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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: A Little Chutzpah
By Joanne Sher


"I love you, Daddy. Take care."

"Right. Bye, girl."

Marcia placed the telephone back in the cradle and sighed. Conversations with Dad had definitely become more strained, at least on her end, since she became a Christian.

After months of bible reading, searching, church attendance, and prayer, she'd accepted Christ as her Messiah a few weeks before. And she had yet to tell her parents - or anyone else in her family, besides her husband.

It helped that Dad lived halfway across the country, and that it was the middle of tax season. She likely wouldn't have many occasions to speak with her CPA father for a while. Maybe then she'd get up the nerve, the chutzpah, to tell him what she'd done.

Marcia snickered at the thought. Chutzpah was just the right word to describe what the daughter of a religious Jew needed to tell her father that she had become a Christian. Her father, who was on the board at one of the largest synagogues in the country. Dad, whose favorite expletive was "Jesus Christ."

What if he yells? What if he never wants to talk to me again? What if he says I'm a fool?

Marcia lowered herself slowly into the recliner and stared up at the ceiling.

What if he asks me a question I can't answer?

"Maybe that's the real fear," Marcia pondered aloud. "What if he attacks my beliefs and I have no answer? What if I make a fool of myself trying to explain my new thinking and he laughs at me, calling me simple-minded? What if I stumble over my words and make no sense?"

Marcia shuddered. The idea of being a laughingstock to anyone, but especially her father, made her feel more than uneasy. It was enough to make her ready to go hide in a corner.

Marcia had never been one for confrontation. She had avoided them at all cost since childhood. Yet, she knew she couldn't keep this from Dad forever.

Her brother was flying in to visit in a couple months. That was as good a deadline as any.

"By the time Davey comes in May, I've gotta tell Dad."


Stretching the fitted sheet across the edge of the sofa bed, Marcia smiled at Stephen, who tucked it under the mattress on the other side.

"What time does his flight get in?"

Marcia glanced at her watch. "We should leave here in 15 minutes or so. We about ready?"

Stephen nodded. "So, have you thought about how you're going to tell Davey?"

"Some." Marcia drummed her fingers on her pant leg. "It'll be a good trial run for Dad, anyway. Davey probably won't be fazed. He doesn't seem to care much about religion, one way or the other. And maybe he can give me some ideas about how to tell Dad."

Stephen smiled, throwing his arm around Marcia. "Hey, are you okay?"

Nodding, Marcia half-grinned. "Just nervous, I guess. I'm gonna have to tell Dad some time in the next few days. Just don't want to make a mess of it."

"You know what, Hon?" Stephen gazed into her eyes. "You've been worrying about this too much. What you have to say is nothing to be ashamed of. Sure, your dad might take it hard, but what's the worst thing that can happen?"

Marcia shrugged. "I could make a fool out of myself."

"And how bad is that?" Stephen's eyes sparkled. "He already thinks you're a fool for following me out here to 'Pennsyltucky.'"

Laughing, Marcia jabbed Stephen in the ribs.

"Seriously, though, any embarrassment will only be temporary." He kissed his wife on the cheek. "This is eating you up. Whatever your father's reaction, it will be easier on you than what you've been putting yourself through for the past three months."

Marcia smiled and nodded. "You're right, as usual. So, I'll tell Davey tonight at dinner, then call Dad tomorrow."

"Sounds like a plan." Stephen put Marcia's hand in his. "Shall we go fetch the first victim?"

Marcia giggled. "Got my chutzpah ready, anyway."

Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. 1 Peter 3:15 NKJV

Chutzpah is a Yiddish word meaning audacity or nerve.

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This article has been read 1491 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 07/26/07
What a great story! I'm guessing I know how it turns out, but I'd love to read what happens next. Any plans to expand the story, let me know!
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/26/07
I was feeling with the MC the desire for some heavenly "chutspa." I'd like to hear the end, too.
Seema Bagai 07/26/07
Great piece. I could relate to the MC's feelings.
Catrina Bradley 07/26/07
Right on topic! What if he attacks my beliefs and I have no answer? That's a fear I hold also - sounding like a fool. Your story will hit deep for many believers. Great characterization; wonderful, natural-sounding dialog and interaction between husband and wife. Loved it!
Rita Garcia07/27/07
You characterization is so wonderful, I felt like I was right there tugging on the other side of the sheet! Thanks for sharing this awesome story filled with inspiration!
Betty Castleberry07/27/07
So, what did happen? Ya gotta write more. This was well written, and has an easy, natural flow about it. Good work.
Yulanda Ridge07/28/07
Ah... I also want to know what happens!? You've left us panting for more! LOL.
Well written and very realistic. Well done! ~ Yulanda ~
Melanie Kerr 07/28/07

I enjoyed the dialogue between the husband and wife. Telling family is hard enough without it involving a change of faith. Good story
Lynda Lee Schab 07/28/07
I love everything about this piece from the title to the ending! Very well crafted piece with a message we can all relate to. There have been many times I could have used some Chutzpah myself. Great dialogue, superb storytelling. :-)
william price07/29/07
Super job! I could only imagine what that would have felt like, but you brought me right into the situation where I could feel your anxiety. Superb, masterful writing. God bless.
Kristen Hester07/29/07
Oh this is so great. I could just picture the MC worrying and getting ready for the visit from her brother. You are an excellent story teller.
Cheri Hardaway 07/29/07
Wonderfully told and well-written! Quite masterful.

I only wanted to know more... How did Davey take it? How did Dad take it? And was her hubby already a Christian? And where in the world is Pennsyltucky?... just kidding...

Helen Paynter07/29/07
Great - I really cared. But I was disappointed it stopped when it did. Want more - now!
Jan Ackerson 07/29/07
I echo the above comments, and add that you have a deft touch for realistic dialogue. Very nicely done!
Myrna Noyes07/30/07
When I was scrolling down the entries in Masters earlier, your title caught my eye, and now I came back to read it!

I really enjoyed this story and would love to know what happened next! Also, I had a question while reading. Did Marcia's husband become a Christian with her, was he already a Christian, or did it just not bother him that she was one even if he wasn't??????

I loved the ending, too! :)
Patty Wysong07/30/07
Argh!! You didn't finish the story!! How'd it go telling Davey and then Dad? Very well done--my gut was churning too. (but I still wanna know what happened next!) lol
Sharlyn Guthrie07/30/07
You made my stomach churn. I could FEEL her anxiety. Great title. Wonderful entry.
George Parler 07/30/07
I love a story where the dialog doesn't seem forced, therefore, I love your story. The flow was very nice between the characters. The tension was captured well in the wording of this piece.

The only problem I have with this is . . . what happened next! I was left hanging; which means I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight. :)

Good job!

Pam Carlson-Hetland07/31/07
Great story. Yes, it does offer a big lead in to the "the rest of the story", but I rather like where you ended it. Your whole style of writing flows easily, brings in the reader. Good job.
Julie Arduini08/01/07
I can't think of anything new to add to the comments, I too enjoyed the wonderful story telling and easy flow of the dialogue. You definitely captured the emotions of a daughter, no matter what her age, trying to have her dad accept her.