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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Acceptance
By Bill Obenauer


Each of us had a gift. Mine was public speaking. At no point in time, did I ever have a problem standing up in front of a group of people that I didn't know and manipulating an audience by using my ability to verbally deliver emotions. With preparation, I was masterful, but even impromptu I could work listeners as if I were a puppeteer and they were on marionette strings. If I wanted laughter, the walls shook. If I wanted sadness, the carpets would be soaked in tears. Sometimes, I'd lead my audience through an array of contrasting emotions just to see if I could, and I always succeeded. That's why, whenever someone passed away, I was always asked to deliver the eulogy.

I hated my gift. When I first discovered it, it seemed like a gift that would have so much potential, but I constantly misused it. I hated being asked to give a performance whenever someone I loved passed away. I hated having people congratulate me on how well I publicly articulated my feelings for the deceased. Most of all, I hated knowing that someone was going to Hell and having to stand in front of a group of loved ones and give them a false hope.

My sister, on the other hand, had the gift of visual presentation. She had the ability to make a toilet look like a piece of art so when our mother gave her seven shoe boxes full of pictures and asked her to make something beautiful, she exceeded any expectations that we could have had.

Knowing that my sister had been asked to display her works in the family room, I walked in not to admire them, but with hopes that her labors would be the focus of that area and I may go unnoticed. As I entered the room, I noticed the faint smell of my grandfather's cologne that had been spritzed in the air and I immediately felt as if he was still with us. Then, my eyes were drawn to his desk where she had rested his favorite hat just as he always did whenever he sat down to pay bills. His coat was hung over the chair, and an open scrapbook rested on the desk, displaying a black and white photo that had been yellowed by time. I glanced around the room and noticed several people flipping though photo albums as well as an old home movie that was running on the television.

Then it happened. A friend of the family came up to me and grabbed my arm sobbing the words, "Your eulogy today was the most..." As soon as I realized what he was saying, I began to tune it out. Like I said, I hated being praised for a eulogy.

"You G-- D----- son of a B----," I heard my grandfather say through the speakers of the television set. I immediately excused myself and scurried outside.

Prior to that day, it had been twelve years, eight months, and six days since I had smoked a cigarette. On the way from the cemetery to the house, my chest began to feel heavy, as if I was wearing one of those lead shields that the dentist puts on you when he x-rays your jaw. After bearing that weight for a few miles of the drive, I felt too weak to fight the urge and I stopped at a gas station to buy a pack. The first one I smoked felt so good, but as I took my first drag of this one, I didn't feel any better. Hearing my grandfather's words on the television was just a reminder that he had never come to know Jesus Christ.

Then, my grandfather's lawyer walked up to me and said, "You're a tough man to find. I missed you at the church. Look, I know the reading is not until Wednesday, but per your grandfather's instructions, I was supposed to give this to you after the service today. I'm sorry for your loss." With that, he handed me a small cardboard box and walked away.

I opened the box and immediately recognized the NKJV bible that I had given to him the only time that I had ever tried to speak to him about Christ. The binding was worn and there was a short handwritten note taped to the front cover. It read, "I never told you, but I accepted Him. Love, Pop."

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This article has been read 513 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 04/10/08
Oooh, this was good! I really liked the twist at the end, it fit the title and everything. You did great with the first person POV and especially the gift that could either be a 'gift' or a 'curse'. Great job with the emotions here. ^_^
Catrina Bradley 04/10/08
You moved me through a range of emotions, and left me teary. I love how you ended this with just the note. Good job.
Holly Westefeld04/11/08
Well- written, with good word pictures, such as the marionette and lead apron.
Bitter-sweet. It would have been nice if he had had the lawyer give the grandson the box before the eulogy.
Joshua Janoski04/12/08
You had some great descriptions in this story. Your gift of words is evident.

I loved the ending. Sadly, many loved ones die without ever accepting Christ into their heart, but I'm glad that this grandfather did.

I look forward to reading more entries from you. Keep up the good work!
Betty Castleberry04/13/08
This is a good read! I felt like I was in the home after the funeral. The ending is superb. Kudos.
Joy Faire Stewart04/14/08
Very good job showing MC's emotions and the descriptions are great. Excellent job!
Lauryn Abbott04/14/08
Well done. I loved the title you chose. Your descriptions were great and I really liked the ending. It showed us that maybe we will be surprised at who we see in heaven. Thanks for sharing this.
Jan Ackerson 04/14/08
Wow, this was really creative! I've read lots of "accepted Christ at the last minute" stories, but nothing resembling this one. Super!
Glynis Becker04/14/08
Great job. I wasn't sure how it was going to end.
Debbie Wistrom04/14/08
Isn't God's timing wonderful! Creative and original--keep writing.
Shirley McClay 04/15/08
I was sure it was going to end tragic.. so glad he was saved after all. His character really seemed to fit the idea of him doing that.
Lyn Churchyard04/17/08
You moved me from despair to joy in this story. I cannot think of anything more sad than believing a family member has died without Christ. I am so glad you were given that box with the note.
Well done.
Tim Pickl04/17/08
Well done!