Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)
TITLE: Signed Sealed and Delivered
By Michelle Fout
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She had stopped looking behind her some time ago, if the line in front of her was dismaying, the line that continued to grow like a snake shedding its skin behind her made her breath catch in her throat. She faced forward and prayed to Yahweh that his mercies would extend and cover each person in this line. She focused with all her might on the three young women standing behind the counter and prayed for them to feel His strength, His generosity, His unconditional love. Each time someone raised their voice at one of the uniformed women she prayed for peace and humility to wash over the loud voices. This had happened several times already in the last hour and the voices behind her were beginning to grumble as well.
She was still far back in the line but close enough to see that the young women were becoming overwhelmed and when voices were raised and tempers flared the young women would begin to glance nervously at each other as they tried to pour oil on the troubled waters. Twice a lean looking official had stepped up behind the young women and spoken harshly to them while glancing with disinterest and something close to disdain at the faces waiting behind the loathsome “Please Wait Here” red line painted on the floor.
She shifted on her feet and tried relaxing her knees bending and flexing them, slowly leaning her weight forward until she was standing on her toes then lowering her heels to the ground again, anything to keep the leg muscles from cramping up. Her turn would come, she was praying for that. Her turn would come and she would be the one at the counter, she allowed herself a small break in prayers to imagine the moment. She would step across that hateful red line with a sweet smile for the young woman that waited with outstretched hand for her little brown book. She would not raise her voice she would accept any destination with a gratefulness that would warm the young woman’s heart towards the next person in line. She would take back her book now officially stamped and she would move beyond the gates and into the restricted area. She could not imagine past that part because she could not see past the gates. She had no idea where she was going her world was reduced to this weary line, the vile red line, the women and the yellow gates to the left.
She lifted her shoulders to ease the strain of standing at attention for so long. She breathed deep to stifle a yawn and focused her prayers again on the women behind the counter. She offered thanks that the brown book in her hand represented freedom for her body and only her body. She was so grateful her heart actually hurt, that the man behind the women held no power over theirs or her soul. The words printed on the dog-eared pages were official and could grant a form of freedom, but the words printed on another book in her possession gave life. She reminded herself of the truth of this and allowed imperturbable peace to defeat the fleeting fear of seeing the women place a “Closed for the Day” sign on the counter before she could have her turn.
Yahweh was with her. Her final destination was known and if she could not imagine what waited for her behind the yellow gates ahead and to the left, she knew exactly what waited for her behind celestial pearly ones. Her real passport was not subject to time, and had already been stamped and sealed. If the real boundaries could be seen, the boundaries between the physical now and spiritual eternity, she would see a people around her waiting in a different line. Passports would not be carried, they would be worn and the Redeemer would be standing at the gate admitting those who wore their passport of His love for all to see.
For now though this was her test of faith to endure and persevere despite persecution and believe that freedom was already hers.
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