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FICTION


TITLE: Wheat or Shaff
By Karin Butts
03/03/13
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“Did you see Gloria, she dresses like a floozy. I don’t know why someone doesn’t give her a hint that she shouldn’t look like that in church,” Margaret huffed in a whisper. “Joann just told me the other day, she’d seen her having dinner with a new man at Gerardo’s--the nerve!”
Helen gave no answer but opened her hymnal and stood to give praise in song. While singing, her mind went back to when she was first saved. A young woman came up to her in a meeting and buttoned the top button on her blouse. Perplexed, she’d realized her new life had begun with different rules. A smile played about her lips, the incident had left an indelible mark on her conscience.
The new member, Gloria, had recently converted to Christianity from some cult, the name of which Helen couldn’t remember. Margaret, on the other hand, had been the Perfect example of a Christian, saved for many years. Faithful in attendance she visited the sick and widows—she let it be known she gave more than her tithe nothing seemed amiss. Her tongue, however, wagged continuously about someone or another to the point that people avoided her and often she sat alone.
The songs ended, Helen looked at the bulletin. ‘Wheat and Chaff.’ Interesting, which ones in this congregation would be considered wheat and which chaff? She looked around and saw a few members who carried their piety on their sleeves. She knew of at least two women who openly lived with men, and one man, who had swindled his company out of money and had just gotten out of prison.
One wouldn’t distinguish them from others by their clothing as Margaret so blatantly pointed out about Gloria. And there was George Bentley, proprietor of the largest cotton mill in two counties…Helen refused to let her thoughts dwell on him. How would the pastor deliver a daring message on separation of true believers from the chaff? Her ears perked up when he spoke.
“When Jesus came to the end of the Sermon on the Mount he said in Mt.7:21 Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. 22 -- 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you.
Helen felt uncomfortable as though a load settled on her. The mystery of those words brought conviction. Who would be saved—would she? The pastor went on after he flipped the pages and read from Mt.13: 24,25,26,27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? From whence then has it tares? (Chaff) 28 he saith unto them, an enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Helen grew quiet inside, introspective, who was she to inspect others fruits when she trembled at Jesus’ words. She remembered from another passage where He said that only those who do the will of the Father would inherit the kingdom, and how could she know she always did God’s will. Thank God, because only having Christ living within and only by His Spirit, could anyone obey Him and do His will. Jn.1:12… To them gave He the power to become the sons of God.
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