The Official Writing Challenge
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A real tear-jerker!

I was a bit confused by the deacon's dialect; usually the use of dialect orients the reader as to the setting of the story, but no one else shared his dialect, so I wasn't sure how it added to the story.

I love the tenderness of the pastor and of the congregation.
Very touching story -- and well written.

My first thought was that this is a little "too sad" for inspirational/devotional, but maybe not. (That's probably just my perception of the genre.) Regardless, it's a very good story. Nice job.