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

TITLE: Pink Highlights
By Pat Guy


I am here to warn you – to implore you. Do not … I repeat, do not visit or have anything to do with neighbors who display a Cross on the walls of their home and want to tell you ‘The Story.’ My family did and I lost them forever. It still pains me today.

Our neighbors seemed innocent enough as I think back to a time when I was a child growing up in the South. They were kind and nice people. But underneath their kindness I have come to believe they had an agenda – an agenda to recruit other ‘believers’ to join their own kind. They had fooled my parents and two brothers – but not me … I held onto my identity.

That’s when things changed. My home was no longer the comfortable place I knew and loved. And there was nothing I could do about it.

It wasn’t that my parents were abusive or weird, or anything. It’s just that … slowly … I began to feel like an outsider in my own home with my own family – and my resentment grew. It felt like they had left me behind. Maybe it was just I didn’t hop on the same boat as they did – I don’t know. But I knew that my neighbors, and that Cross on the wall had everything to do with it.

Not long after that fateful visit, my mother began to place her Bible out in the living room; and everyday it was always opened to a new place with underlines and pink highlights. She and my dad began to like Christian music. (Which really wasn’t too bad, but there was no way I was going to let them know that.) My brothers liked it too – I would shut my door and listen to my own music. Which by the way became way too restrictive on my parents part.

We eventually started to say a prayer before we ate together – even if we were at a restaurant. It was so embarrassing!

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t doubt their love or anything; and they took their time explaining (ad nauseam) why we had a Cross on our wall too – what it meant and all. But when you have to go to church, when your movies and friends are scrutinized, and your parents talk about things that aren’t natural … well, I mean … getting even with someone who does you wrong is natural – right? Not according to them.

So I’m warning you, if you like who you are and you’re happy with life, and want everything to stay just as it is, don’t show an interest in any displayed Cross where someone is close enough to hook you with ‘The Story.’ Something happens that I can’t explain.

And yes, there are times when I think about the pink highlights in my mother’s Bible, and the Christmas’ and the family prayers, and I wish … well … anyway… it’s lonely enough in this world, don’t make it worse for yourself. People don’t feel comfortable around someone who doesn’t think ‘normal’ and they’ll eventually stay away.

They’ll want to stay away. Believe me, I know.

That’s what I do.


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This article has been read 1547 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Teri Wilson08/24/06
Oooh, Very good. Love, love, love the title.
Laurie Glass 08/24/06
Unique take on the topic and well written. It reminds me of some of my own thoughts before I accepted Christ. It's a good reminder to see inside the mind of an unbeliever as we seek to share Christ with others.
terri tiffany08/24/06
What I liked - First, the title was perfect - I was thinking a bad hair day:) and then the voice throughout was great. the beginning paragraph hooked me, like it should! And the ending, just what it needed- no fast quick answers - just made one think.
What I might change-I would drop the 'had' fooled and just say fooled. I also think you needed a comma in 'While, by the way, "
Otherwise- GREAT writing!!
Jan Ackerson 08/25/06
Perfect voice! This is great! Written with such authenticity, irony, even wit. I love this.
Mtheto Hara08/26/06
This is indeed quite lovely writing.
I love the eazy going approach it works beautifully. Be blessed always.
Joanne Sher 08/27/06
Definitely a unique approach to this topic. Loved the point of view - it worked just right, IMO. Definitely gave me some things to think about!
T. F. Chezum08/28/06
Indeed a unique take on the subject. The title was great. I liked the the voice for this story.
Trina Courtenay08/28/06
I know some of these people and they do 'just stay away'. Loved your POV, title and voice.
Beth Muehlhausen08/28/06
Convincingly told "warning." I know someone who could have written this - almost verbatim. Very good character study!!
Venice Kichura08/28/06
I agree---very creative take on "cross"...And Master's quality writing!
Phyllis Inniss08/28/06
What a title! What a story! Just loved it.
Jan Ross08/28/06
Masterfully written! The best thing I love about this is that it didn't have that "story-book" ending! You opened the door to understanding how the hardened heart perceives the transformed heart. Very, very good! :)
william price08/29/06
Pat, I enjoyed this very much. Great story telling. I like the way you turned the topic inside out to present it from a different perspective. Very kool! God bless.
Linda Watson Owen08/29/06
Pat, this is great! I too especially find the voice of your MC to be perfect and real! Great writing!!
Rita Garcia08/30/06
Mastercrafting all the way. Great story!
Kevin Kindrick08/30/06
Wow. What a story - with a great ending, and a better message.
Thanks for sharing.

God bless,

Allison Egley 08/30/06
I liked the alternate view of this entry. I think I'd like to see this expanded, where the narrator mentions more specifics and how it made her (him?) feel.
Joanne Malley08/30/06
A very crafty take on the topic with a great message. Enjoyed reading your work as usual! Jo
dub W08/30/06
Clever satire - deserves to be read again.
Rebecca Livermore08/30/06
I love the way you presented this from the viewpoint of an unbeliever, while still getting the message of the power of the cross out there. Good job!
Val Clark08/31/06
Short and bitter sweet, Pat. A provoking point of view told with a convincing and consistent voice! (BTW thanks for your comment on Silent Stars) yeggy
Jan Ackerson 12/28/06
Thanks for sending me this link, Pat! Look for this thought-provoker to appear on the Showcase page for the week of January 28.
Laurie Glass 01/22/07
Pat, I remember this piece. Great to see it showcased this week!
darlene hight01/23/07
Front page? We are in the winner's circle aren't we? Great Job!
Linda Watson Owen01/23/07
How wonderful to revisit this great piece, Pat! I'm struck by the depth of meaning in the title "Pink Highlights". The soul of this speaker is bathed in the pink highlights of Christ's love and great sacrifice for him, as well as the warmth of his family's love and prayers for him, even though he doesn't acknowledge it. I feel that the pink highlights will turn crimson as the gentle, drawing love of the Lord eventually conquers his heart. Congratulations on this front page placement!
Amy Michelle Wiley 01/27/07
I missed this story the first time around, so I'm glad I saw in on the showcase! Great point, well made. Good job!
Michelle Greene Wheeler01/27/07
Love it! Great veiw from the "outsider"-original!
Doris Thompson01/28/07
This is a very unique way of telling a story. I'm impressed with your ability to express it.

Keep up the good work
Doris Thompson