you!!!!! God bless.
Joanne Sher 08/29/06
This is astounding. You have so many phrases in here that just grabbed me and haven't yet let go. Amazing.
Linda Watson Owen08/29/06
Oh, Jan, how powerful! Grasping Grace literally at the foot of the Cross...what an unforgettable image! Beautifully done...and no surprise at all that this gem is yours!
Rita Garcia08/30/06
"Now—grasp Grace."
I love this line, this challenge! You brought tears to my eyes, looks like another win!!
dub W08/30/06
This should be submitted for a greater award.
Rebecca Livermore08/30/06
Wow, this is so very beautiful! Amazing in every way!
Teri Wilson08/31/06
Jan, How on earth did I miss this before today? As usual, you have blown me away. Stunning!
Sara Harricharan 08/31/06
I really enjoyed this! Awesome writing!
Rachel Rudd 08/31/06
Jan, this is just beautiful. I loved it. I can't think of many words to add to all the comments, but I can say congratulations! I hope that they can put this format into the book!
Sharlyn Guthrie08/31/06
Yhis is truly a work of art in every way! Well-deserved win!
Birdie Courtright08/31/06
I only just now read/saw/became in involved/cried/caught my breath and whew! Stunning, beautiful and congrats on this win!
Bonnie Derksen08/31/06
Congratulations on your win, Jan. You are so creative. A very well done writing. I love your choice of words and phrasing.
Val Clark09/01/06
there are so amny things to love about th is poem Jan, You paint the outward picture and the inward, other meanings of the cross with powerful eloquence. My favourite lines: Shadows/
of innumerable sins/are fading now into/the weathered wood. (BTW thanks for commenting on my Silent Stars entry)yeggy
Karen Treharne09/05/06
Well-done Jan. An interesting presentation of what appears to be poetry. Your words were expressive and beautiful to read causing me to ponder again the sacrafice of our Lord on behalf of humanity that we would be free of sin's death sentence because of God's grace. A joyous read that lends itself to prayers of thanks. Your honor God with your writing and bless the readers of your work.
Jan Ackerson 09/09/06