April 7th, 2011
“I’ve got to tell you honey, it was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen! The project manager, Mr. Wood, stood at the podium ranting and raving over the declining revenue generated by the construction field team. His tirade stopped abruptly, when he paused to stare out past the engineering team. Everyone at the conference room table just kind of exchanged puzzled glances at one another for a moment.”
Max poked absently at the green peas spread out over his dinner plate, as he recalled the events of the weekly progress meeting. Laila, noticed a bewildered look in her husband’s eyes. Something about today’s meeting scared him.
“So what happened, Babe? Did the guy have a heart attack right there”, she asked.
“No…that I could have handled. Instead, Mr. Wood began spouting off some kind of funky pig-latin jibberish, at the top of his lunges. It was so loud, I had to cover my ears to muffle the tone of his voice. He didn’t even have a microphone at the podium! He must’ve rambled on for five minutes before collapsing into his chair.”
Laila could barely contain her joy at the news her husband shared. Although Max was an unbeliever, she had secretly been praying for the Lord to capture her husband’s heart for years now. She had to know what happened next.
“Wow”, she started. “So…what happened? Someone dial 911 or perform CPR on the guy?”
Max’s brown eyes seemed to pierce through Laila, as he spoke.
“That’s what really freaked me out, honey. Before Mr. Wood landed in the chair, Jose Cazarez raised up from his own chair, looked around the table at each one of us, and started reciting some weird Bible verse, warning of the end days…or something. He yelled, ‘This is what the Lord your GOD says…’ before preaching about repentance and righteousness. It seemed so surreal.”
Laila reached out to gently grasp Max’s hand. He trembled at her touch. A sympathetic smile swept across her face.
“Sweetie are you OK? Can I do anything for you?” she asked.
Max opened his hand and gently squeezed Laila’s fingers.
“How about you start teaching me to read that Bible of yours, tonight?” he said. A teardrop slowly streaked down his cheek.
December 31, 2011
Max and Laila sat on the brown leather love seat; the Jones couple to their left sat in steel fold-out chairs; the Scott couple to their right sat on the leather sofa. A small weathered leather-bound Bible sat neatly in Max’s lap, while the three couples sipped sparkling grape juice and enjoyed each other’s company in front of the living room television tuned to CNN. Pastor John Lambert entered the living-room, carrying a vegetable party tray followed by sister Lambert carrying a large Bible and several small binders.
Pastor John announced, “OK guys and gals, we’re just about ready to get this new-year Bible study off to a great start! We’re missing one couple, who should be on the way.”
As the Pastor set the tray down, Matt Scott asked, “Pastor have the seen the latest news? The Center for Disease Control has now issued a statement calling the, quote-unquote, phenomenon some sort of outbreak.”
Sarah Jones said, “No sickness or death associated with the so called phenomenon, but the government allows them to classify it as an outbreak anyway?”
Laila Smith smiled at her husband. It seemed just yesterday when the Lord captured Max through witnessing what had now come to be known worldwide as the phenomenon.
“Yeah, I’ve seen that,” said Pastor John. “But it’s not surprising, is it? The world has to label the Lord’s work. People want to feel in control of what’s happening, and so the world must label it.”
Mike Jones said, “I would think an explosion of people throughout the world speaking in tongues and prophesying, being labeled as an outbreak, would hardly put one’s mind at ease Pastor.”
“True, if you’re not a believer, Mike,” Pastor John answered. “But to followers of Christ, these are exciting times. We know what this means.”
Max Smith stood up from the leather love seat, raised his hands to the ceiling, and shouted, “Come Lord Jesus, come! Though we may not know the hour of your arrival, I pray you come soon.”
“Amen, brother-Max,” said Pastor John. “Amen.”
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