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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)

TITLE: The Man Under the Neon Sign
By Annie Glasel


“I’ve had it!” I buried my face, wet with three hours of crying, into the damp pillowcase. “You pick a husband for me!”

No answer came in the dark.

“And when you do, best give me a sign – a big neon sign, lest I miss it!” I yelled louder at God.

“Okay.” The word sounded so clear that it shocked me into silence.

“Really?” I asked, thinking that I might have suffered a nervous breakdown.

“Really.” Now I recognized this voice – this voice of peace that filled my heart each time it spoke. The voice now filled my heart with hope.

Like a child, I sat up in bed and began to wait anxiously. I wondered what this husband of mine should look like. My imagination galloped.

“How about a preview?” I ventured.



“Really.” The voice responded.

I closed my eyes and saw a neon sign – the kind on desert roadside that flashed “Eat Here” with a large arrow pointing down. In my case, the sign read “Husband Here.”

Then he became clear – a hunk from the cover of Harlequin. He was Fabio, standing under the neon arrow.

My said incredulously – “He’s a Christian?!”

Then my mind conjectured. “Why not. I suppose with God, anything is possible.” At the time, I attended a large church on the exclusive Beverly Hills. It was dubbed the “beautiful people” church since at least half of the congregation worked in Hollywood in various capacities of models or actors.

“Wait.” The voice commanded before I could further my analysis.

Fabio steps off to the left. Behind him stood man number two – short, slightly portly but impeccably dressed. He sported a tailored suit and an expensive watch, looking also slightly Jewish. This description fitted perfectly the type of man I dated.
“All right,” I mused to myself. “This is a more likely scenario. I’ve probably met him already.”

“Wait.” The voice stopped me again, before I could run through my mental rolodex.

The wealthy older man also steps to the left. Behind him stood a man who looked like John the Baptist coming out of the desert. He wore a shapeless camel hair frock hanging loosely from an extremely thin and frail frame. A tattered rope served as a belt tied around his waste. On his gaunt face, a long scraggly beard covered with some leftover dried locusts and honey crawled to his upper chest.

I tried not to react with disappointment emanating from my vain heart . Instead, I considered this man carefully. “Well, he’s definitely a believer. Sex might be a problem. But I guess if this is the man God picks for me, then He will have to make that miracle happen.”

“Wait.” The voice came again, not responding to my remark.

John the Baptist look-alike contest winner moves to the left. Behind him revealed a near-pubescent teenager.

My jaws dropped. This had to be a joke. “God!” I pleaded. “You’re kidding me! You can’t mean that I have to wait ten years for my husband to grow up!? I’m not sure I can handle this.”

I dropped to my knees. “Please Lord, please tell me that you are just trying to teach me a lesson.”

“Annie,” the voice called out gently. “Don’t judge a man by his cover. Otherwise, you will miss him. Wait for the sign.”

“Yes, Lord, Yes Lord.” I let out the breath I’d been holding.

Two years later – my husband showed up. God did give me a neon sign with his name emblazoned. And God wasn’t kidding with that preview.

To me, my husband is everything that Fabio represented to the women in those Harlequin. He is of Jewish ancestry and wealthy in the kingdom of God. He is a reverend in love with Jesus and with a message of repentance. Finally, he has a child-like spirit that makes me feel like a teenager in love.

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This article has been read 842 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dan Louise Mann08/11/06
Nice reminder of unreliable is appearance as a window to the soul. The matter-of-factness of God's voice in this piece was refreshing.
Cynthia Sutton08/11/06
I enjoyed this piece very much. Nice work!
Lisa Cox08/11/06
Really interesting plot line. I really liked it.
Deborah Ade08/14/06
Very good article and well written. It was catchy and topic relevant.
Helen Paynter08/14/06
This was very funny ( I laughed out loud at this bit: a long scraggly beard covered with some leftover dried locusts and honey) but also very touching. GOod job.
Lynda Lee Schab 09/01/06
LOL! Too funny. You've done a great job with your entry and your writing talent is evident. One thing I would watch is your tense - you switched from past to present a few times. But otherwise, excellent work! I enjoyed the read. :-)