Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Truth or Dare (08/28/08)
- TITLE: Dare Ya'
By Robyn Burke
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You have to know a bit about Elijah’s background to understand the story I’m gonna tell you. His ma ran off when he was about five and his dad got ugly when he was drinking, which was most the time. The kids poked ridicule at him for not having a ma and for having a drunk for a dad. How he made it through those early years I can't rightly say. I suppose Mrs. Wilkins next door watched out for him and of course the ladies from the church. But he didn’t have no- what’s that word—nurturen’--for most of those years and that can make a person grow up mean.
He could cuss like nobody’s business and he’d double up his fists -- make you back off right quick. What he lacked in height he more than made up for it by the way he carried himself.
Yet, for all his toughness, there was something about him that sure got the girls excited. By the time he was in high school most every girl thought she’d be the one who was gonna save him from himself. And Elijah for the most part seemed to roll with it. They’d be helping him with his homework, fussing over him, and inviting him home for supper till their mamas and daddies would draw the line and forbid their innocent little Emily or Suzie from seeing him anymore.
So we were all surprised when he started hanging 'round with Becca. For starters she didn’t seek him out which was how the relationships usually started. Secondly, she didn’t act like she was all that taken with him. And thirdly, her daddy was the new preacher over at Crowded at the Cross Bible Church. We figured that whatever Elijah had going with Becca, it wasn’t gonna last long once her parents got to know him.
But being new to the area and not knowing much of Elijah’s background, and I suppose, being preachers an all, they felt it was their Christian duty to welcome him into their home. But we’d seen many a church folk try to get Elijah to come to church before and not a one of ‘em had ever succeeded.
Now, the way I heard it, Becca didn’t come right out and ask Elijah to come to church with her ever. Nah, I think she musta been pretty wily to figure out that the best way to get to Elijah was to let him think it was all his own idea. And it worked, cause next thing we knew, Elijah not only came to church one Sunday morning but came back that Sunday night for more. And you coulda knocked me over with a feather when I heard that at the end of the service, Elijah knelt with tears streaming down his face and asked Jesus to come into his heart.
The news of this spread quickly 'round our school and we waited with baited breath the next day to see how this was gonna play out in real life. Now I should mention that Elijah had one sworn enemy for life, name of Pete Nichols. Pete was ring leader of the kids who’d picked on Elijah in grade school and the only kid who had ever not backed down when Elijah was looking for a fight. They pretty much stayed cleared of each other these days. But still, it came as no surprise that Pete would be the one to call Elijah on his new found faith. Challenged him right in the hallway first thing. “Hey punk! I heard the funniest thing today. I heard you found religion." Pete sneered.
Elijah didn’t even hesitate. He swung around, looked Pete straight in the eye and told him yes, he had found religion, but more importantly he’d found truth. He’d found Jesus. And went on to say he hoped Pete would find him too.
Pete was struck dumb for a minute and then let out a big whoop and said "Well Elijah, I dare ya to tell that to everybody!”
Remember that game “Truth or Dare?” You gotta know somebody like Elijah wasn’t gonna back away from a dare, Christian or not.
Last I heard Elijah was living in Haiti, with his wife Becca and their three kids, working with New Tribes Missions doing exactly what Pete dared him to do… speaking the truth to everybody.
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