Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Our Mutual Friend (not about the book) (09/15/11)
TITLE: We Both Loved Him More
By Catherine Maher
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What I'm good at is security. I have always gravitated to positions where I'm used as a guard. I love watching and sounding the alarm. I get a lot of gratification from saving lives and preventing dangerous situations.
When I lived out in the country life was easy going. Ever since I flew into this busy city, I have had to learn to relate to a lot more people and be involved in a lot more events. It has stretched me and forced me to change, for the better. I had to learn to spread my wings and really soar.
For example, I used to speak my mind without worrying how it came across. Place or time didn't matter, since I was speaking the truth. If it hurt someone's feelings, well, they would have to just get over it. After all, I was one of the few people around that would "say it like it really was.”
In the busy city, life was quite different. Believe me when I say I had to learn some things the hard way. More than once I confronted the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong way, and just about got my neck wrung. Now I’m learning to weigh my options more carefully before sounding off the truth.
I caught a good break though when I ran into the new teacher. I heard a lot about him so I started sitting in on his meetings. He taught about life, values and better ways to relate. He spoke a lot of truth. I think that is why I was drawn to him. I knew I needed a better way to relate truth, without always risking life and limb. Especially if I expected to stay in the city for long.
That was when the uprising began to stir in the heart of the city. Teachers of religion did not agree with this new teacher's ways. Some of them started setting traps for him. If he broke any of their laws or practices, they would ensnare him with his own words and punish him severely. At times their hatred seemed strong enough to kill him. Even the people who merely associated with the teacher were persecuted and ostracized from society.
I thought long and hard about following the teacher. This was one of those all or nothing decisions. If I held back even a little, it could result in my own demise. I could become one of the many turn coats I saw in the city.
I listened to his teaching intently, trying to hear the error of his ways. He spoke of love, forgiveness, peace and healing. I found no offense. He offended the other teachers because he claimed to be God's son, and he healed people on the day of rest. Worse, he called them blind guides and hypocrites. They did not hate him because he spoke of truth, but because he saw through their phoniness. Oh how I wanted to blurt out that truth, to crow like an old bird the things they so needed to hear. They could not swallow the truth, so I had to. It was not the right time.
Everything I had been through up until now had been to prepare me for this new job. Never before had I aspired to such a high calling. He asked only one thing of me. "Do you love me more than these”?
I got the job. I crowed on his command and the voice of the teacher set Peter free. Although he wept bitterly, realizing he had denied the truth three times, he turned his life around that day. So did I. We were both changed forever.
I committed to crowing with the teachers' gentle voice of conviction. Peter committed to tending the teachers’ sheep and feeding his lambs. We both became good friends with the teacher, and came to love him more and more.
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