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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)

TITLE: Face to Face Apart
By George Parler


From the window:

I watch him from my portal to the world, an office window overlooking the street below. There he is like every other day. Playing an old beat up guitar which looked as ragged as the clothes he wore. His hat, with the obvious sweat ring, laid face up on the sidewalk beside him, sprinkled with the loose change from the people passing by. As he sang, his face beamed with a smile. His countenance shined with a glow in spite of some of his missing teeth and wrinkled, tan face. But what does he have to smile about? He has nothing.

I feel sorry for him. He probably never had a good paying job or a nice house with a new car in the garage. More than likely, he never had enough money to even have a checking account. And Iíll bet heís never even had a vacation in his life. I wonder if his family has disowned him for being the like he is? He would be blown away if he had my life. Along with a beautiful wife, a career with a large corporation, money in the bank and a great retirement plan. I donít think he has a clue as to what he has missed out on in life. Lord, Iím just glad I have my life and not his.

From the sidewalk:

I see him every day that I play on this sidewalk, looking down from his office with a cup of coffee in his hand. His white shirt and tie are always pressed real nice and clean. I wonder whatís going on in his life because I never see him smile. I wonder if itís because he works so late that heís not home much with his wife or kids. I donít know what it is, but he sure seems sad. If he would come outside sometime I would sing him a song about the goodness of the Lord. That would surely cheer him up, it sure works for me. I am so glad that all of my needs are provided for. I know I donít have all my desires but I donít have the frustrations he seems to have, judging by the darkness under his eyes.

I actually feel sad for him. He probably hasnít been home in time for super in a long time. Iíll bet he doesnít sleep well either. Not to mention how some folks try to keep up with the Jonesís. Which means it takes more money, which usually means working longer hours or being in debt up to your eyeballs in credit payments. What a rat race. Iíll bet he has never just walked in the park and enjoyed Godís creations because he's so busy chasing material things. I donít think he has a clue as to what he has missed out on in life. Lord, Iím just glad I have my life and not his.

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This article has been read 1223 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/18/06
I like this! We certainly make assumptions about people, don't we? There are a few inconsistent tenses here and there, but I was very charmed by this, visualizing these two men and peeking in on their thoughts. Very good.
Debra Brand05/18/06
Very good concept! Amazing that we assume so much about other people. If we could only remember who is rich! Liked the writing style.
Delores Baber05/18/06
Loved this concept of seeing the world and drawing conclusions through 2 different set of eyes. Liked the way you contrasted these two men. It made me waht to imagine how many views of prosperity there are in all the millions of eyes in this world. And especially how prosperity is viewed through the eyes of Jesus.
Marty Wellington 05/19/06
Unique presentation and great contrasting of viewpoints. I enjoyed it.
Patricia Trimarchi05/20/06
Excellent!Love the title...and the contrasting thought processes in these two very different men. I can see this being a much longer piece with perhaps a chance meeting of the two men...lots of possibilities, but also most enjoyable as is. Thankyou, Pat
Ann Grover05/22/06
It's all a matter of perspective. Some minor grammar glitches, but very well done. I was pulled into into it, and more so when I saw the direction you were taking. Great job!
Rachel Rudd 05/22/06
I liked this, too! The contrast between material and spiritual wealth is well-written in this story. I stumbled over the cliche "keeping up with the Jones'", but that is what the businessman was trying to do. Thank you for sharing!
Jessica Schmit05/22/06
This is a fabulous story. Advanced material. fantrastic, creative. You're a great example of "showing, not telling." You describe the scene without instructing what the reader should be seeing. Great work. Keep writing and you'll go far!

Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/22/06
This is great and so creative. You've captured the essence of prosperity so clearly. Awesome.
Anita Neuman05/23/06
Great concept here! You've used the word limit really well to develop these characters in such detail. Your writer's voice is great, your flow is great - I think the area you should focus on next is just fixing up small errors. A peer editor could help you in that area. Overall, this is a great entry. Keep writing!
Edy T Johnson 05/23/06
"Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart," is the Scripture that came to mind as I read. You have given us a look at both inside and outside on the opposite ends of what we might think of as prosperity. You have a creative write, here, and you certainly covered the topic! God bless you!
dub W05/24/06
Interesting structure - tense shifts abound however, correct the problem and you have a winner.
Edy T Johnson 05/25/06
Congratulations, George! I am delighted to see your name "up in lights." I'm glad this entry received the recognition it so well deserved. God bless all your endeavors!
Brandi Roberts05/25/06
I knew you'd hit 'er home, George! Well done!
Debbie OConnor05/25/06
Great contrast! Congratulations.
Debbie OConnor05/25/06
A painful truth well told. Great job.
Sherry Wendling05/25/06
I really liked this one! A very creative monologue, and your character has such a winsome spirit. Congratulations is well-deserved!
Jacquelyn Horne07/05/07
I enjoyed this article. This comparison is great.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/05/07
Highly commended was well deserved for this thought-provoking piece. I enjoyed it.
Joanne Sher 07/05/07
Oh, George - please start entering challenges again! This is a gem - and so thought-provoking! Great stuff, my friend.
Brenda Welc07/09/07
You paint a very nice picture when you write. I hope to read more of your peices in the future. God needs you to write for those who need to read His messages. God Bless!