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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Fishing (06/07/04)

TITLE: The Wait
By Chenel Moore


Ignoring the pain was no longer an option. It had now become unbearable. There was no avoiding it. I had to go to the emergency room. The very thought of entering an emergency room in the middle of the night overwhelmed me. Yet, I no longer knew what was ailing me. All of my attempts at self-diagnosis provided me with no solution to the internal pain that afflicted and tormented me.

With the final decision made, I did it. I went to the emergency room. As I entered through the cold, uninviting double glass sliding doors, my mind was boggled with intense speculation. I didnít want to be there, but I knew I needed help. So many thoughts race through your mind when you donít know what is ailing you. But I was determined to exercise the unproven muscles of faith and trust that I would walk out differently than the way that I was now walking in.

I braced myself for the check-in procedure. I hoped that I would get a nice nurse, but you never know these days since customer service is nothing more than an item on a bureaucratic checklist. Needless to say the check-in was made dubious when it was discovered that I was not insured. How would I handle my obligation to this hospital they wanted to know? I negotiated as best as I could from an obvious position of powerlessness. I had no idea how I would pay the bill. I only knew that I needed help and that coming here was my last resort.

When I was led to the waiting room I sat down on the hard plastic chair and looked around at the other people who were also waiting. Some looked very sick. Others looked perfectly ok. There were young men, old men and mothers with babies. We were all different shapes, colors and backgrounds. But all of us shared one common factor. We all needed to be admitted to find out what was wrong with us.

My name was called and I was led to a small room where a nurse took my vital statistics. I was relieved to hear that they were all normal. She filled out my chart and asked me for some basic information and then sent me back into the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity.

Finally, I was sent to the examination room. A young intern looked at my chart and did a quick examination. I could tell he was so tired and was doing just enough work to cover his obligation. When I tried to describe my pain, he quickly cut me off and told me that everything appeared to be all right and then ordered x-rays and blood tests.

I came back from my tests and waited for the internís diagnosis. He gave me a clean bill of health. When I asked him why I was in such pain he told me that he didnít find anything wrong with me but told me if the pain worsened, or if I developed a fever, nausea or diarrhea to come back.

I was in disbelief. There I was sitting on a sterile silver examination table, stripped naked and fully exposed. He had in his possession my x-rays, blood test and my vital statistics, all of the keys, which provided him with the ability to look into the transparent windows of my soul. I desperately wanted to beg for the cure, any cure that would make this pain go away. This experience was like fishing in a pond with no hope for a catch. Suddenly, it was clear. He had done everything according to his systemic procedure and would do no more. I was told to make an appointment with my physician in three days but to go home.

I sighed realizing that it was a losing battle. It was always like this. I dressed myself and then walked out of the exit doors through the waiting room. I quickly glanced around at the other patients who were still fishing for the answer and shuttered in a feeble attempt to shake off the coldness of defeat as I walked back out through the double sliding glass doors.

When I got to my car, I thought to myself that this church was just like the last one.

Member Comments
Member Date
L.M. Lee06/14/04
well written description of your trip through the emergency room...what was wrong with you? Did you ever find out?
Corinne Smelker 06/14/04
SO, are you describing an ER, or a church?

You threw me with the last line.

But, nevertheless, it was a good story - definitely compelling, and well written
Chenel Moore06/14/04
Hi, Lissa and Corrine. This piece contrasted searching for a church with going to the ER. Sorry if it was confusing.
Chenel Moore06/14/04
Oh, and thanks for reading the story and posting your feedback. I am new at this (my very 1st submission) and was trying to work within the 750 word count guidelines.

I wanted to tell the story from the point of view of a sinner who is searching for a church, using a illustrative point of view sort of like Tommy Tenney's God's Favorite House. I apologize in advance for any confusion, but the last line is designed to give dramatic impact.

Many Blessings and thank you so much for the feedback. Thanks again.
Deborah Porter 06/14/04
Hello Chenel! Good on you for jumping in with your first submission.

You write well so I really want to encourage you to keep growing and developing your skill.

My critique is similar to that of the first two comments. Although I didn't get confused by the ending, I also don't think the contrast quite made it. It was an interesting concept of comparing an ER and a church, but the connection was a bit extreme in parts. I guess I couldn't quite relate to a person going to church and actually being examined to find out what was wrong, then turned away without the diagnosis and remedy being given. If that makes sense.

