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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)

TITLE: Freedom
By Ruth Neilson


The room was dark except for a single furnace in the center of the room. It seemed to glow red, with an unearthly light. Here was where iron ore would be transformed into iron and iron into steel—this was where warriors were made.

Battered oak shelves held the offspring of the fires, and when the bellows quieted for the night, they would speak amongst themselves.

“The fire is too hot,” one would say.
Another would respond, “Did you not see how hard He beat me?”

Gripes filled the room of the want to be warriors. The shelf below the Whiners sat three wizen swords: Truth, Faith, and Hope. They had seen the battles...they had also seen their colleagues shatter and break with the slightest blow. Their handles now bore scars of past battles, and they waited diligently for the next attack to come.

They tried to tell the Whiners that all that the Maker put them through was required...but the three wizened voices were drowned out. No one wanted to hear that the pain was necessary to become strong in the Maker’s hands. Dejected, they fell silent, only occasionally offering a quiet objection to the Whiners words about the ‘punishment they did not deserve.’

Truth, Faith, and Hope wept. How could this generation of would-be warriors not realize that without the fire, hammer, or the oil, they would not be prepared to face the enemy? Tears streamed down their blades, causing streaks in their freshly polished surface.

Daily, they would cry out, “Maker! Creator! How can they not know? How long can they remain ignorant to what is required of them?”

But, the Maker did not answer them. He smiled and began to build up his fire again, preparing to smelt fresh iron ore into metal. With great care, He scooped away the impurities and began to mold a new warrior.

Truth, Faith, and Hope watched curiously, as the young warrior quietly accepted the blows of the hammer. Finally, he was placed on the oak shelf next to the other unfinished swords. The Maker smiled and touched the handle gently.

“I have a special job for you.” He announced before leaving the workshop for the day. The evening tradition began again as soon as the door glided closed.

“The fire is to hot,” one would say.
Another would respond, “Did you not see how hard He beat me?”

The three remained silent, waiting to see what the newcomer would say. Finally, they heard him. In a trembling voice, the newly forged sword spoke, “I’m going to be a warrior when I’m finished.”

The first sword, the one who rejected the flames, laughed. “It’s not as easy as you might think it is.”

“That’s right,” chimed in the second one. “The Maker isn’t gentle once its time for shaping you.”

“And I hope you don’t mind the heat, ‘cause it’s about to get really hot for you.”

The newborn quivered for a long moment before Faith spoke up. “Yes, it won’t be easy, young one. But it’s all for a purpose. The fire is to strengthen and finish purging you of all impurities.”

“And the beating,” he asked, his voice still wavering. “What good is the beating?”

Hope smiled as she leaned forward. “That’s to shape you into the exact purpose and destiny that the Maker has for you.”

Truth nodded once, “It’ll be worth it when you’ll be able survive on the battle field and be victorious against the enemy.” He paused and studied the young sword. “What did the Maker call you?”

The newly formed sword paused before whispering, “Freedom.”
The battle cry has been passed down from generation to generation, declaring freedom. What will this generation do with it? Will we sit back and enjoy sitting on the bench, or are we willing endure the fire and beatings to be ready for the battle. Are we prepared to get our hands dirty caring for the hurt and broken? It is time that the church lifts her face to the heavens and cry out, “freedom!”

I am ready. I want to be a mighty warrior in the army of the LORD!

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This article has been read 809 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Wilber01/24/08
My favorite part is where they explained the reason for the fire and for the beating. This is a great take on the topic and a good story. [Glad you put the broken line between the end of the story and the afterward. The switch in POV was a little jolting because I got so caught up in the story.]
Holly Westefeld01/25/08
Nice allegory.
LauraLee Shaw01/28/08
Wow, this left me speechless. Takes amazing talent to write something this brilliant.
Beckie Stewart01/28/08
I love this! I love the lessons that teach us about real life and loved the use of Whiners. I enjoyed this alot.
Jan Ackerson 01/28/08
Excellent! I'm not usually a big fan of personification in prose, but this was beautifully done.

I'd end it with "Freedom"--that really packs a punch.

This one put a lump in my throat.
Sally Hanan01/28/08
This one was great.
Red ink: I wouldn't have added the end piece--readers don't need explanations and this felt a little preachy.
Sara Harricharan 01/30/08
My true favorite this week! I really hope this does well! It is so special, the characters-the swords-so real! I especially liked Freedom! You've caught something here that I can't quite explain, but I like it! ^_^ Awesome writing!
Catrina Bradley 01/30/08
Superb, breathtaking, deep. I saw a few minor boo-boos, but they didn't detract from your amazing writing. I could have done without the "footnote". It was moving, but I feel your strong writing and imagery speaks wonderfully and doesn't need explaining. Wonderfully done.
Dee Yoder 01/31/08
Lovely and strong analogy to the church and the plans God has for each of us. He refines, according to His purpose, and we need to be willing to let Him shape us the way He wants.
LauraLee Shaw01/31/08
Congratulations on your EC! This was a fabulous piece!!!!
Sara Harricharan 01/31/08
***Congrats!*** I'm so glad to see you in the winner's circle! Awesome writing! ^_^
Beth LaBuff 01/31/08
Wow! This is wonderful with so much truth! Congrats on your EC!
Debbie Wistrom02/01/08
Such creativity here. Thanks for a wonderfule tale and CONGRATS!
Daneda Heppner02/02/08
Wow! Powerful! My favorite part was the "warrior's" quivering response. You were able to portray a lot in just a few words. I would have ended with Freedom and let the reader draw his own conclusions.