“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Fiction Fridays: "A Little Chutzpah"

Welcome to my contribution to Patterings' Friday Fiction, which is being hosted this week by Betsy at Just Another Clay Pot. I wrote this for the embarrassed topic a bit over a year ago at the FW Writing Challenge, and it is fairly strongly based on true events in my own life fairly soon after I got saved. I hope you enjoy it. (and if, like many other readers when I first posted it, you are interested in "what happened next," there is a link at the bottom of the story that will direct you to a bit more of the story. Be sure to stop by Just Another Clay Pot for more great fiction!

A Little Chutzpah

"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.

(Want more of the story? Check out A Little More Chutzpah).


  1. J0, I love these stories, little snippets of your life. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. It's so true, that often the anticipation of something we're dreading is far worse than the reality we experience when it actually happens. Great story, Joanne, made even more so by the truth of it in your own life. Now I have to go read "the rest of the story!" Blessings!

  3. I love this story and the rest of the story. What an inspiring testimony you have.

  4. All I can say is, "Praise God!"


  5. Thanks for sharing - I'm glad you decided to become "one of us" and I'm glad God has adopted us, in a sense, into the Jewish family as well.

  6. A beautiful story. Praise God and I am glad you found Jesus.

    You are very skillful in telling your stories.


  7. Loved it the first time Jo, and I still love it!! That's such a cool word! Chutzpah. Gonna hafta remember that one and use it! LoL


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