• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

Words of Truth

For your enjoyment, here is my Stephen aplication/short story.  What I wanted to do through this was tell what you could call, the untold story of who (I think) Stephen was (or might have been).  As I read Acts and really studied what Stephen said and did and the different character traits the Bible says he had, I began to ask myself questions.  What did the people around Stephen think about his boldness?  He’s human so what struggles did he go through?  Did he feel fear before the Sanhedrin Council?  If he were someone’s mentor, what would he have to teach?  What does he teach me?  The following is what came of these questions. 

Please comment and tell me what you think.

______________________________________________________________

First, I want to say that this is a work of fiction mixed with real events.  Second, this is meant to create a picture of the person I discovered as Stephen, and what he taught me.   

 My heart thumped in my chest.  I looked down the row of six men that stood beside me.  We all had been chosen to serve, to fulfill a need that had arisen in the church.  I was nervous as I stood before The Twelve.  The task they had laid before us might have seem mundane to an observer, but not to me.  It was a calling, and the fire of my faith filled me with an eagerness to execute this duty to the best of my abilities.

“Timon,” I was brought out of my thoughts by the sudden sound of my name.

“Yes Peter?”  I looked towards the apostle.

He gazed at me and I thought I caught a faint look of amusement in his eyes.  “Do you also understand what you have been chosen for and why?”

“Yes,” I answered, “I understand.”

“Good,” shifting his gaze across the rest of the men, he addressed all seven, “I thank the Father for your willingness and the character He has given each one of you.”  With that he bowed his head and one by one the apostles gathered around us, laying their hands on our shoulders and prayed over us and our new ministry.  In that moment something seemed to swell up inside me.  A feeling of purpose, of strength beyond what I alone possessed.  I knew that God had ordained us to serve Him full heartedly, giving everything of ourselves, not letting anything come between us and what we were there to do.

All too soon the gathering was over and the apostles gone, leaving us seven to return to our homes and prepare for the next day.

I sighed and whispered a prayer, “Elohim, I feel so unworthy to have been chosen for this task, yet I know this is Your Will, help me be a reflection of Your Son to the people I serve.  Amen”

“Doubt my friend?”  I turned to see Stephen smiling at me.  “Never fear Timon, God would not have chosen you if you did not already posses the gifts that you would need.”  I managed to smile back.  Stephen was a wonder to me.  What I wouldn’t give to have his faith.

“I know what you’re thinking,” he lowered his voice and stepped closer.  “I am human and you are human Timon, but God is God, He can give, you can have, just ask.”  He gave me a friendly squeeze on my arm then turned away.    

 *          *          *          *           *          *          *

“Timon, can you take this?”  I took the basket of bread Philip handed me.  With two hands now he grasped the full water bucket’s handle. 

“That is much better, thank you.”  I nodded.  Stephen was already at the door of our last house speaking to the woman who lived there.  Her wrinkled cheeks spread in a smile and she waved for us to come in.  Once inside I set my burden of bread on the table and looked around the small room.  Laying in a bed beside the far corner was a young boy.  I knew from a past conversation that this was the woman’s grandson, her only living relative.  He was ill with a bad fever.  I shook my head.  No one believed he would live another week. 

Stephen.  What was he doing?  I watched as he approached the boy’s bed.  Slowly he sat on the edge and took up the boy’s thin hand in his own strong one.  Stephen gazed at the child’s flushed face and laid his free hand on his fever dampened forehead.  He closed his eyes, his lips moving silently, forming undecipherable words.  He sat there, one hand clasping the boy’s hand, the other caressing the child’s brow.  Suddenly Stephen shivered and opened his eyes.  I stood mesmerized as the boy’s eyelids flittered open and looked at Stephen.

“Who are you?” he whispered.

Stephen smiled, “A friend.”

“Matthew!”  The woman ran to the bed side and fell to her knees.  “Matthew!  You’re awake!”  She felt the boy’s forehead and neck.  “And the fever is gone!  Oh praise God!  My grandson is well!”

 *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Outside again and heading home I walked beside Stephen.  Philip had told us his farewells and departed our company.  His home lay near the city walls, where as Stephen’s and mine lay in the inner city.     

“You might as well ask it,” Stephen remarked breaking the silence.

“There is nothing to ask.  God has given you an amazing faith Stephen.”

Stephen stopped causing me to halt as well.  “Look at me Timon.”  I turned.  “What is this?  We share the same faith.  Why do you suddenly feel yours is different?”

“Look what you did for the widow and her grandson!  I could never have enough faith to accomplish such a feat.”

