Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)
TITLE: Faith Works
By Pat Jenkins
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It was a Monday morning and the two had met in the aisle of the grocery store, if I mentioned the name, you would know it. It could have been Anyplace, USA. As they stood on the side of the aisle they chatted softly, while other shoppers whisked by on their errands of supply and demand. One shopper asked as he passed "do you know where the peanut butter is?" Flo, that was ones name, frowning in concentration, looked from her friend and answered, "next aisle over, I think" and looked back at June, "you were saying?" These two were old friends, you could see that by the energy expressed in their faces as the talked.
"Where were you yesterday? A lot happened at church you know?" June asked. "We went to that other church over on the pike." Flo answered. "What happened? It has been so long since anything went on, I didn't believe we would miss anything."
"Well, you know that family, the Taylor's, the ones that live over on Spring Road. They were there, all of them. They must have five or six kids." This is the first time in years that they have been there and the pastor made such a fuss over them. Praising them from the pulpit and, well, you know how he is. It seems that they had an emergency last week. One of the kids was taken to hospital and no one but the family even knew it. He is quite sick and you know they don't have insurance. He is still in the hospital. The pastor called on us to be sure to pray for him and the family. Imagine that, as if prayer were going to pay the hospital bill?"
Supper at Flo's was informal. Some would say it was a "group grope" and as she and Jack, her husband was preparing the meal, she asked if he had heard about the Taylor family and their problems. "No", he replied, "what happened?" At this query, Flo passed on the conversation that she had had with June. John thought to add the family to the ones mentioned in the evening prayer that they always said before the meal. "... And Lord, we want to remember the Taylor family, their problems and trials this evening. Give them strength to look to you for the answers they need."
Tuesday morning, in his office, Jack had a moment and decided to talk to a fishing buddy about the weekend plans that they had. "By the way, have you heard anything about Bud Taylor? Flo was telling me that one of their kids was taken to the emergency room the other day. It has been a long time since I saw him around." Thinking for a minute, John answered, No, don't think I have, but you know Frank works over at the hospital, he would be able to fill you in." "Yeah. That's right. Maybe I'll call him and ask."
By Thursday evening Jack had talked with several others and found that the Taylor boy was really in a bad way and that the family was really having a grim time of it. Jack had gotten the men to agree to meet and try to find out what could be done. Friday evening, the men met. Each one brought something for the Taylor's. John, who worked at a large food chain, brought a box of groceries. Frank, the hospital worker, had brought a file of forms to be filled out that would give help on hospital bills. Flo added a bouquet of flowers. "Jack, why don't you and Flo go over and see them, take this stuff, but see if you can find out what else they need. We can compare notes on Sunday after the service." John said.
When Pastor Johnson announced the text for the sermon on Sunday morning, Jack and Flo looked at each other in surprise. "Stand please, and read with me, James 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (NKJV) Jack glanced over the pews at the Taylor family in the middle row, looking as excited as the small group of friends that had put their faith into works that week.
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