Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Discern (08/12/10)
TITLE: Ordinary Stranger
By Brenda Rice
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What about him captured my attention? His suit is dark blue. His shirt is white. His shoes are black. Ordinary, just plain ordinary.
Is it his gait? He walks as if one leg is shorter causing an uneven click of his heels on the sidewalk.
What causes me to watch him as he moves through the crowd? He’s probably on his way to work, I muse. Or maybe he’s on his way to visit someone. Or perhaps, he’s a currier making a delivery.
He definitely seems to be on a mission. But why am I so intrigued by this ordinary looking man? Is it the way he glances over this shoulders, first to the left and then to the right?
Perhaps, he’s a robber planning to take something from one of these unsuspecting souls. Is he on the prowl for his next victim?
As my intrigue increases so does my pace. I must stay in sight of him but still remain un-noticed. No one seems to be aware of him or me. Life proceeds at its regular cadence.
Why am I so aware of this stranger? Hundreds of people walk past me everyday. I rarely notice any one specific person. I find it so strange that this man has caught my attention.
As I continue watching, I notice he carries something under his left arm. A package of sorts. What is it, I wonder? Maybe he’s mailing it or delivering it.
About the size of an encyclopedia, the package is wrapped in brown paper tied with twine. There’s no bow on top. A gift without a bow? Could it be he’s bought a gift for himself? Alas, could it be a bomb?
Okay, none of this makes sense. Why in the world am I following this stranger?
Wait a second, he’s turning at the corner. I have to hurry or I’ll lose him. Oh…there he is. He’s walking faster now.
The Post Office is a few doors away. He’s almost there but…wait…he keeps going. It’s not mail. Now his pace increases. Where is he going and why?
My short legs don’t cover the distance as quickly as his longer ones. He’s some distance ahead of me now. Still watching over his shoulders as if he knows someone is following him. I wonder what he would do if he knew it was me? Would he snatch me behind a building and……….
Stop it! That is crazy thinking. I’m not playing some spy game. It’s a lovely summer day and I’m walking down the same street I walk down everyday. But somehow, I’ve become fixated on a tall man in a navy suit carrying a package under his arm.
Something’s happening! He’s stopped in front of a large building. He’s looking around trying to make sure he isn’t being followed. He’s about to carry out his mission. Now he backs slowly into the doorway. Without looking back he opens the huge doors while still looking toward the street.
I’m frozen beside a light pole pretending to read my paper. My heart pounds in my ears. All my senses are on high alert.
Suddenly the huge doors open, close and he’s gone! Something is about to happen and I’m not standing here! I’m going in! To my surprise the doors aren’t locked. One push and I’m inside. I don’t see anyone, but I hear voices. I move in that direction. One, two, three steps and……
“Welcome Miss. Please come in and join us. We are about the begin our class.”
Oh, now I’m in a real pickle! The man with the package is standing here asking me to come in. Shocked is what I am.
“Don’t be shy, the Lord brings new people everyday.”
“He does? How does he bring them?” I hear myself ask.
“Various ways. How did He bring you?”
“Oh I’m sure the Lord had nothing to do with me being here.”
“Is that right? Well, I think He did. You see I noticed you as you noticed me. That was the Lord. He caused you to discern something about me that intrigued you so you would follow. Was it the package that caught your attention?”
I feel my head nod, but my mouth won’t move.
“Let’s open the package and solve your mystery?”
From the package the man takes a large black book, opens it and reads…………
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalms Twenty-Three.
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