But for a first contribution, it was well done. Keep jumping into the challenge and keep submitting. I'll look forward to reading more of your work in the weeks and months ahead. You obviously have a good imagination. With love, Deb
Karen Treharne06/14/04
Congratulations on your first submission Chenel. Your illustration was a good one that just needed a bit more editing to connect it better for your contrast. Also some repetition in the beginning with the words "emergency room"; maybe using ER once and probably leave it out altogether in the paragraph where he enters the glass doors, perhaps you could begin with that sentence so you don't have to repeat. You should keep this and rework it for a later submission somewhere. You have put it together well with original thought and good description. I liked it a lot. Don't stop.
Donna Smith06/14/04
I did not find this confusing at all. The last line was like a cold splash of water right in the face-I loved it! It also made me re-read the entire article, which then I saw the parallels. I'm not an expert in grammar or anything, but thought it well written. The most important thing to me is the impact of the message, and it was wonderful. A good dose of reality. I thought it was awesome. Keep writing the Truth...
Anthony David06/15/04
A gripping tale Chenel! If this is your first, then you are a budding writer indeed. I didn't understand the twist on the church. Maybe you could have made it clear. Anyway,Congratulations!
David Ian06/15/04
Chenel: LOVED the last line and the twist. No confusion here. Puts the rest of the piece in a whole new light and jolts the reader into a different perspective. Very good.
Loved the foreshadowing with the "exercise the unproven muscles of faith and trust that I would walk out differently than the way that I was now walking in." Very nice.

Church as an emergency room. Great concept: Check-in, Waiting Room, Vital Statistics, Examination Room, Chart -- Well crafted.
Loved the "sterile silver examination table, stripped naked and fully exposed." and "He had in his possession my x-rays, blood test and my vital statistics, all of the keys, which provided him with the ability to look into the transparent windows of my soul." This is your first posting? I'm looking forward to seeing more! I'm a fan!

--David Ian
Lynne Gaunt06/15/04
I think your story is very well written, and I really like the whole idea of comparing the ER to a church. I also think you could work on it a little bit to make the connection more clear. Keep it, and work it some more. Great first submission!
Glenn A. Hascall06/15/04
There once was a story of a rescue aid society. The goal of this organization was to rescue those lost at sea. They were enthusiastic about their job until they became more concerned abou ttheir charter and the rules of the organization. Soon the building designed to provide shelter for those lost became a haven for members of the society. Costs for sleeping were replaced with leather furnishings. The society eventually stopped any efforts to rescue.

Move forward to 2004 and this article reflects this same idea.

The shift at the end was so stark that you were forced to revisit the entire premise of the article to adjust to the paradigm (sp) shift.

Wonderful. One third of my vote goes to you. -- Glenn
Marie B. Corso06/15/04
Very well written. The twist at the end was neat, but I agree that if that was your goal, it needed better deveopment. A great piece. Welcome to FaithWriters.
B Price06/15/04
the last line thought me a curve, then it hit me. When reading your comment I realize I was right with my thinking.
some churches are cold, not caring, and folks walks out from there still fishing for the answers they are searchig for..
A story with a twist, which I like.
and congrulations on starting to write and entering your 1st piece.
Keep writing.. looking forward to more of your stories.
Yes 750 can be a problem but you will learn how to do it. If I did so can you. LOL
ps the title was fittig for the story too.
Antje Hill06/16/04
This was nicely written. Good job for sure. It should sober any churh member as to our reason for being in church! People are looking for help for their hurts. We should be able to guide them to the solution to their problem.
Bill Rozmiarek06/17/04
Awesome story. I loved it!
Sarah Balk Bond06/17/04
Amen and amen! Thanks so much for the perfect twist at the end. This is a valuble lesson to me to keep reaching out to people. Thank You so much!
Linda Germain 06/20/04
Reminds me of the old adage, "Church is not a hotel for saints, it is a hospital for sinners."
I loved your ending. Welcome to the FAMILY. :0)
Yommie Stephen06/23/04
I can't see any correlation between this article and "Fishing".
But on the whole, it's a good story on it's own.