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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gossip/Rumors (either or both) (10/28/10)

TITLE: One Destination Many Roads
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


Waving goodbye to Mom, Wrigley hopped into the Brown’s car. Mr. Brown smiled. “I’m glad you could join us at our church Wrigley. We’ve been trying to get more kids from Jess’ new school to come each week.”

Jess nodded. “I think we have twenty kids from school coming to youth group now.”

“Wow! That’s a lot.”

Mr. Brown pulled into the parking lot. Wrigley waved to a few kids that she knew. The church looked bigger than the little country church she was used to. Suddenly Wrigley felt little butterflies in her stomach. But Jess smiled and grabbed her hand and they went into the church together.

They sang songs and played games. During snack time, a boy sat down next to Wrigley. “Hi, I’m Jeff. I think we go to the same school.” Wrigley smiled and nodded. “I’m glad Jess invited you to come to our church and learn about Jesus.”

“Oh, I already know Jesus. I go to the Methodist Church. I’ve been a Christian since I was five.”

Jeff stood up and backed away. “The Methodists aren’t Christians; they don’t believe the same way we do. Unless you go to our church, you’re going to Hell.”

Jeff walked over to a group of kids. Soon Wrigley noticed everyone was pointing at her and whispering. She kept sniffing back tears. She relaxed her shoulders when Jess came over. Wrigley smiled at her but Jess just grunted. ”Dad’s here. Let’s go.”

Wrigley followed Jess. Her mouth dropped open when Jess sat in the front seat. After a few minutes of awkward silence, Mr. Brown looked in the mirror, “So Wrigley, are you going to come to youth group again?”

Rudely, Jess answered before Wrigley had a chance. “No, Wrigley doesn’t like our church. She told Jeff that her church was the best and ours is stupid.”

“I never said that! “

Jess turned around in her seat. “That’s not what Sally said. She heard Jeff telling his friends that you called us a bunch of freaks.”

“No, I didn’t, honest. Jeff told me I’d go to Hell if I didn’t go to your church.”

Mr. Brown interrupted, “Now girls, there’s no sense arguing. Maybe if you come again next week Wrigley you’ll understand more about how our church works. Jess is upset because she likes you and wants you to believe in Jesus.”

Smiling, Jess turned and looked at Wrigley again. ”Yeah, I’m sorry; you probably said that stuff because you’re scared.”

Just then Mr. Brown pulled into Wrigley’s driveway. “Well, think about it Wrigley. Jess will call you later.”

Wrigley got out of the car, “Thank you for the ride.” Mr. Brown nodded and Wrigley shut the door. As soon as the car pulled out of sight Wrigley stepped up to the porch and collapsed in tears. The snot was dripping out of her nose. Splat! It hit the steps. Sniffling, Wrigley tried to wipe the tears from her face. She took a big gulp and started choking.

Mom came outside when she heard Wrigley crying. “Honey, what’s wrong? Did you and Jess get in a fight?” Mom scooped Wrigley into her arms. Shaking her head, she flung her arms around Mom’s neck.

Rubbing her back, Mom rocked Wrigley. Soon Wrigley managed to tell Mom the whole story. “It was horrible; everyone was whispering and pointing at me. I know that Jesus died for my sins because He loves me. I will get to Heaven even though I’m Methodist, right Mom?”

Mom took a piece of chalk and drew a map on the sidewalk. She handed Wrigley the chalk, “Show me all the ways to get from school to our house.” Wrigley traced four different routes. Mom smiled, “Good job, we could go down Elm Street or Main but as long as we end up on Stone Road we’ll get to our house.”

Wrigley wiped the last bit of snot from her face. “I get it. There are lots of Christian Churches, just like there are lots of streets; as long as we follow Jesus, or Stone Road, we’ll get home.”

Smiling, Mom pulled Wrigley to her feet. “The hard part is to forgive the kids that spread rumors about you.”

Together they walked into the house, “No, Mom, that’s easy, if Jesus can forgive my sins; I can forgive them. I’ll wait a day or two and then tell Jess about your map. Thanks Mom, I love you.”

