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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Soul (07/13/06)

TITLE: Heaven's Applause
By terri tiffany


A defining spark torches every persons profession when the fundamental purpose for their life battles for precedence over the applause. My own coals were red hot.

I turned the final page of Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul and shifted in my flea market-find lounger. Twenty five stories written to minister to my soul and I thirsted for an additional twenty five more.

Id read the about the hundreds of rejection letters some writer kept stashed in his file drawer to be brought to life for the media when he wrote his tenth bestseller.

Id read about the advice that if you glue your butt to your desk chair and write everyday - you will be oozing on the slide to success.

Id read about how most writers know from the day they are born that they are called to write and despite enormous odds prove it by aspiring to great heights in literacy.

I decided to put a meter to my own soul.

I drifted to the office we had designed so I could write without interruption while my creative juices flowed. I punched up my list of published works for the past eleven months. Thirteen. Not bad, I patted myself on the shoulder then flinched at the date of the last acceptance. Two months ago. My smile drooped lower than the leaves on my dehydrated spider plant.

Id written by the formula. Id edited and reedited and stayed on topic for every piece I tried to submit. I feared my skill had evaporated even though I had purchased and perused all the books Barnes and Nobles sold on writing. I, too, craved the steady drip of applause. One lone clap echoed off my office wall.

I checked my soul setting. Id forgotten why I started writing. Id completely overlooked who I was writing for. Id ignored the One Id given my soul to and promised to serve.

One addict unfortunately loves another.

My husband has this incredible capability of earning astounding sums of money. To be successful, he often executes extreme measures that include bullying, firing long time associates, and not stopping to look behind him as he vaults over the corporate hurdles of success. For his employers to applaud his efforts during the Monday morning conference call, he better have slammed and dunked more than one basketball that week prior.

Recently, his best friend and co-worker was rushed to the hospital with a heart attack at aged fifty. This man begged for his laptop so he could work should he awake at night. He tracked my husband each day from his hospital bed to query any changes in his part of the division. Like a drug addict, he sought the steady drip of applause.

My husband returned from visiting his friend in the hospital and collapsed on the desktop across from me. I dont know how much longer I can do this. His shoulders crumpled like the pages of a rejected article. I leaned forward and pulled his hands into mine.

We can do this together with prayer. The purpose for both our lives was being drowned by the wrong applause. Our souls begged for the gentle reminder from the One who had already bought and paid for them.

My list of rejections steadily grows piece by piece like the anchoring pounds around my waist. I keep each letter tucked in the bottom drawer of my file cabinet. They may never be published as a prologue in a best seller biography. Wealth and fame may never reside in our household. But my ears have heard the applause from heaven and it is deafening.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 1265 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Bauers07/20/06
This is a great reminder that we write, first and foremost, to bring honor and glory to God's name.
Lynda Schultz 07/20/06
You made me cry! I needed this message today. And besides that, this is great writing. Thanks.
Pat Guy 07/20/06
Well, I have to applaud this one! There are too many parts I love so I'll just say I love the wit weaved into the depth of feelings.

I REALLY enjoyed reading this entry and being reminded of the goal of my heart as I write. (I don't feel so alone now!) :)

Love your descriptive writing!

david grant07/20/06
Honestly. Didn't like the writing as much as the message. The writing was a bit disconnected, I thot, but...the message made up for it. Forgive me Lord for performing for anyone else but you.
Sandra Fischer 07/21/06
You really know how to turn a phrase and to touch a writer's heart - and soul. Thanks for the encouragement to write for the right reason.
william price07/21/06
Great story and I too needed the encouragement. Your story contains my favorite line i've read so far this week. "His shoulders crumpled like the pages of a rejected article."
Nice job! I'm impressed. God Bless your writing.
Lisa Vest07/22/06
Absolutely loved the way you ended this...excellent last line! Great job.
Marilyn Schnepp 07/23/06
What happened to Soul? Nice article about accomplishment, work, reading, etc., but I was hunting and searching for the soul of it all; perhaps another re-read and I'll find it. Nice job, however...just no soul.
Gregory Kane07/23/06
I so love a piece of writing that leaves me feeling uncomfortable. Even though I am not a writer by profession, I preach regularly and an affirming word is always welcome perhaps too much so.

However I agree that the piece was a little disconnected and could have done with a few extraneous sentences being pruned. For example I would cut out the very first paragraph and start simply with I turned the final page of Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul
Rita Garcia06/06/10
The tears are streaming! You inspire me!