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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Facepalm (05/15/14)

TITLE: Easter Grief - or an Easter Grinch???
By Noel Mitaxa


Father Clive OíShannessy always enjoyed the seclusion of his studyóespecially after early morning weekday mass. But today an unseen invader had been shoved under his door. It was only after he had pushed a little harderóthereby scuffing the object along the carpetóthat the invader identified itself as a now heavily-traumatized envelope.

He stooped to retrieve it and place its scrunched contents on his desk before he slid onto his chair. The envelope had clearly endured frequent and severe maltreatment well before he had unwittingly given it the last rites; for its previous rips were overlaid by the wrinkled remain of much adhesive tape.

The scrawled writing looked familiar, but with letters so forcefully indenting the page that he almost wondered if he was holding the underside of a message stamped in Braille. Not more trouble, he thought, with a sense of impending doom.

The church janitor had always shown great dedication to his responsibilities, without ever being a close neighbour of happiness. And yet again, something was stuck in his craw.

Leaning on his desk with his forehead in his handsóas if his brain needed extra support while defusing the janitorís latest verbal missileóFather Clive began to scan its furious contents.

Dear Father Clive,

Iíve been cleaning this church for over fifteen years, so I reckon Iím an expert in fixing carpet stains. Spilled drinks and food scraps from potluck dinners, and repairing damage from cigarette burnsóyou name it and Iíve had to fix it up.

Weddings always leave me with confetti or rice to extract from the carpet or the drapes. Not always because of the wind coming in, but from people who donít listen when you ask them to wait until they get outside before they do their worst.

Iíve had to clean up after babies have thrown up on pews and all over the floor.

Iíve had to clean up plaster dust, paint spills and rubble from tradesmen whose only cause in life seems to be to mess everything up for whoever has to do the next part of any renovation work.

But this new childrenís worker is just too much.

Last Christmas he hung big stars and angels everywhere above the choir loft, and afterwards I had to repair all the holes and repaint the ceiling. I also fell off a ladder and nearly broke my neck trying to scrape off the glitter that heíd also glued everywhere it was never meant to be.

That was bad enough, but Iím disgusted with his latest crazy idea.

He wants everybody to re-enact Jesusí march into Jerusalem on the Sunday before Easter.

Now I donít mind kids waving a few palm fronds and tossing cloaks on the floor. And the noise they make wonít leave any mess.

But this guy wants to use a live donkey. Can you believe that?

Doesnít he know how strong donkeys are? Or that they will bite onto anything at all? Or what could happen if it gets spooked? And Iíve never come across a donkey thatís been toilet-trained.

Father Clive, Iím quitting because I just canít Face Palm Sunday!

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This article has been read 318 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/22/14

I wonder how many "loving groans" will come from this gem?

Great job, loved your take on the topic. You funny man you!

God bless~
Joe Moreland05/24/14
I have been the head of Children's Worship for more than 15 years (along with my wife), you can't imagine the countless conversations we've had with people who have to clean up the church after our events that sound just like Father Clive's unnamed janitor.

This was funny, but very true too. Apparently to people who clean, glitter is satan dust. :)

You definitely nailed the circumstances well, and I could really see both the frustrated janitor and the frazzled priest clearly in my mind's eye through the picture you painted for me.

Great job!
Lisa Johnson05/24/14
Very comical take on the topic. I had to chuckle at the "punch line."
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/25/14
As always, I appreciate the delightful humor you bring to a challenge entry. You are the master of understatement: without ever being a close neighbour of happiness. I liked that! Some years ago, our large church regularly had a donkey with rider for Palm Sunday. (The donkey had a diaper--smile) It was a very meaningful service with women and children waving palm branches on the donkey's path.
Judith Gayle Smith05/26/14
Gripping and so very satisfying. Your writing always charms and gigglefies me.

ps. What did the 8 say to the 3?
Graham Insley05/27/14
Brilliant. You've got to get to the punchline before it hits home, but it's well worth waiting for.