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The Break Of A Life Time
by Mary Alice Bowles
02/13/06
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I stood at the big wide gates, wishing that I could go back; I had been floating for hours or it felt like for hours. The last thing I saw was my beautiful baby daughters face as she held my hand and told me how much she loved me.

Bright lights were flashing and all the elements were clicking in my ear. I heard the roar of many oceans and felt their gentle waves cascading up and down my old tired body. I’ve often heard that at death time stands still, but my time went on and on. I was transported from birth to death, and it took forever.

Scenes from my life were floating in and out. I was shown a scene from 11th grade where I was caught cheating on a Biology test, and if the sky would have let me fall in, I would have disappeared.

I saw each thing I had done, good and bad. It looked to me like the good out-weighed the bad, but I was stopped short at my next door neighbors house. I stood there guilty as sin as this scripture kept running thorugh my brain.

MARK 12:31 NKJ:
"And the second, like it, is this:`You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

Here the scenes kept playing larger than life over and over again. It was like a re-run of a bad movie that I could not turn off.

My next door neighbor had 10 cats and 6 dogs. He had a pig pen fence around his whole house. He never took a bath and when he came outside, his language floated through the air and I wanted to plug my ears with cotton.

On that day, July 15, 2005, I remember him so clearly, He came out the back door of his house screaming, “Sandy, where are you, come here this minute, you low down good for nothing old dog”!

At that moment his eyes scanned my yard and he saw me pushing my green lawn mower, then a hand went up and a smile crossed those dirt smudged lips. His two front teeth were missing and his other teeth were green as a gourd.

I shuddered in horror and then instantly I thought, “do unto others as ye would have them do unto you”. My hand went up instantly and I said “Good morning Mr. Jenkins, how are you today”? He sauntered on across the yard and parked his dirty finger nails on the top of his fence; his aroma filtered though the air and struck the inside of my nostrils. I honestly thought I was going to puke. I held back a gag as he said, “Why, I’m just fine Mrs. White, and how bout you, are you all right this fine day”?

I said, “Why I’m just as fit as a fiddle Mr. Jenkins and I thank you for asking”. While I was talking to him the flies starting gathering all around him like bees at a honey hive.

I don’t know what happened, but all of a sudden I was speaking the unspeakable. I said, “Mr. Jenkins, I know you’re new in town, and I would like to invite you to my church”. It’s the little church on the corner of Dowling and Morgan Street. It is the Free Pentecostal church Of God. It has the big red steeple on top and on the billboard it says, “Come on in, everyone is welcome”.

The very next Sunday morning, I was greeted with a great big surprise. All the church members were seated in their favorite pew when the door swung open and in walked Mr. Jenkins. You could have knocked everyone over with a feather. The smell saturated the whole building and the pew he sat down in was cleaned out in a couple of minutes. The elite members of the church remained seated, including me. No one went to welcome the stranger into our midst.

The movie screen of my life closed on this, and I waited, knowing my terrible destiny. Suddenly I heard this voice like thunder as he said, “Megan, how would you like to go to church today”?

The tears dripped from my eyes and wet the front of my cotton night gown and quickly I was transported back through time to the third pew of the Free Pentecostal Church of God on that beautiful Sunday morning in July. The door opened and there stood Mr. Jenkins.

Written by: Mary Alice Bowles
2/12/06


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