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This article has been read 761 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Connie Dixon11/08/10
Great story and title. I wanted to punch Jeff. Your story brings out so much of what is wrong with "church" and "Christians". Wish we could just all follow Jesus and forget all the other stuff. Good job!
Joan Campbell11/08/10
I also loved the "map" explanation. It was a little inconceivable to me that Christians could be so blatantly discrimanatory about fellow Christians, but I guess there are churches that might encourage this kind of thinking. Glad I've never come across any!
Henry Clemmons11/08/10
Very enjoyable read! Kids can be so mean, but thank God for parents that can love a hurt child and show them the truth. I liked it very much. Superb job.
Genia Gilbert11/08/10
Good story! It's all about Jesus, not denominations or certain churches. Enjoyed your writing.
Cheryl Harrison11/08/10
Brought to mind how important it is to teach our children the truth about "the church". Reminded me a little of the game "gossip" when Jess repeated words that Jeff said that Wrigley said... you get my point :o). Good job!
Timothy Klingerman11/08/10
Scary how dogmatic people can be sometimes. Dividing over how we show our devotion to the same Lord. When the mom got down to draw on the sidewalk, it reminded me of Jesus drawing in the dirt for those who condemned the woman caught in adultery. Everyone wonders what he scratched out - maybe it was a map! Good job and thanks for your devotion to all of us here and your many kind comments on our writing.
Jody Day 11/08/10
A very good depiction of what happens all the time. Well done! (Wasn't crazy about the snot image, though, lol:))
Sarah Elisabeth 11/08/10
Aw, sweet story with a good message!
Caitlyn Meissner11/08/10
I'm glad the mom in your story was able to point her daughter to Jesus. It's sad when Christians don't get along. My own family attends a Come Together service which allows different congregations to worship Jesus together. I enjoy it a lot. Thanks for a good story, and a great message.
Carol Penhorwood 11/08/10
Loved the way you "showed" the topic instead of "telling" like I did. The map drawn was a great way of proclaiming a profound truth.
Mona Purvis11/08/10
I like it when a story is believable as this one is. What a truth it tells. I'll never forget the first church I was a member of. I wasn't raised a Christian, so I met Jesus as an adult. I was so uncomfortable in that church because most of the members were Bob Jones graduates with their kids in Christian school. They had never been 'dirty' as me and had no idea how how superior they acted. That experience has certainly helped me over the years. Loved your story.
Rachel Phelps11/09/10
This is a great story. There was a passage in the middle where "Sally" got mentioned and I got a bit confused, but awesome message.
Lollie Hofer11/10/10
Strong characterization, believable dialogue and compeling plot make for a great story. Well done.
Amanda Brogan11/10/10
What a sweet story. :) I love the message here. It's sad that some churches act that way towards people who don't share their denomination. Kids could especially get that confused.

I like how you said that as long as someone follows Jesus (the main road) they will go to Heaven, regardless of denomination. That part could have gotten confused by people thinking "there are many ways to Heaven" but when you put Jesus into it, there's no way you can go wrong. :)

Awesome writing!
Edmond Ng 11/10/10
Not all roads lead to heaven, but one thing is certain—Jesus is the only Way (John 14:6). Honestly, this story makes me a little uncomfortable with the mention of a denomination, but I must admit there are some Christian groups which teachings need some correction. The young are often targets of misguidance and false teachings, and such should be stamped out (Matthew 24:4, 11, 13; 2 Peter 2:1).

A very strong message within your story on a very serious matter that all Christians should ponder and be on guard not to be misled (Acts 20:28-30).

Tammie Smith11/10/10
I liked this story. I was right there with Wrigley, but I wanted to punch Jeff. Although, I did have to cringe with the wiping of the snot. Great imagery!
Patricia Turner11/10/10
The map is an excellent idea. I felt for Wrigley until I realized at the end that she was actually wise beyond her evident years. It took me a bit longer to make that particular leap. So well done.
Genia Gilbert11/11/10
Congratulations, Shann, on placing #14 in Level 3. Good job!
Charla Diehl 11/12/10
This story reminds me of my youth when Catholic kids were told "their" God was the only true God. As a kid I thought protestant was a bad word. Fortunately I grew up and realized how misguided some religions tend to be.
Congratulations on placing with this fine story.
Edy T Johnson 11/15/10
This is a great story, my friend! It reminds me that parents have a job anticipating what their children might encounter when they set out from home, and forewarning them. Your story gets my attention and reminds me of some of the preparation my own mom did before I started first grade.

Thank you, too, for your faithfully blessing me with your comments on my own writing. You are a special gal, and I appreciate you!