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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: Shopping for Christians
By Carolyn Baney


“Do you know my mom accused me of distancing myself from her?” Lynn blurted out in first sight of her friend, throwing her arms around her for a much-needed hug. Taking a breather, she glanced around the home she had come to love. A slight scent of pineapple drifted in the air. Debbie experimented with Yankee candle wafers like it was an art form. The children dispersed to the other rooms like heat-seeking missiles searching out their friends, and Lynn took off her coat, settling down at the kitchen table. Debbie walked over from the kitchen producing two coffee mugs, sugar, and creamer.

“Seriously, she’s angry because I don’t come to see her as often as I used to. She said it’s because I have you to confide in. Believe it? I’m just busy raising a family. Give me a break!”

“Lynn, what happened at your mom’s house?” Debbie inquired, while finding her own familiar spot next to Lynn.

“Oh…she started telling me a story that she’s told me four times before. My mom, educated with three degrees, is loosing her memory. Can you believe it? She looked so frail and naked without her knowledge to keep her afloat, yet she rejected Jesus. It’s not you that kept me away but her. She doesn’t understand my faith or me. I’m tired of the struggle.”

Suddenly, the boys in the adjoining family room burst out in laughter. “Mom, this is your favorite part!” shouted Lynn’s son. The friends redirected their attention towards the TV screen. It was an old Monty Python comedy. An obvious plague had attacked the village, and a man pushed a cart of dead bodies yelling, “Bring out your dead!” A peasant carried an old man from a nearby house and plopped him into the cart. Upon hitting the cart, the old man bolted upright and declared, “But sir…I’m not dead yet!” in a cockney accent. Immediately, the man knocked him on the head with a club.

Lynn blushed at the thought that she loved morbid, English humor, and now she had stepped out of the closet. However, Debbie knew everything about her, and somehow still she loved her. It was a mystery and a miracle that they both believed was divinely influenced.

“Lynn, sometimes you shop for Christians the same way you shop for clothes,” declared Debbie abruptly.

Lynn, startled by the sudden redirection of the conversation, laughed nervously. “Do tell, old wise one!” she joked with a bit of hesitation, knowing full well her friend’s tone was serious.

“If they fit you, you keep them as well-worn favorites. If they don’t, you discard them. It’s like that scene we just watched on TV. You’ve got your mom dead, buried, and going to hell, yet she still lives. No one knows the inner spiritual struggle of another. They could be yelling out, “I’m not dead yet!” but we’re bopping them on the head.” Debbie sat back in silence, waiting for her words to carry their meaning.

“Excuse me! What do you expect me to do? I’ve preached myself into exhaustion with her,” Lynn replied with slight indignation.

“ Lynn, God desires that all men come into the knowledge of Him and be saved. Don’t discount His grace or power. The criminal that hung on the cross next to Jesus proves that it’s not over until the last breath. Pray and stick close to your mother’s still-beating heart.” Debbie’s facial expression transformed and soothed. In the worst cockney accent she could muster, she exclaimed, “She’s not dead yet!” Instantly, they broke out into laughter.

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This article has been read 661 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany03/08/07
Terrific detail here. I loved the message you shared! Struck a chord and that's what writing should do. I think the ending was bit rushed but loved the last line. Very good writing!!
Jacquelyn Horne03/08/07
Enjoyed this little conversation. Good advice here. Good story.
Phyllis Inniss03/10/07
Interesting entry. I like the humour too.
Marilee Alvey03/10/07
This was a very good story. As with all good stories, there was a unique, fresh, new AHA! moment. You've seen through to a truth and expressed it in a fresh, new way, using humor to present it in a non-preachy manner. This was so well done that, if there were grammatical errors, I didn't notice them (and I have an eye for grammar mistakes). The point is, I can sail past mistakes in search of a fresh, new AHA! Very well done.
Donna Powers 03/13/07
You took an obscure moment in a movie and turned it into a wonderful lesson. This is very well done. Keep writing!
Janice Fitzpatrick03/15/07
Very well done. The humor illustrated with comparison and your dialogue and description made this some alive for me.Thank you for sharing this story. God bless and keep on writing.:0)