Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Before and After (05/14/09)
TITLE: The Bill
By Gordon Lavoie
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I should tell you a bit about myself first. I am a very social person, bit of a party animal, if the truth be told. I love to have a good time, but I love my job too. Instead of interfering with my life, it improves it, lets me interact with people, enables me to meet nice looking girls, and it helps me to stay in the loop.
Wonder what I do? Well, I’m a server at a local family restaurant. It’s a great job. Of course, the salary for waiting on tables doesn’t make a man wealthy, but the tips are really quite good. I earn enough wages to pay my way in this world, and the extra change people leave on the table, that’s my entertainment money. I jestingly tell everyone, it’s my fun fund.
My story begins with one of those tips. They were a nice, average family, nothing special, the kind of customer that comes in every Sunday afternoon for lunch. A well dressed man, clean and neat, wearing a dark grey suit and sporting a conservative tie. His wife, nice-looking, and very modestly attired in a bright spring colored dress, they had two clean cut kids, a boy and a girl, quite polite, and well mannered. Why didn’t they just leave money? But no! They had to leave a Christian tract with their generous tip.
“Three Question Quiz.” That was the name of the tract. Who can resist a quiz? Not I. Three simple questions, short, intriguing, and to the point. Basically, it informed me that if I didn’t know where I was going when I died, I wasn’t going like, where I ended up.
I had never really thought much of eternity before that tract. However, I certainly never wanted to spend a minute, let alone an eternity, in a lake of fire. I figured if God was anything though, he was probably very fair. Therefore, I quietly said a small prayer, to a God, I wasn‘t even sure existed. If he was in truth, real, I wanted to know it, and I respectfully ask him to show himself, if not, there is no one hearing this, and I’d like to get on with my jovial lifestyle.
At that moment, the door bell rang. I jokingly thought to myself, “maybe that’s the answer to my prayer.” I was expecting the mail man with my income tax refund. “It’s party time.”
When I opened the door, there is this massive dude standing on my steps with a smile twice the size of Texas. He hands me some flyers and starts talking about a mile a minute.
“Mail call!” He gave a short laugh, and carried on without so much as a breath. “Sorry, just kidding. The post man gave me these, junk mail I’m guessing. Morning, my name is”
“Hold on dude, whatever you’re selling, I don’t want any.”
“Oh! No, I just moved into town, I’m the new pastor at a small church in the neighborhood, and I thought I’d knock on a few doors and introduce myself.”
I was about to turn him off again, but he just kept talking.
“I can say hi, bye, and thank you very much, or, if you’re curious, I can come in and tell you where you're going to spend the rest of eternity. God is more than fair, and this visit could be the very answer to your prayers.”
He gave a small pause, then added. “So to speak.”
He had no idea how ironic his timing was. I’m sure my jaw dropped to my navel . He then paraded that enormous smile again, it looked as if it was going to cover his whole face, and his eyes, they seemed to reflect the sun. He held out his large friendly hand to meet mine.
“Sorry, forgot to introduce myself. My name is Pastor William Williams, but my friends call me Bill.”
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