Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Persuasion (not about the book) (09/01/11)
TITLE: Faith by Two Strangers
By Rachael Severa
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“Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that,” Tom says, as he rubs his eyes, and rummages through his brief case plopping himself onto the break-room chair. “I’m looking for my phone.”
“You worked for Chuck, right?” Tina recollected. “I’m sorry about his passing. His contributions as Editor were unmatched.” Sensing discouragement, Tina hesitated and remained quiet.
In honor, Tom says, “Working under Chuck is what taught me the business. He treated me good and mentored me from day one. Chuck often said, ‘Finding a story isn’t hard, but only writing it to mean something.’ I owe it all to him. Before he passed, he submitted my name for promotion as a Field Journalist, and with this new hire, I may not get it.”
“You had a lot of faith in Chuck,” Tina replied.
“Well, yes. Chuck made things happen,” Tom said. “Haven’t you ever depended on someone to make things happen for you?”
Tina jumps in with, “In my youth, of course. But, my Faith in The Lord takes care of things for me.”
“I’ve never thought about it. I’m not much of a philosopher.” Tom said.
“It’s not about Philosophy,” Tina explains with eagerness as she cups the side of her coffee mug. “Faith is about being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
“How can one be so certain about things, when other people make the decisions?” Tom asks.
“God places people in authority over our lives. And, ‘there is no authority except that which God has established,’ in Faith, we trust the Holy Spirit to guide authority,” Tina declared. “As a child, it is your parents; in school, it is your teacher; at work, it is your boss … Correct?” Tina sipped her coffee in anticipation.
“Yes, but,” Tom says, still wondering what it all means.
“It is by Faith, that all things are possible.” Tina breaks while finishing her coffee, then, continues with, “Having Faith in God brings the Holy Spirit to you.”
In trying to comprehend how all this applies to him, Tom notices the black eyeliner caked around Tina’s eyelids. For the moment, he kept quiet about it.
Tom spoke, “What. How does that happen?”
“The Holy Spirit is recognized as God, who guides us, protects us, and ‘tells us what is yet to come.’ The Spirit is sent by God, which, during Jesus’ time, worked through Jesus.” Tina said.
Tom didn’t realize that Tina had so much to say about God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit. He went back to Tina’s eyeliner and asked, “Not to intrude on a woman’s make-up technique, but, Why so much make-up?”
Tina remained quiet in embarrassment, not sure what to say. Then, said, “Women do that to look pretty.”
“Yes. But, it’s not necessary to wear so much. Women use eyeliner to enhance their facial features not to distort them.” Tom replied with manly confidence.
Tina went on convincing herself that, “I wasn’t blessed with great looks like other women. And well, to look attractive, I have to do extra things.”
“Is that what you think?” Tom said in haste. Tom read through Tina’s insecurity, and her desire to attract a man.
Tom then asked, “What about Jesus?”
Tina tried to re-focus through her self-consciousness. “Jesus is our redeemer.”
“How is he righteous?” Tom interrupted.
“ Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and the whole world. Jesus speaks in our defense when we sin,” Tina graciously admits.
Flashbacks from Tom’s past plagued his mind. He worked hard to overcome their shadows.
Awaiting summarization, Tina added. “Tom—everything starts with Faith. And, ‘a person’s faith and actions work together, and by what he does, completes his faith.’ The Son (Jesus) is sent by the Father (God), who sends the Holy Spirit to work through Jesus, who reveals the Father, as Christ testified. Jesus died on the cross to redeem our sins, for through him we have life, if we believe.”
Tom’s phone rang breaking the focus. “I have to go. Nice meeting you, Tina.”
Tina replied with “You too, Tom.” Not sure if he understood all she said.
Not realizing that Tina planted a seed of Faith in him. Tom prayed before he slept.
The next morning, Tina held her eyeliner, and remembered Tom’s appeal. By her Faith that God would deliver, she lightly coated her eyes.
1NIV Hebrews 11:1
2NIV NIV John 16:12-15
3NIV John 16:12-15
4NIV 1 John 2
5NIV James 2:20
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