Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: Charlie Chan and the Mystery of God
By Tim Pickl
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Blue-colored lightning and booming thunder! It was a windy, snowy December night in a tiny town in northwestern Wisconsin. The town was all decorated for the Christmas season—it looked like a small version of the fictional town of Bedford Falls in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In the middle of the town was Communion Church, and next to the church was the Pastor’s house. After the Pastor looked outside, smiled and turned off the lights, somebody spray-painted a message on the side of the little church. In big, scrawling red letters it read:
GREAT IS THE MYSTERY OF GOD…
The next morning, the Pastor was deeply saddened when he found out the news.
Everyone attended the little church, and the Pastor tried to teach and preach to the people about how to treat other people, and their property. Nothing worked—no one came forward. Finally, because Christmas was coming in a few days, he called and invited his old friend, Charlie Chan. If anyone could find out the truth, Charlie could!
I hope it is okay, Pastor, I brought my able assistant, Number One Son.
It is so good to meet you, sir! I really like the decorations—
But, he does get overzealous, sometimes.
That’s okay, Charlie. Thank you for coming. We’ve gathered in the church on a Saturday so we can finally get to the bottom of “who done it”.
I see… so there’s only seven people in your town?
Haha! We have more people in our family than in this town!
Yes, that’s correct. We have a schoolteacher, Mary and she has a teenage son, Kyle, and this is Gary—he works for the county—and this is Bob, he works as deputy for the Sheriff. Over here we have John the salesman—he’s gone a lot—and his wife Dawn.
Who did I forget? Oh—and Hazel—she’s the elderly lady who lives next door.
Hi Hazel…thanks for coming over today.
Very good, very good. Do you mind if I take a look around the church?
Oh no, not at all. Go right ahead. (Charlie exits)
My dad is so great. What is this, Pastor?
That is the original Bible that the first Pastor of this church used back in the 1800s. It is very precious--
It is opened to Timothy-- Chapter 3 – interesting --
Thank you so much for allowing me to investigate. I would ask each one of you what you were doing the night of the crime, but I know what each of you would say. Like Peter, in the Bible, each of you would deny it, some maybe three times! But, come let us reason together--
Dad, look at this—
Hold on, just a minute: what is it, Number One Son? What have you found so interesting that you need to interrupt me, yet again?
Look right here in Timothy….ummm… chapter 3
“great is the mystery of godliness”
Very good! Number One Son has found a great clue. (Charlie looks around into the eyes of each one sitting there….then down at their feet.)
What? What is it, Charlie?
Everyone here assumes that Kyle the teenager did this. He is young, and is the first suspect. But, he did not do it! (everyone gasps) Gary the County Worker was gone that night, snowplowing. Bob the Deputy was helping John the Salesman dig his car out so John could get to important meeting next day. Dawn went over to check on Hazel to make sure she was okay in the bad storm, and fell asleep on the couch.
Then that leaves—
The Pastor and—
(suddenly Mary the Schoolteacher falls to the floor, and begins to weep)
Yes, it was me….I did it…it was me… I was angry at my country, God and everyone for taking my husband in the war. I’m so sorry…I am so, so sorry.
Should I arrest her?
No—God has other plans—
(picks up the old Bible)
One mystery solved. But here is another mystery solved—It is the Christmas story in one verse in the Bible. It says right here:
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” KJV
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