“It was not a feat Timon, and I did not accomplish it.  It was the work of Christ.  You know this.  Timon, I am no more of a man of faith then you.  Perhaps God has called us to show his grace and power in different ways.  To be honest with you, no one is more astonished with what happened than I am.  I did not walk into that house expecting to do anything more than provide the woman and her grandson a meal and a word of encouragement, but as you saw, God had other plans.  Don’t look at me and see a faith you can never have.  You have it Timon and God will show you how to use it.” 

I swallowed the forming lump in my throat as my vision blurred with unbidden tears.  “Thank you Stephen.  Forgive me for my prideful thoughts.”

Stephen smiled, “There is nothing to forgive my brother.  Come, let us returned to our homes.” 

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

“He’s going to get himself killed,” Nicolas said after our days work was done.

“Who?” I asked, wondering at the sharp tone in Nicolas’s voice.

“Stephen.  He’s been debating in the synagogue of the Libertines, Cyrenians and Alexandrians.  What is he doing there?  It’s not part of our ministry; he should be here ministering, not stirring people through his high minded words.”

“Perhaps he feels his ministry is more than just serving the widows and orphans.  Perhaps God wants him to speak…”

“Speak of what?  The apostles do the preaching.”  He paused, “It appears as if our task of humility is not enough for Stephen.”

“Nicolas!  Put away your pride!  Stephen has done nothing against you.  I believe whatever he does is right before God.”

Nicolas looked at me, shook his head and moved down the street alone.  I watched him go.  What was Stephen trying to do?  I knew what it was he said.  He spoke the truth to the people.  How could that be wrong?  I shook my head, it didn’t matter whether or not his debates were a part of our job, they where a part of his job.  That was all that mattered.

*          *          *           *          *          *          *

“Stephen, people have been talking about you.”  Stephen and I stood in the main room of his home.  The evening meal was over and now was the time to discuss what had been eating at me all week.

“What have they said,” Stephen gazed out his window into the dark street.  The light from a small lamp flicked across his back illuminating the dark threading on his over tunic. 

“That the Sanhedrin are planning your undoing.  Their people have been spying on you and wish to put a stop to your speaking.” 

Stephen nodded, “I know.”

“You know?  Then you knew you are not safe.  You must flee this city Stephen!  Make for the hills; you can hide there until things have settled.”  I took a step towards him, holding out my hands, imploring him to go.

“Things will never be settled here,” he whispered.

“But is that reason enough to drive yourself to your own death?  You are a great man Stephen.  We need you.  You are an example to us all, a man I am proud to know.  God has given you amazing abilities and faith.  Why waste them?”

Stephen turned around and placed both hands on my shoulders.  He looked straight into my eyes, “I am not perfect Timon.  I am who I have become only by the grace of Jesus Christ.”  He lowered his hands.  Silenced filled the space between us.  Finally I asked,

“Are you afraid?”

Stephen glanced at me, his eyes holding sadness I had never seen there before.  He sighed and ran his hand over his face.

“Yes.  But even Christ had to wrestle fear in the garden.”  He closed his eyes.  “It is out of my hands.  God will do what He will with me.  I can only follow His call.”

I nodded, a tear escaped from the corner of my eye and rolled down my cheek.  Stephen raised his hand and wiped it away.  “We are in His hands Timon.  He will not abandon us.”  We clasped forearms,

“Come what may,” I whispered.  Stephen smiled,

“Always remember His words of truth.”  He took a deep breath, “For His glory alone.”

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

That was the last time I saw Stephen.  The next day he was taken before the Sanhedrin Council and they stoned him.  You can imagine my grief, but somehow, I knew that it was what he was destined for and that what he did and said would never be forgotten.  Soon after, the church began to flee the city, some hiding in the hills, others to distant towns, even countries. 

“That is quite a story,” the man laid down his pen, fingering the tip.  “But one thing I am curious about.  I heard that Stephen possessed the face of an angel before the council.  Do you know what that means?”

I smiled, “He was a messenger from God sent to speak the truth.”

The man seemed to except this, took his pen up again and frowned, “I shall have quite the time deciding how to write this in my account.”

I turned my gaze from the parchment in his lap to the physician before me.  “Write about Stephen and what he did.  I believe that is all it is meant to say.  His words of truth.”

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3 Comments

  1. Daniel

     /  February 26, 2010

    That is really good! I greatly enjoyed reading it. 🙂 Your portrayal of Stephen is very good!

    Reply
  2. Garret Maytum

     /  February 26, 2010

    Laura this is awesome. ( : I really like how you portrayed the healing of the boy.

    Reply
  3. Wow, Laura. That was really good. I loved the message of how it’s God that gives us faith… =)
    Very good!

    Reply

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