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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)

TITLE: Sarah
By Bethany Payne


Silence, except for the squeaking of sneakers and the tapping of pencils, filled the English classroom. It was Sarah’s turn to read her speech.

Sarah – the plain Jane girl – the goody-two-shoes.

As she made her way to the front of the room to face the high schoolers, snickers and whispers murmured through the tension-packed air.

Sarah was a Christian.

I knew she hardly ever spoke to anyone and quietly minded her own business most of the time. Last time she was going to give a speech, it was going to be about the “cons” of abortion. Except the school board threatened that anyone spouting a “Biblical” view would be labeled “intolerant” and suspended. She gave her speech on railroads.

This ought to be interesting.

She cleared her throat and then made eye contact with everyone in the room. Very unusual. For her.

“Where are you going to be in a hundred years?”

Hmmm…maybe outer space. At least according to all the sci-fi I’d been watching. Especially with the new medical advances possible.

“Where were you a hundred years ago?”

Duh. Not born.

“What if you walked outside today and got hit with a car? Then, where would you be?”

Hmmm…I follow traffic rules and I don’t intend to die anytime soon. This is getting repetitive.

“What if you live forever? What would be the point?”

Everyone looked bored.

“My cousin thought he’d always have tomorrow. Tomorrow to do the important things. Tomorrow to come…to the Lord.”

I sucked in my breath, just like many of the others. We knew she was pushing the rules. And why? Besides, I knew her cousin Freddie. He was always for fun. He was a great guy. And no one could have figured on that happening.

“Freddie lived for the moment. He never thought about consequences. About what really mattered in life or about having any purpose,” she continued as if reading our thoughts. “He always figured he would have time to make better decisions later.”

How come this mumbo-jumbo talk was making me feel uncomfortable? She was breaking the rules. Someone should stand up and stop her. Why didn’t the teacher say anything?

“I want to make a difference today. I may not have tomorrow. You may not either.” She tugged at the bottom of her pink sweater in nervousness. But, then, she looked at us determinedly. “You may not like this. You may not like me. But there is Someone Who doesn’t care about all the differences like that. He cares about your future. Let me tell you why….”

I don’t know why we all listened to her that day or what possessed her to talk about Jesus. We had all heard it before. We hadn’t cared. But, somehow, this time we did. It was something about the way that she spoke – and that she spoke at all.

We found out later that she had just been diagnosed with leukemia. She decided then to act. Well, all I can say is that this time, I was glad she broke the rules – glad that she faced all of us jerks and told us what life was really about.

All thirty of us were saved that day.

Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight08/23/04
All I can say is wow!What a testimony!
Sheila Boyd08/23/04
This was a good example of breaking the rules, and a good example for all of us to follow. Are we to obey God or man? Excellent job.
Melanie Kerr 08/23/04
This was good. I can't imagine being in a school where it is forbidden to talk about your faith. As a teacher I am not suppposed to "indoctrinate" especially as an RE teacher, but if I am asked an opinion, then I just give it.
Sylvia Spielman08/23/04
This is a wonderful piece. Boy, what fruit to bear! Blessings, Sylvia
Al Boyce08/23/04
Awesome testimony and well written. I love how the Lord works!
Blantina Jones08/23/04
Great job! Great testimony!
Bethany Payne08/23/04
Hi, this is Bethany. Thank you for all the wonderful comments, but I realize that you may not know this piece is fiction. Thank you for your support anyhow. (I don't know how to indicate fiction/nonfiction - sorry for the confusion).
Mary Elder-Criss08/24/04
Bethany, then give yourself a pat on the back. Your fiction reads like true life, which is what good fiction should do. Blessings! Mary
Haneefah Angulo08/24/04
This is an incredible story. It was very well written. It draws you right in. On top of that it is totally believable. It is getting nearly impossible to talk about God in school, or anywhere else, these days. It's no longer "Politically Correct." It's nice to read things like this. It's inspring, and even empowering. Maybe more young believers will read this, and want to stand up, and "break the rules." Because if any rules are to be broken, it is the rules that keep us from expressing our love for the Lord. This is an excellent piece. Thank you so much for sharing it. I was truly touched and blessed by it. God bless you!
Lucian Thompson08/24/04
Oh, that this was taking place all across America today; children breaking the rule of man for the rule of God. I believe in being submissive to governments as it is the will of God, only if it doesn’t violate the rules of God! Well done!
Annette Bury08/25/04
Wow! When fiction sounds so like nonfiction, you've hit the mark! Great job!
L.M. Lee08/25/04
Yipee! Just like in the Bible when entire cities came to God.
Roberta Kittrell08/25/04
Hallelujah! for Sarah. May we have more Sarah's. May we each dare to be a Sarah while there is still time!
Wonderful story! It also drew me in and kept my attention and was perfect for the topic this week. Thanks for sharing.
Linda Germain 08/28/04
When this mass of protoplasm, in which I live, shivers at the end of the story, then your effort was truly a success! Bravo. You get an A+
Rose Gingerich08/28/04
Wow! What a wonderful story and testimony! It was so real and kept me rivetted the whole way through. You may have a winner. Good luck! Blessings!
Desert Rose08/30/04
Bethany, Thank you for what you wrote.
It is a reminder that even though we can't all homeschool there are still those in the public schools that God will use to touch the lives of others. I have taught in the public schools and they will never accomplish anything until they start teaching about Jesus
Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.