Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)
TITLE: Sunday Morning Masks
By Kathy Barnes
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Mom poured cereal and juice for the kids, and hot coffee for herself. She took the last muffin and sat down. The fall morning was almost as frosty as her heart. “Tommy is crazy, if he thinks I’m fixing him breakfast,” she thought to herself. “I should dirty up every bowl in the house, just so he has to wash one, first.”
Tommy came in the kitchen, and said, “Kids hurry or we will be late for church.”
He was greeted with, “Do we have to go? We’ll miss the best cartoons.”
“Finish,” he growled at the kids. “Where is breakfast?” He asked Peggy.
She pushed a box of cereal at him, and turned away. Clearly, they had gotten up the way they went to bed -- MAD. Peggy was giving him the silent treatment. He did not know why she had to be this way. He had bought a new set of golf clubs without asking, then the dishwasher busted and they did not have enough money for a new one. It was not his fault it broke this month, nor that he was on the golf course when it happen, nor that she was stuck cleaning up the mess.
Peggy headed for the shower and screamed at the kids to get dressed on her way. They reluctantly got up and headed for their rooms. Tommy put his dish next to the sink.
A few minutes later, Tommy was calling, “It is time to leave, is everybody ready?”
The front half of the car ride was silent, except for the loud huffs, and puffs. The back half kept erupting in cries of “He touched me,” “She on my half,” and “Quit it.” It was finial brought to a halt, by a threat of, “If I have to pull over this car, your both regret it. I don’t want to hear not one word out of either of you.”
The car stopped, Mark, Joan and their kids greeted Tommy and Peggy. The kids took off with the other kids for class. Tommy and Peggy put on their best Sunday faces. Tommy and Mark went off laughing about how great the golf game had been. Joan asked Peggy how things were going. Peggy smiles and said “Blessed.”
Peggy sang in the choir of God’s goodness and blessing. Tommy watched the kids, clapped with the music, and raised his hands as if everything was wonderful.
The preacher gave a heartfelt sermon on first Corinthians 13:4-7. (Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous, love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek it own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered …) Tommy and Peggy both smile and secretly said, “I hope the other is listening.” The
Preacher gave the altar call and no one moved. They went home the same way they came. They stopped to pick up burgers.
Tommy ate and sat down to watch the football game. He could not keep his mine on the game. He loved Peggy and he did not want her mad. This voice in the back of his mind kept going off, “You knew the dishwasher had been giving her trouble, You should taken care of it first.” “You know if you had asked her about spending the extra money on new clubs and she agreed she would not have been half as mad.” “Did you show her the love Jesus did for his bride?”
Peggy had gone off to the bedroom to lie down. She was tired but could not sleep. This voice was in the back of her mind, “He had no way to know when it was going to break. He did not leave you with a mess on purpose.” “You were already saving money to get him clubs for your anniversary.” “A dishwasher is a blessing, not a necessity you know.” “You really were not very Christ-like this morning.”
They meet in the hallway, both saying, “I am sorry at the same time.” “I love you. I don’t want to fight.”
Just before they head back to church, that same voice came back to both again. “Did you meet with ME today?” “Did you worship ME?” “Did you ask for MY help?”
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