Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sightseeing (08/08/05)
TITLE: Looks Can Be Deceiving
By Marie Santarelli
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When you see someone do you ever wonder who they are? Where they live or where they came from? I do. I think, it’s because my life is not too exciting, not to me anyway.
Take Joe, the hot-dog vender. He must have an exciting life. At least he does in my imagination. Joe has a beautiful wife and three children; for whom he spends all day selling hot dogs. He spends his holidays with a big family, but his vacations are reserved for his wife and children.
Of course he makes sure that he puts special time aside for his wife. Got to keep the home fires burning other wise they go out. To many marriages these days fail because of lack of effort, but not Joe. No, Joe is true blue. Or is he? Let’s find out.
As I walked up to him, I hear a sigh of relief as if to say, finally someone is buying a hot dog. As a smile spreads across his face he says, “Hey Mr. Joyce what can I get you today?”
“The usual Joe. I needed a break from work so I decided to do a little sightseeing”
Usually you take chilidog with the works. How you manage them I don’t know. Here you go,” he said as he handed it over.
As I took a bite of my chilidog I moaned with pure enjoyment. When I finished chewing I said, “Joe you just can’t beat a good chilidog. Thanks buddy.”
“No problem Mr. Joyce, anytime.”
“Call me Harry, for heavens sake, I have been coming here for five years now. I think we can be on a first name basis,” I chided him.
“Yes Mr., I mean Harry,” he replied sheepishly.
“Now that we are on a first name basis I need to ask you a question.”
Joe seemed a little suspicious at first as he looked up at me.
“How’s your business going?” I asked.
He seemed a bit relieved. Then replied, “Oh it’s not to bad. It’s not to good either, but the good Lord will provide.”
“The reason I’m asking is because my company is having a carnival of sorts for the children in the area. You know that home for the kids no one seems to want on Second Street.”
He replied anxiously, “Yes Sir, I know the place.”
“Well some money hungry bureaucrat wants to close the place down. We are going to do our best to keep it open. So I was wondering if you would be interested in working for us the day of the carnival.”
Suddenly tears began filling his eyes. A wave of emotion gripped him and he said, “Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus!”
“Joe are you alright?” I asked. Concerned I placed my arm around his shoulder.
It was as if the weight of the world was being lifted.
“Harry you have no idea what I’ve been through. That home you speak of is mine. My wife and I began taking in orphans about ten years ago. We love children but were unable to have our own. My Betsy went home to be with the Lord this year and I’ve been struggling ever since. I prayed that the Lord would help and now he has. Thank you, Mr. Joyce! Thank you!” he cried.
It was my turn to well up this time. It’s something, you know? How we make judgments about people and many times don’t even take the time to get to know them. I’m glad I took the time. Joe’s a good man with a good heart. Not what I imagined, he’s better. For who else would love children so much, that they would open their home to them. Who else would give of themselves when no one else will? Would you?
“Your welcome Joe, and anytime you need help, just give me a call.”
“Thank you Mr., I mean Harry,” he said still unused to our new friendship.
“I’ll call you later with the details, I need to get back to work.”
“Alright then,” he replied.
I think today, my life is better than I thought. You can imagine all sorts of things but to know the truth liberates you from all the deceptions in this world. Jesus was right when he said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(John 8:32)
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